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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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L’arbre des batailles
France, probably Paris, ca. 1390
MS M.907 fol. 2v

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Register 1:
On top branch, at left, are tonsured cleric, two bishops wearing miters, three cardinals wearing hoods and cardinal's hats and pope, probably Benedict XIII, antipope, wearing cross surmounted triple crowned tiara, holding cross staff with left hand. All follow eleven mounted soldiers, most only helmets visible. Eight hold lances; the foremost holds banner of Benedict XIII, red, decorated with white crescent.
In center, flanked by two branches, Personification of Fortune stands holding wheel. Above is caption INFIMA SUPERIORIBUS SUPERIORA INFIMIS MUTARE GAUDEMUS HOC CONTINUO LUDIMUS UNIUERSA UOLUBILI ROTA URSAMUS
At right, foremost of group of mounted soldiers, holds banner of Benedict IX. Eight others hold lances. Following them is pope, probably Benedict IX, wearing triple crowned tiara, wearing sword at waist, holding cross staff upside down with right hand, next to caption NON IREM [...]. Following him are cardinal wearing hood and cardinal's hat, tonsured clerics and other figures, only partially visible. Caption above is AUDIT EI SOL CUM ADHUC ESSET DIES.
Register 2:
On second branch, at left are two opposing armies of mounted soldiers holding lances, the foremost holding banners of kings of France and England. Between them is caption SURGET GENS CONT(RA) GENTE(M) (Luke 21:10). At right are two opposing armies of mounted soldiers, holding lances, the foremost holding banners of Louis d'Anjou and Philippe le Hardi flanking caption ET REGNU(M) ADUERSUS REGNUM (Luke 21:10).
Register 3:
On third branch, at left are two opposing armies of mounted soldiers holding lances, the foremost holding banners of king of Castille-Léon and of king of Portugal. Between them is caption TRIBULABIT(UR) ET CIRCUIETUR T(ER)RA ET DE[...] ET DIRRIPIRANTUR EDES (Amos 3:11). At right are two opposing armies of mounted soldiers holding lances, the foremost holding banners of Emperor Charles VI and of Lewis the Great, King of Hungary. Between them is caption QUI PONITIS FORTUNE MENSAM ET LIBATIS SUPER EAM NUMERABO UOS IN GLADIO ET OMNES I(N) SEDE CORRUETIS (Isaiah 65:11-12).
Register 4:
On ground at base of the tree, at left, four men or clerics, three only tops of head visible stand behind three soldiers, one holding sword with left hand. Foremost soldier aims arrow in bow toward five clerics, tonsured, two wearing habits, others only partially visible. Above is caption ACCINGITE UOS ET PLA(N)GITE SACERDOTES ULUATE MINISTRI INGREDIMINI ET CUBATE IN SACCO MINISTRI DEI MEI Q(UONIA)M INTERIIT DE DOMO DEI N(OST)RI SACRIFICIUM (Joel 1:13). At right, man and soldier look toward archer; soldier stabs falling man in back with knife; foremost of five (?) soldiers, aims spear at the soldier stabbing man. Above is caption UNUSQUISQUE A P(RO)XIMO SUO SE CUSTODIAT ET IN OM(N)I FRATRE SUO NON HABEAT FIDUCIAM QUIA OMNIS SUNT SUPPLANTA(N)S SUPPLANTIB(US) ET OM(N)IS AMICUS FRAUDULANTUR INCEDET (Jeremiah 9:4).

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