An Illustration from
Bible of Saint Stephen Harding
Cîteaux, abbaye Notre-Dame, Bourgogne, France, 1109-1111AD
Bibliothèque Municipale de Dijon Ms.14
Battle of Beerzet/
Funeral of Judas Maccabeus
Bacchides Returns to Judea
David Cycle, in the Bible of Saint Stephen Harding, c.1110AD
9 When Demetrius heard that Nicanor and his army had fallen in battle, he sent Bacchides and Alcimus into the land of Judah a second time, and with them the right wing of the army.
2 They went by the road that leads to Gilgal and encamped against Mesaloth in Arbela, and they took it and killed many people.
3 In the first month of the one hundred and fifty-second year they encamped against Jerusalem;
4 then they marched off and went to Berea with twenty thousand foot-soldiers and two thousand cavalry.
5 Now Judas was encamped in Elasa, and with him were three thousand picked men.
6 When they saw the huge number of the enemy forces, they were greatly frightened, and many slipped away from the camp, until no more than eight hundred of them were left.
7 When Judas saw that his army had slipped away and the battle was imminent, he was crushed in spirit, for he had no time to assemble them.
8 He became faint, but he said to those who were left, ‘Let us get up and go against our enemies. We may have the strength to fight them.’
9 But they tried to dissuade him, saying, ‘We do not have the strength. Let us rather save our own lives now, and let us come back with our kindred and fight them; we are too few.’
10 But Judas said, ‘Far be it from us to do such a thing as to flee from them. If our time has come, let us die bravely for our kindred, and leave no cause to question our honour.’
The Last Battle of Judas Maccabeus
11 Then the army of Bacchides marched out from the camp and took its stand for the encounter. The cavalry was divided into two companies, and the slingers and the archers went ahead of the army, as did all the chief warriors.
12 Bacchides was on the right wing. Flanked by the two companies, the phalanx advanced to the sound of the trumpets; and the men with Judas also blew their trumpets.
13 The earth was shaken by the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning until evening.
14 Judas saw that Bacchides and the strength of his army were on the right; then all the stout-hearted men went with him,
15 and they crushed the right wing, and he pursued them as far as Mount Azotus.
16 When those on the left wing saw that the right wing was crushed, they turned and followed close behind Judas and his men.
17 The battle became desperate, and many on both sides were wounded and fell.
18 Judas also fell, and the rest fled.
19 Then Jonathan and Simon took their brother Judas and buried him in the tomb of their ancestors at Modein,
20 and wept for him. All Israel made great lamentation for him; they mourned for many days and said,
21 ‘How is the mighty fallen, the saviour of Israel!’
(1 Maccabees 9:1-21)
Battle of Béerzeth (161BC) & Funeral of Judas Maccabeus in the Roda Bible, c.1050-1100AD
Book of Maccabees in The Leiden I Maccabees manuscript, 10th Century
Other 12th century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers