Manuscript on vellum with illuminated initials.
Label copy from the 1950s: The glass sands of the Belus. From his country estate in Judaea, given him by Emperor Vespasian, the Jewish historian Josephus could view at first hand the curious glass sands of the river Belus, which were the wonder of the ancient world. Josephus tells of this sand pit in his Jewish Wars, written about 75 A.D.: "Numerous boats put into this spot and empty the basin of its sand, whereupon it is filled up again by the winds, which, as if by design, drift into it the common sand outside, the latter being all promptly converted by this mine into vitreous matter. But the phenomenon which to my mind is even more remarkable is that the excess particles of glass which overflow from the pit become ordinary sand as before." This manuscript on vellum of Josephus, was written at a German monastery about the year 1200. The binding is 16th century white pigskin.
Digitized by Boston Photo Imaging in September 2009.
Glass sands of the Bellus River: Book II, Chapt. 10, Section 2. Fol. 38 ro., col. 2, lines 13 ff.