Pierpoint Morgan Library/Art Resource New York/M. 619, FO.1R

Samuel the prophet. To prove Saul’s legitimacy as a divinely chosen ruler, the authors of the History of Saul’s Rise also had to prove the legitimacy of his mediator Samuel as a prophet and priest. This 12th-century manuscript from England illuminates four crucial events in Samuel’s life, corresponding to author White’s first, third and fifth scenes in the story of Saul. At bottom left, Hannah prays for a son and promises him to Eli the priest; at top right, she delivers her precious child into Eli’s care. The middle square illustrates the night when God first speaks to Samuel, telling him of his oracle against Eli’s house (1 Samuel 3:5). The boy relates the oracle to Eli, who realizes Samuel’s status as prophet. Samuel’s calling is fulfilled when he meets Saul and anoints him as king-elect (bottom right).