Unusual manuscript with exquisite miniature writing and decoration. N.p., but surely Italian. N.d., 18th century probably. 12mo (in size). 12.5 by 8 cm. Unpaginated, 20 pp. Written in red, green and black inks. Three decorative letter devices, ornamental ribboning of the title on every page, a few other decorative touches (feathering framing sections, etc.) and written in a calligraphic, or neat calligraphic, cursive script of truly diminutive proportions. Most letters are 1 mm in height, with taller letters (f, l, etc.) spanning 3 mm at most. Predominantly written in Italian, with a smattering of Latin interspersed. The manuscript recounts and discusses the wicked Hebrew king Abimelech, a character in the Book of Judges, chapters 8 and 9. (There are other Abimelechs in the Bible, and the name itself means "King".) This Abimelech, a son of Gideon and his concubine, murdered 70 of his half-brothers to inherit the throne of the City of Shechem. One one surviving brother flees for his safety. Abimelech dies in battle at the point that he was close to prevailing completely, when a townswoman drops a millstone on him from a tower. Realizing his wound was mortal, he asks one of his soldiers to run a sword through him so it can not be said that he was killed by a woman. In the manuscript's short preface, an extended, convoluted metaphor about elephants and dogs leads into the tale of Abimelech. The latter part of the manuscript is a sort of spiritual guide based on the Third Order of Saint Dominic. Condition: closed tear along page folds (spine). Small hole in one front letter device (minor text loss in page behind) caused by iron-based black ink. Some light soiling. Overall fragility.