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Prologue, in 'Speculum' of Alcuin

Prologue, in 'Speculum' of Alcuin

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1150

Shelfmark: Arundel MS 218

Item number: f.2r

Length: 24

Width: 15.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Belonging to the Augustinian priory of St Mary, Guisborough, this collection of theological writings and sermons would have been read as part of the daily programme of Bible study undertaken by the monks. It would have been a scholar's book, with very little in the way of decoration. Much of this volume is taken up with the writing of Alcuin, the late 7th-century Anglo-Saxon monk who was headhunted by Charlemagne for his programme of reform of religion and letters. Here Alcuin addresses his work, called 'Speculum' ('Mirror'), to Charlemagne, for whom he wrote it. As usual he refers to himself as 'Albinus, lowly priest.'

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