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Saints Tharacus, Probus and Andronicus, in a Passionale

Saints Tharacus, Probus and Andronicus, in a Passionale

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1110

Shelfmark: Arundel MS 91

Item number: f.119v

Length: 36.2

Width: 27.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The daily round of prayers recited by monks (divine office) drew upon a number of different kinds of books: the psalter, Bible, hymnal, and collections of stories of saints' lives. The latter contained accounts of the deeds of the saints that marked them holy people. Excerpts from a saint's life might be read as part of the office on his or her feast day. Made in the early 12th century for the monastery of St Augustine, Canterbury, this English martyrology or passional has decorated initials--rare among martyrologies of its time--some with ingeniously designed decoration telling a saint's story. This page begins the stories of the martyrdoms of Saints Tharacus, Probus and Andronicus, three early Christian martyrs who died in the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century. The three appear in the historiated initial, holding the palms of martyrdom. As the red title ("Incipit passio", "Here begins the martyrdom") informs the reader, they are commemorated on 11 October.

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