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The Author Writing, In Johannes Balbus's 'Catholicon'

The Author Writing, In Johannes Balbus's 'Catholicon'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1415

Shelfmark: Burney MS 323

Item number: f.1r

Length: 37.6

Width: 24.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The Catholicon, written by the Dominican Johannes Balbus (d. 1298) of Genoa, is a long treatise for the study of Latin, divided into five parts: orthography, prosody, grammar, rhetoric, and etymology. This copy was owned by the Augustinian priory at Stone in Staffordshire (half-way between Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford). The opening page is adorned with a full border, historiated and illuminated initials. The heading is written in red and black in a decorative chequered pattern. The historiated initial shows the author writing the text; just visible are his ink-pot, at the left edge of his writing-desk, and a blue weight hanging on a cord over the edge of the desk.

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