A Sheep, An Ox, And A Dog, In St. Anselm's 'Similitudes' And Other Works
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
St. Anselm (c.1033-1109), archbishop of Canterbury, was a widely influential medieval philosopher and theologian, perhaps best known for formulating a theory which sought to prove the existence of God. In his 'Similitudes', also called 'Human Morals', he compares virtues and vices. Other texts in this volume include an account by Adam, monk of Eynsham, of a vision of purgatory and paradise experienced by his brother Edmund in 1196. The illustrations are exceptional because they usually attempt to illustrate abstract ideas, often in pairs, such as health and sickness, or strength and weakness. This manuscript belonged to the Cistercian Abbey of Dore, Herefordshire, by the 14th century, and it may have been written and illustrated there.
The text on this page concerns three kinds of men: those who pray, those who cultivate, and those who fight, and explains that God has given these men different tasks, just as sheep, oxen, and dogs are given different tasks.