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Coloured Drawing Of The Sacrifice Of Isaac, In Prudentius's 'Conflict Of The Soul'

Coloured Drawing Of The Sacrifice Of Isaac, In Prudentius's 'Conflict Of The Soul'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1120

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Titus D XVI

Item number: f.1v

Length: 15

Width: 10.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

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Prudentius (born 348; died after 405) was a Christian Spanish lawyer who, late in life, turned to writing. Among his most important works is the 'Psychomachia' (Conflict of the Soul), an allegorical poem concerning the struggle between female personifications of Virtues and Vices for the human soul. Most illustrated copies of the text (including three in the British Library) seem to be descendants of a 5th- or 6th-century exemplar. This one was probably made at the abbey of St. Albans. The first lines of the text refer to Abraham's faith in God. Instructed by God to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, Abraham was just about to carry out the deed when an angel stopped him, and pointed out a ram stuck in a thicket, which could be sacrificed instead of Isaac.

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