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Coloured Drawings Of Chastity Fighting Lust, In Prudentius's 'Conflict Of The Soul'

Coloured Drawings Of Chastity Fighting Lust, In Prudentius's 'Conflict Of The Soul'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1120

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Titus D XVI

Item number: f.7r

Length: 15

Width: 10.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

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. Chastity about to strike Lust's flaming torch with a rock, and killing her by piercing her throat with a spear. In the upper image the artist has apparently forgotten to draw the chain-mail and helmet which Faith wears in the preceding and following illustrations.

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