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Historiated initial With Pope Clement Enthroned, In Pseudo-Isidore's 'Papal Decrees'

Historiated initial With Pope Clement Enthroned, In Pseudo-Isidore's 'Papal Decrees'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1125

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Claudius E V

Item number: f.21v

Length: 42.5

Width: 33

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

In the middle of the 9th century, an author calling himself Isidore composed and published a series of forged papal decrees. His forgeries remained undiscovered for centuries, because he was clever enough to incorporate them into a collection of genuine decrees. This manuscript contains a copy of that partly-genuine and partly-forged collection; it was probably started in France (or by a French scribe working in England), but the text was finished and the decoration was added at Christ Church, Canterbury. The initial 'D' introduces a letter of the Pope St. Clement. The figure in the initial wears a 12th-century mitre and a pallium, the 'Y'-shaped garment ornamented with crosses, worn only by the Pope and archbishops.

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