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The Articles of Faith, in 'The Royal Books of Virtues and Vices'

The Articles of Faith, in 'The Royal Books of Virtues and Vices'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1300

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Cleopatra A V

Item number: f. 21r

Length: 17.3

Width: 11.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

Often known as 'Le Somme le Roy', the homilies in this manuscript were compiled at the request of King Philip III ('the Bold') of France by a Dominican friar, Lorens d'Orleans, in 1279. Lorens assembled pre-existing writings from a number of manuscripts on subjects such as the ten commandments, articles of faith, Book of Revelations, Creed, seven deadly sins, seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and seven cardinal virtues. It is interesting that this copy of it belonged to the cloister of St Augustine in Canterbury because an English translation called 'The Ayenbite of Inwyt' ('The Again-Biting of Inner Wit', meaning remorse of conscience) which the monk Dan Michel of Northgate, Kent, started was finished there in 1340.

This page has the beginning of the homily on the articles of faith, as the red inscription--a 'rubric'--at the top of the page tells the reader. The large decorated letter marks the beginning, a convention in medieval manuscripts, but it was cropped when the book was rebound and trimmed, probably in the 16th century.

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