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The Zodiac, in 'The Winchcombe Chronicle'

The Zodiac, in 'The Winchcombe Chronicle'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1125

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Tiberius E IV

Item number: f.62r

Length: 40

Width: 29

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The most immediately striking feature of this manuscript is its condition: it is from a library, subsequently incorporated into the British Library, which was damaged by fire in 1731. In the library catalogue published in 1802 is it described as '... once valuable and elegant ... [now] so much damaged as to be useless'. Careful 19th-century restoration work, however, made the volume usable again. The textual contents show that it was written for St. Kenelm's Abbey, Winchcombe, north-east of Gloucester and Cheltenham. This diagram illustrates the accompanying text, which starts on the facing page, concerning the course of the moon though the twelve signs of the zodiac. From the outside, the concentric circles contain verses, then they are divided into twelve segments for the zodiac signs (Aries and Pisces are at the top), then roman numbers from 1-30 (i-xxx) and so on.

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