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Voyage of St Brendan f.1r

Voyage of St Brendan f.1r

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1305

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Vespasian B X

Item number: f.1r

Length: 23.5

Width: 16

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

Religion and entertainment could merge in medieval saints lives. One of the best examples is the story of the voyage of an Irish saint, Brendan, who visits a series of islands with nearly surreal inhabitants and fauna. His journey is a kind of imaginative and even humourous reflection of the life and prayer of a monk. In the 12th century, the bride of King Henry I, Aeliz of Louvain, asked a monk named Benedeit to write a poem of the voyage of St Brendan in Anglo-Norman French. This manuscript has a copy of Benedeit's poem followed by a 'Voyage of Brendan' in Latin prose.

The beginning of the poem recounts that Aeliz married Henry and that she asked Benedeit to write the 'Voyage of St Brendan' in verse.

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