Zoomorphic Initial, In The Martyrology Of St. Augustine's, Canterbury
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
A martyrology records accounts of martyrs and their deaths, for reading each day as part of the Divine Office, in the sequence of their feast-days through the year. Sometimes, as in the present example, space is left for the insertion notes to commemorate other deaths. The additions to the present manuscript (in addition to the style of its handwriting and decoration) show that it was made at St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury.
The final leaves of the original manuscript perhaps got damaged, because they were replaced in the late 12th century. The middle entry on this page is for Christmas Day, and has been emphasised by finely drawing the initial 'I' in the form of a dragon.