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Beginning of the Chronicle of the Saxons , in Geoffrey of Monmouth; Annals To 1294 with Additions

Beginning of the Chronicle of the Saxons , in Geoffrey of Monmouth; Annals To 1294 with Additions

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1295

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 3142

Item number: f.105r

Length: 23.7

Width: 15

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Compiled in the late 13th century at the Benedictine abbey of St Benet at Hulme, Norfolk, this collection of chronicles begins with Geoffrey of Monmouth's bestselling 'History of the Kings of Britain'. It fills out Geoffrey's imaginative account of the Britons from their origins until the coming of the Saxons with a description of Britain, chronicles from the birth of Christ and the first Saxon kings to contemporary times, and a list of Benedictine monasteries in Canterbury. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, it belonged to Hickling Priory. On this page, the chronicle of the Saxons to 1294 begins. It was compiled at the abbey of St Benet, possibly by John of Oxnead. It opens with a listing of chronological divisions and their lengths. It divides history by biblical events: the beginning of the world to the flood, the flood to Abraham, Abraham to Moses, etc. Lower on the page begins the text of the chronicle: 'The first age of the world is from Adam to Noah...' The initials serve to indicate the beginnings of sections of text and enliven it visually with exotic beasts which clamber over them.

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