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Coloured Initials, In Augustine's 'The Harmony Of The Gospels'

Coloured Initials, In Augustine's 'The Harmony Of The Gospels'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1190

Shelfmark: Egerton MS 3775

Item number: f.22v

Length: 28.6

Width: 18.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

The Gospels, written by the Four Evangelists, provide overlapping accounts of Christ's life. Some events are recorded in only one Gospel; others in more than one, and some of these seem to be contradictory. Several early Christian and medieval writers therefore composed works which combined and harmonised the differing accounts, including this one written St. Augustine in the year 400. This manuscript was certainly owned by Westminster Abbey, and was possibly also written there.

This page is typical of a finely produced 12th-century monastic manuscript: it is written in two columns; with red rubrics in majuscules and minuscules; and elegant but simple coloured initials. Note how the scribe left a space in his text for the tail of the initial 'Q'

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