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Decorated Initial, In Osbern's 'Life Of Dunstan' f.2v

Decorated Initial, In Osbern's 'Life Of Dunstan' f.2v

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1120

Shelfmark: Harley MS 56

Item number: f.2v

Length: 26.2

Width: 17.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

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Osbern (d. c.1090) was born in Canterbury and was brought up by the dean of the cathedral, where he became a monk and, later, the prior. He is said to have written treatises on music, but is most famous for writing saints' lives, and for translating others from Anglo-Saxon into Latin. St. Dunstan (960-980) was abbot Glastonbury, and later bishop of Worcester and London, before finally becoming archbishop of Canterbury. This copy of Osbern's biography of Dunstan was owned by St. Mary's Abbey, York, in the Middle Ages. The initial 'R' which introduces the main text of the 'Life' is more than a third of the total height of the page; two lines were left blank by the main scribe, presumably for a rubric, but this was never filled in.

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