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Decorated Initial And Quire Signature, In Bede's 'The Ecclesiastical History Of The English People' And Other Works

Decorated Initial And Quire Signature, In Bede's 'The Ecclesiastical History Of The English People' And Other Works

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1150

Shelfmark: Harley MS 4124

Item number: f.64v

Length: 30.1

Width: 18.1

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The Venerable' Bede (c.672-735), a monk of the monastery of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow in Northumbria, was this country's first great historian: his most famous work is 'The Ecclesiastical History of the English People', which he finished in the year 731. This manuscript, which contains the 'Ecclesiastical History', the 'Lives of the abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow', and an account of Bede's own life, was owned by the Augustinian Priory at Worksop (half-way between Sheffield and Lincoln) in the late Middle Ages. The particular version of the text, and the style of the initials, suggest that it was made in the north of England; it may, therefore, have originally been made at, or for, Worksop. This initial 'S' commences the fifth and final book of the 'Ecclesiastical History'. In the lower margin a quire signature 'viii' in ink can be seen clearly; less clearly visible is another 'viii' just to the right of it, and the cropped remains of a catchword at the lower right-hand edge of the page.

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