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Prologue, in the 'Commentary on Daniel' by St Jerome

Prologue, in the 'Commentary on Daniel' by St Jerome

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1105

Shelfmark: Harley MS 3097

Item number: f.2r

Length: 27.9

Width: 16

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Commentaries on the Bible were a necessary component of the medieval libraries of large monasteries and cathedrals. Excerpts from them were read aloud during some of the services and during mealtime. Theologians needed them for their studies, and monks read them as part of their contemplation of scripture. This copy of St Jerome's 'Commentary on the Prophet Daniel' is thought to have belonged to the Benedictine Abbey of Saints Peter, Paul and Andres, at Peterborough. The first page of the manuscript has at its top the title 'The prologue of St Jerome, Exposition on the Prophet Daniel'. Originally the title would have been in red, its present metallic appearance resulting from chemical changes to the lead-based pigment used to write it. The handwriting in black ink is in a style which resembles Continental types of handwriting, but it preserves many features seen in pre-Conquest Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.

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