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Proverbs 10, in 'On Proverbs' by Bede

Proverbs 10, in 'On Proverbs' by Bede

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1110

Shelfmark: Harley MS 4688

Item number: f.27r

Length: 28.3

Width: 17.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Most well-known for his 'History of the English Church and People', the Venerable Bede (c. 672-735) wrote other best-sellers, many of them commentaries on the books of the Bible. His books were studied by theologians throughout the middle ages. Bede lived from boyhood until his death at the monastery of Jarrow, but his tomb is in Durham Cathedral. This manuscript of his commentary on the Book of Proverbs (of Solomon) belonged to the library there. Bede's commentary on the Book of Proverbs consists mainly of insertions of commentary after each saying in the scriptural book. The beginning of the commentary on Proverbs 10 illustrates how the scribe organised it visually. Each proverb begins with a letter that is larger and heavier than average. After the full stop, Bede's interpretation follows. Nearly always he relates the proverb to Christianity. For example, a large F (Filius) begins 'A wise son makes the father glad, etc.' After it, Bede explains the father as God, the mother as the Church.

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