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St Jerome's Sermon for Holy Saturday, in Alanus of Farfa's Homilary

St Jerome's Sermon for Holy Saturday, in Alanus of Farfa's Homilary

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1100

Shelfmark: Harley MS 652

Item number: f.1r

Length: 35

Width: 23.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A homiliary is a few collection of excerpts from biblical commentaries for reading during the daily prayers of the monks. Only a few survive from the libraries of early medieval English religious houses. Several pages of the homiliary of Alan of Farfa (died c. 770) were added at the beginning of a collection of readings and saints' lives thought to be from St Augustine's monastery, Canterbury. It is the only homiliary to survive from there. The pages of homiliaries were likely to be recycled--the writing scraped off and used again or incorporated into bindings--because monasteries had no set of readings of commentaries for their daily prayer. The large letters on this page originally identified what is on the rest of the page as that of St Jerome. The style of the handwriting has features seen in that of late Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, indicating that it was written at the end of the 11th century or perhaps early 12th century.

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