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St Augustine on the Gospel of John, in Alanus of Farfa's Homilary

St Augustine on the Gospel of John, in Alanus of Farfa's Homilary

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1100

Shelfmark: Harley MS 652

Item number: f.4*r

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. Homiliaries were likely to be recycled--the writing scraped off and used again or used as part of bindings--because monasteries had no set of readings of commentaries for their daily prayer. This page has excerpts from for Easter Sunday. At the top, an excerpt from the commentary on the Gospel of St John by St Augustine (of Hippo) begins. At about the middle of the page, one can easily see where a later scribe has scraped off some of the lines of writing and added some capitals letters. Their meaning is not understood. The small inscription to the right of the letters is a later notation.

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