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The Fifth Angel Sounding His Trumpet, And Locusts Coming Out Of The Bottomless Pit, In A Glossed Apocalypse

The Fifth Angel Sounding His Trumpet, And Locusts Coming Out Of The Bottomless Pit, In A Glossed Apocalypse

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1260

Shelfmark: Additional MS 35166

Item number: f.15r

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The biblical book of Revelation, also called the Apocalypse, is a mystical vision of the end of the world, supposed to have been written by St. John the Evangelist. Inspired in large part by the prophetic writings of a Cistercian abbot who died in 1202, much of Europe believed that the end of the world would occur during the 13th century. One of the most widely anticipated dates was the year 1260 (subsequently amended to 1284, and then to 1290); it is therefore no coincidence that many Apocalypse manuscripts date from the 1250s and 1260s. This copy was probably made in London or Westminster, but was in Beccles (Suffolk) by the 19th century, and may have been in East Anglia from the Middle Ages. Part of St. John's vision was a series of angels blowing trumpets; when the fifth angel blew his, a pit of hell opened, and locusts came out: 'And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle. And on their heads were, as it were, crowns like gold: and their faces were as the faces of men' (Revelation 9:7).

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