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The Angel Binds The Dragon And Casts It Into A Bottomless Pit For A Thousand years, In A Glossed Apocalypse

The Angel Binds The Dragon And Casts It Into A Bottomless Pit For A Thousand years, In A Glossed Apocalypse

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1260

Shelfmark: Additional MS 35166

Item number: f.26r

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. In St. John's vision he saw an angel with a key to a bottomless pit capture the devil and cast him into the pit for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:2-3). Medieval opinions about when this 1,000 years would end were crucial in estimating when the end of the world would occur.

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