Instruction on warfare, in Pseudo-Aristotle's 'About the Secrets of Secrets'
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Believed in the middle ages to be Aristotle's letter to Alexander the Great, 'About the Secrets of Secrets' concerns government and is a Latin translation of an Arabic work. A London scribe and King's Clerk, Walter of Milemete, and a team of artists probably made this richly decorated copy in 1326-1327. Milemete intended it to accompany his own treatise on royal virtues for presentation to Edward III. The 'Secrets' was owned by the Earls of Leicester, at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
A page from the section of instruction on war has a border populated by noblemen with weapons. The lower border features a primitive canon being operated by a group of soldiers. The decoration remains unfinished, raising doubt that Milemete ever presented the book to the king. It has been laid out, decoration sketched, text written, gilding applied, and ink applied over the sketch. Work stopped during the last stage, application of colour.