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A 14th-Century Pressmark of Rochester Priory and Decorated Letters, in 'Flowers of the Psalter' by Letbert

A 14th-Century Pressmark of Rochester Priory and Decorated Letters, in 'Flowers of the Psalter' by Letbert

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1202

Shelfmark: Royal MS 2 F.xi

Item number: f.1r

Length: 35.4

Width: 24

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

Medieval authors sometimes produced books which were compilations of excerpts from earlier theologians' writings. This manuscript has a copy of a work called 'Flowers of the Psalter' ('Flores Psalterii') by Letbert, Abbot of S. Ruf (1100-1110), in Dauphine. Letbert drew upon Augustine, Cassiodorus, and other early Christian writers. A manuscript like this one would have been used by theologians and churchmen to write sermons and further commentary. It also could have been used by monks in their daily reading and study.

The 'Flowers of the Psalter' is prefaced by the early 12th-century letter from Walter, Bishop of Maguelonne, to Roger, Prior of Lille, in Flanders. In the lower margin, the roman number VII begins the 14th century property mark (press-mark) of Rochester Priory ("vii. Psalterium de claustro Roffensi per Lauren-tium episcopum" [Laurence, Bishop of Rochester 1250 1274]). The elegant decorated initials with their imaginary beasts and plants are in the style of the early 13th-century.

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