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Arabesque Initial, In A Commentary On The Psalms

Arabesque Initial, In A Commentary On The Psalms

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1200

Shelfmark: Royal MS 3 B.xi

Item number: f.2r

Length: 30

Width: 20.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

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The Psalms was the single most important Old Testament biblical book in a monastic community: psalms formed part of almost every service and mass, every day. It is therefore natural that the Psalms received special attention from medieval commentators, and several commentaries on the Psalms were written in the 12th century. This copy of a very rare text comes from the Benedictine abbey at Ramsey, about 10 miles north of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. The commentary is introduced by a large 'arabesque' initial 'A' in red and green. At the very top edge of the page a 13th-century reader has noted his (incorrect) opinion that the text was composed by Richard of St.-Victor (died 1173).

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