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An Alphabetical Reference Book f.1r

An Alphabetical Reference Book f.1r

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1335

Shelfmark: Royal MS 8 G.i

Item number: f.1r

Length: 34

Width: 22.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

Probably written for Richard d'Aungerville de Bury, bishop of Durham (1333-1345), this manuscript has a compilation of excerpts from a wide range of classical latin writers, theologians and other sources. The excerpts are arranged alphabetically by their headings, from 'abstinence' (abstenencia) to 'zeal' (zelus). Called a 'tabula' it was probably used as a reference book for different categories of writings, including theology, law, natural science and medicine, although it would also reflect the interests and resources of its patron.

Beginning with 'abstenencia', it has in its upper margin an inscription identifying it as "the book of Richard de Bury, bishop of Durham, who had it written in London." Each entry begins with a reference to the source: 'abstenencia, Gen. vii' (citing the chapter--by a medieval system of divisions--of Genesis). Each subsection is marked with a red or blue paragraph mark and, to the right of the first column, the first word of each is written in red, probably as a further aid to the reader. The tiny symbol 'ai' in the lower right corner was an aid for the assembly of the manuscript's pages.

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