A Decorated Letter, in 'Chronicle of the Six Ages of the World' by Ado of Vienne
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Medieval monks kept manuscripts of historical texts and treatises because they were keepers of records and also because one of their duties was to understand the history of God and human beings. For this reason, most of the historical texts they had gave an account of history within the framework of Biblical events. This manuscript, which belonged to the monastery of St Augustine, Canterbury, contains a 'chronicle' of world history along with other material pertaining to emperors and the early medieval French kings.
In the 9th century, Ado, bishop of Vienne, wrote his 'Chronicle of the Six Ages of the World' which told the story of the world from creation to the year 869. This page has the beginning of the Chronicle, its first letter segmented in panels and ornamented with the heavy leaf forms which are typical of 12th-century northern French and English manuscript decoration.