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Coloured Initials, Colour-Note, And Quire-Signature, In Gregory The Great's Register Of Letters

Coloured Initials, Colour-Note, And Quire-Signature, In Gregory The Great's Register Of Letters

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1110

Shelfmark: Royal MS 6 C.ii

Item number: f.79v

Length: 34.1

Width: 19.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

St. Gregory 'the Great' (c.540-604) was pope from 590 to 604 (responsible for sending St. Augustine to convert Britain to Christianity), and one of the 'Four Latin Doctors [teachers] of the Church'. About 850 of his letters survive in the papal register of his correspondence, which provide detailed insights into current affairs. This manuscript was owned by the 14th century by the abbey at Bury St. Edmunds, and had probably been written there. In the left margin next to the red initial 'E' is a colour-note 'r', indicating to the artist that the initial should be executed in red. In the lower margin are a quire-signature in the form of a letter '.k.' (numbers are more common than letters), and a 12th-century sketch of a man's head.

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