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Coloured Initial, In Bede's 'History of the English Church'

Coloured Initial, In Bede's 'History of the English Church'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1090

Shelfmark: Royal MS 13 C.v

Item number: f.5v

Length: 32.5

Width: 21.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

The Venerable' Bede (died 735), a monk of Wearmouth and Jarrow in Northumberland, is best known today as a writer and historian: perhaps his most important work is the 'History of the English Church', which extends from the arrival of Christianity in Britain, to his own day. This copy was owned in the Middle Ages by St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester. Following the numbered list of chapters (some of the numbers are visible through the parchment in the right-hand column), the start of the main text is introduced by a large red initial 'B' and opening words in capital letters (now darkened to a silvery black, due to oxidisation).

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