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Donor Inscription Of King Aethelstan, In The Four Gospels

Donor Inscription Of King Aethelstan, In The Four Gospels

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 930

Shelfmark: Royal MS 1 A.xviii

Item number: f.3v

Length: 25.5

Width: 17.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

This manuscript was written by a Continental scribe, probably in France. A flyleaf inscription, probably written in the 16th century but imitating 11th-century English script, is perhaps a copy of a now-lost inscription, that states that the book was given by King Athelstan (reigned 927-939) to St Augustine's abbey, Canterbury. If the inscription is to be believed, this manuscript represents an example of foreign book-decoration that native artists could have seen and assimilated into their own work. This flyleaf, facing the first canon table, bears the inscription referring to King Athelstan ('Athelstan rex', line 1) and the church of St. Augustine's ('ecclesie beato Augustino', lines 2-3).

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