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Decorated Psalm 74 Initial, In St. Augustine's 'Commentary On Psalms 51-100'

Decorated Psalm 74 Initial, In St. Augustine's 'Commentary On Psalms 51-100'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1100

Shelfmark: Royal MS 5 D.i

Item number: f.129v

Length: 36.5

Width: 23.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

St. Augustine (354-430) was one of the most prolific and influential writers of the early Christian Church. Some of his many writings were among the bare essentials which every medieval monastic library ought to own. His commentary on the 150 Psalms was often written in three volumes (which would have covered Psalms 1-50, 51-100, and 101-150 respectively) of which this is the second. It has an inscription stating that it was written under Arnulf, Prior of Rochester; by 1107 he was no longer prior, so the manuscript must be earlier than that date... The artist of the initial 'P' to Psalm 74 made full use of the space between the columns of text by extending the initial down into the lower margin of the page. He also plays visual games with the design: the neck of the dragon-like creature that forms the round part of the letter twists both in front and behind the vertical trunk of the letter.

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