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Decorated Initial, In St. Gregory of Nazianzus' 'Eight Orations' f.84v

Decorated Initial, In St. Gregory of Nazianzus' 'Eight Orations' f.84v

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1180

Shelfmark: Royal MS 5 E.xxii

Item number: f.84v

Length: 23.8

Width: 15.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

St. Gregory of Nazianzus (c.325-389) wrote three types of work: poetical (including epigrams, epitaphs, and epistles), prose epistles, and orations. Gregory is widely acknowledged to be one of the finest of all Christian orators. His orations were collected in various combinations, and were fairly commonly found in monastic libraries. This manuscript has ownership inscriptions of the Cistercian Abbey of Byland, in Yorkshire. This initial 'U' is extremely similar in design to that on f.5v: there can be no doubt that they are by the same artist (and indeed one would not expect multiple artists to contribute to a manuscript like this).

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