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Decorated Initial, In A Collection Of Homilies By Caesarius of Arles, With Other Works f.2r

Decorated Initial, In A Collection Of Homilies By Caesarius of Arles, With Other Works f.2r

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1140

Shelfmark: Royal MS 5 F.x

Item number: f.2r

Length: 25.2

Width: 17.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Caesarius (c.470-543) was bishop of Arles for the last 40 years of his life. One of his most wide-ranging achievements was to draw up the first set of guidelines specifically tailored to govern the conduct of nunneries; his own sister was abbess of a community of 200 women. He was especially famous as a preacher, and the present manuscript contains a number of his sermons. At the end of the main text is an added list of properties owned by Wallingford Priory, on the Thames between Didcot and Henley, in Berkshire: the manuscript therefore belonged to the priory in the Middle Ages. The volume opens with a decorated initial 'D' enclosing simple foliate ornament, using three colours: red, green, and pale yellow. The modest decoration and clear script are typical of 12th-century monastic textbooks.

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