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Display Capitals And Decorated Initial, In St. Aldhelm's 'In Praise Of Virginity' f.1r

Display Capitals And Decorated Initial, In St. Aldhelm's 'In Praise Of Virginity' f.1r

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1090

Shelfmark: Royal MS 6 B.vii

Item number: f.1r

Length: 29.9

Width: 20.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

St. Aldhelm (c.639-709), abbot of Malmesbury and bishop of Sherborne, has been described as 'the first Englishman who cultivated classical learning with any success'. He led a particularly austere life: it is recorded that when he was abbot he used to recite the entire Psalter standing up to his neck in ice-cold water. His main surviving work is 'In Praise Of Virginity', which he dedicated to the abbess and nuns of Barking. This manuscript of the text was at Exeter Cathedral by the early 12th-century, when a list of the cathedral's relics was added at the end. The text opens with an elaborate heading naming the author and the title--the medieval equivalent of a title-page--and the text itself is introduced by a large initial 'D' enclosing pen-drawn foliage.

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