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Decorated Initial, In A Volume Containing Miscellaneous Texts Including Works By Walter Of Châtillon And Cicero

Decorated Initial, In A Volume Containing Miscellaneous Texts Including Works By Walter Of Châtillon And Cicero

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1200

Shelfmark: Royal MS 15 A.x

Item number: f.91r

Length: 18.4

Width: 11.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

By the 13th century this collection of miscellaneous texts, which includes tracts on liturgical symbolism and on the calendar, and various theological notes, belonged to the Benedictine abbey of the Virgin and St. Botulf at Thorney, a few miles north-east of Peterborough. This is shown by an ownership inscription at the beginning, and a fragment of the mortuary roll of Ralph, Abbot of Thorney (d. 1216), which used to be at the end. The start of Cicero's 'On Friendship' has a three-colour initial 'Q' whose elegant tail was anticipated by the scribe, who left a gap in his text for it. The text is fairly heavily annotated in the margins, and between the lines, indicating an active interest in such classical works by monastic readers.

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