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Foucher of Chartres, 'History of the Expedition to Jerusalem'

Foucher of Chartres, 'History of the Expedition to Jerusalem'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1100

Shelfmark: Royal MS 5 B.xv

Item number: f.65r

Length: 27.5

Width: 16

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

Medieval theologians and preachers drew on a large number of books in their studies and writings. Often a volume from a cathedral or monastic library would contain works by several authors, bringing together writings that were related in some way. Containing instructive and inspirational writings on worship and faith, this manuscript belonged to the monastery of St Augustine, Canterbury. Each piece was copied by a different scribe on a separate section of pages, and two of them may have been made in the 11th century while the rest were made in the 12th.

Foucher of Chartres wrote his 'History of the Expedition to Jerusalem', an account of the first crusade, about 1125-1127. It fits in with the other works in the manuscript such as the saints' lives because it gives an account of Christians going up against 'pagans', according to the title written in different colours at the top of the page. The decoration of the first letter of the 'History' is like decoration seen in other 12th-century manuscripts from Canterbury and some other southern English monasteries: spiralling brush strokes of colour which form a vine-like pattern.

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