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Foliate And Zoomorphic Initial, In Gerald of Wales's 'History And Topography Of Ireland'

Foliate And Zoomorphic Initial, In Gerald of Wales's 'History And Topography Of Ireland'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1220

Shelfmark: Royal MS 13 B.viii

Item number: f.3v

Length: 17.7

Width: 27.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

Gerald of Wales was born at Monorbier castle, in Pembrokeshire, in 1146. He was educated at Gloucester and Paris, and became Archdeacon of Brecon in 1175. He visited Ireland in 1183, 1185, 1199 and again for about two years from 1204. A version of his text--which is largely concerned with the marvellous things he saw or heard about there--is known to have been read publicly in 1188. This manuscript was written perhaps at Lincoln, probably before Gerald's death in 1223, and it has been suggested that he personally supervised its writing and decoration. This manuscript was later owned by St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury.

Following a list of the chapters, the text begins with a dedication to King Henry II, on whose behalf Gerald went to Ireland in 1185. The Initial 'P' includes several dragons and animal heads.

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