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Historiated Initial With A Priest Celebrating Mass, In Pope Innocent IV's Commentary On The Decretals Of Pope Gregory IX

Historiated Initial With A Priest Celebrating Mass, In Pope Innocent IV's Commentary On The Decretals Of Pope Gregory IX

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1310

Shelfmark: Royal MS 10 D.iii

Item number: f.150r

Length: 42.3

Width: 25.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Innocent IV studied Law at Bologna University, was pope from 1243 to 1254, and was still revising the present work until he died. It is a commentary on one of the most important medieval collections of Canon Law, drawn up at the order of his predecessor, Gregory IX. The style of script and decoration show that this manuscript was written and illuminated in Italy (probably Bologna), but an inscription on the first page states that the book belonged in the abbot's study, and a similar inscription in another British Library manuscript (Royal MS. 8 G.i) suggests that this refers to the abbot of St. Albans. The text is divided into four 'books'. This initial 'U' marks the start of Book 3, which concerns the lifestyle and honesty of clerics; clerics who live with women; married clerics; and so on.

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