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Illuminated Initial, In St. Peter Chrysologus's 'Sermons'

Illuminated Initial, In St. Peter Chrysologus's 'Sermons'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1200

Shelfmark: Royal MS 8 D.xxii

Item number: f.6v

Length: 27.2

Width: 17.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Not much is known about St. Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450) except that he was born and died in Imola (Italy), and was Archbishop of Ravenna from 433 to 449. Over 170 sermons are attributed to his authorship, of which this manuscript contains 76; it is perhaps therefore the first volume of a two-volume set. It is probably written by the same scribe as British Library, Royal MS. 6 C.viii, which comes from the Cistercian abbey of Rievaulx, in Yorkshire. According to rule laid down in the first half of the 12th century, initials in Cistercians books were not supposed to use gold or multiple colours. If this book was made at a Cistercian abbey, therefore, the makers ignored these rules. A feature characteristic of high-quality book-production, visible here, is that there are ruled lines to guide both the bottoms and the tops of the minims of the script.

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