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Ownership Inscription and Prologue, in Job and the Sapiential Books, With Explanatory Notes

Ownership Inscription and Prologue, in Job and the Sapiential Books, With Explanatory Notes

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1250

Shelfmark: Royal MS 3 C.vi

Item number: f.1r

Length: 34.7

Width: 24.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Medieval Christian theologians had to understand Old Testament books such as Job in terms of Christianity. This need gave rise to a tradition of explanatory notes called the 'glossa ordinaria'. In some Bibles especially for theological study the glossa ordinaria were written around the biblical text in a frame-like arrangement. Additional notes on particular words would be written between the lines. These notes remained standardised through centuries of use. This copy of Job and the sapiential books (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus) with the glossa ordinaria belonged to the Franciscan convent at Canterbury. The manuscript begins with St Jerome's prologue to his Latin translation of Job. The title 'Book of Job' is given at the top of the page in red and blue with elaborate pen flourishes. The page's format with wide margins was meant to accommodate further notes added by masters or students. In the lower margin, the inscription indicates that the manuscript belonged in the 16th century to John, Lord Lumley.

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