'History of the Lombards' by Paul the Deacon, in a Collection of Natural Science and Historical Writings
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
In the middle ages, natural science included the physical world, planets, stars and heavens. It could include descriptions of exotic peoples and distant regions, lore on animals and astrological treatises. A component of the knowledge maintained and studied by monks, natural science treatises represent a significant subject category in their libraries. This manuscript contains writings on the heavens--often with a mythological spin--and historical material on foreign peoples. It belonged to the priory of Rochester cathedral.
The manuscript also contains Paul the Deacon's 'History of the Lombards'. Written in the late 8th century, it is an important account of one of the early medieval Germanic kingdoms. Like most other early medieval histories, it combines a factual narrative with ancient myths and stories of popular traditions. At the top of the page is the ending of the prologue and list of chapters for the first section ("Book I"). Book I begins at the large S, below the rubric "Paul, monk of Monte Cassino, editor".