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Press-mark for a Copy of the Gospels of Luke and John, in Job and the Sapiential Books, With Explanatory Notes

Press-mark for a Copy of the Gospels of Luke and John, 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.312r

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. At the end of the manuscript of one of its fly-leaves, the inscription (".B. Luchas, Johannes, glosatus. De communitate fratrum minorum Cantuarie") refers to another manuscript belonging to the Franciscans at Canterbury which contained the Gospels of Luke and John with the glossa ordinaria. The letter 'B' is a pressmark, indicating where it was in the Franciscans' library at Canterbury. The fly-leaves must have been reused or mixed up when the manuscript was rebound.

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