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Partial Ownership Inscription, In A Volume Of Various Works Of Cicero, With Added Ghost Stories

Partial Ownership Inscription, In A Volume Of Various Works Of Cicero, With Added Ghost Stories

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1200

Shelfmark: Royal MS 15 A.xx

Item number: f.1r

Length: 21.9

Width: 15.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Classical texts, such as the writings of the Roman orator and statesman Cicero (106-43 BC), were relatively rare in 12th-century monastic libraries, but were eagerly collected as models of elegant Latin. This manuscript of a collection of Cicero's works has the remains of an ownership inscription of a church dedicated to St. Mary in a place beginning with 'B'. It also has a series of ghost stories added into blank spaces, which relate to Byland and the surrounding area: the book must therefore have belonged to the Cistercian abbey of St. Mary's, Byland. The brown inscription in the top margin of this page reads 'Liber sce. Marie de B[...]' (St. Mary of B[...]'s book).

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