St Paul, in Peter Lombard, Commentary on the Pauline Epistles
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Peter Lombard (born in Lombardy), was a student and then teacher in Paris, where he became archbishop shortly before his death in 1160. He wrote a number of commentaries and theological works in the 1140s-1150s, including his commentary of the New Testament letters of St. Paul, which became a standard text throughout the rest of the Middle Ages. The title on this spine of this volume, no doubt copied from the former binding, states that it was owned by the Franciscan convent in Canterbury.
Beginning with a historiated initial showing St Paul addressing a man, the Epistle to the Romans is written one phrase at a time in large letters with the commentary surrounding it in smaller letters. Medieval scholars and scribes developed many types of reader aids, such as this one which puts the text commented upon beside the commentary. Another kind of aid can be seen in the red inscriptions in the margin. These represent abbreviated forms of Peter Lombard's sources: Thomas Aquinas, Origen, Bede and others. They are an early form of footnote and, because they permit the reader to access other texts, a predecessor of hypertext.