St Augustine, Confessions f.2v
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
About 400 St Augustine wrote the 'Confessions', which has been called 'a history of his heart', meaning that it is an extended praise of God acting within himself rather than a confession in the modern sense. Its interior, contemplative aspect made it an important work for medieval monks, whose lives revolved around prayer and contemplation. This 12th-century copy of it belonged to the priory of St Andrew, Rochester, according to an inscription on one of its pages. The monks there may have read this manuscript during their time for private reading and study.
For some reason, the scribe who copied the first pages of the manuscript made two starts. This page repeats the first page, having the section from Augustine's later work of revisions and explanations of his writings (the 'Retractations') on the 'Confessions'. The 'Confessions' begin at the end of the page, with the title announcing the first book of the confessions.