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Sermon on the Gospel of Luke, In A Volume Of Works By St. Augustine And Others

Sermon on the Gospel of Luke, In A Volume Of Works By St. Augustine And Others

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1140

Shelfmark: Royal MS 5 C.viii

Item number: f.65r

Length: 34.7

Width: 24

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

Belonging in the Middle Ages to the cathedral priory of Rochester, this manuscript contains a large collection of St Augustine's sermons, mostly on parts of the New Testament. Its attractive bold handwriting is further enlivened by elaborately decorated letters beginning three sermons, while the others have large coloured first letters. Augustine (354-430) was one of the great preachers of early Christianity, his hundreds of sermons being copied many times and distributed throughout the medieval western church. This copy of his sermons may have been read from during the daily prayer services of the canons and monks--although it is not organised according to the calendar of feast days--and probably was used as a resource for the writing of sermons to be delivered at mass.

In most medieval manuscripts, the beginning of an important section will be highlighted, usually in more than one way: with large letters, handwriting of a different type for the first line, coloured letters and / or decoration. This page begins the second section of the manuscript, which has sermons on Jesus' words in the Gospel of Luke (Section 1 was Matthew). The splendid large initial, decorated with fierce, energetic imaginary beasts and colours unmistakably signals the start of a new section. The sermon here is on Christ's words, "He who rejects you, rejects me" (Lk 10:16).

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