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The Martyrdom Of St. Alban And The Martyrdom Of St. Amphibalus, In A Psalter

The Martyrdom Of St. Alban And The Martyrdom Of St. Amphibalus, In A Psalter

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1250

Shelfmark: Royal MS 2 B.vi

Item number: f.10v

Length: 27.6

Width: 18.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

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Mid 13th-century St. Albans is crucially important in the history of English illuminated manuscripts thanks primarily to the works of Matthew Paris, a monk of the abbey. Many manuscripts have been--probably wrongly--attributed to the abbey by comparison with Matthew's style and technique; this psalter is therefore important because its claim to be a St. Albans product (based on the calendar, litany, and early ownership by a St. Albans monk) is secure. Sts. Alban and Amphibalus are the principle saints of the abbey of St. Albans. Legend recounts that Alban performed miracles on the way to his execution, with the result that his executioner refused to behead him, and was himself killed; when Alban was decapitated, his executioner's eyes fell out,. Alban is said to have saved another person from death by giving him his cloak to disguise himself. Through a later medieval mistake, this person came to be known as Amphibalus (the Latin word for 'cloak').

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