Zoomorphic Initial, In Paterius, Commentary On The Old And New Testaments
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
St. Paterius (who died in 604 or 606) was a Roman monk and notary under Pope Gregory the Great. At the pope's request, he made a compilation of excerpts from Gregory's works, and arranged them in biblical order, to form a sort of commentary on the scriptures.
This copy was written at the Augustinian abbey of St. Mary's, Cirencester. The start of the main text is marked by a large initial 'U' formed of a dragon. It originally would have looked much brighter, but the white pigment has turned dark.