Zoomorphic Initial, In Paul the Deacon's 'History of The People of Lombardy'
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
Paul the Deacon's 'History of The People of Lombardy' covers the period from 568 to 744. It is written in a clear and simple style, and includes many ancient myths and popular traditions: this probably contributed to its popularity until the end of the Middle Ages, as evident by the numerous surviving manuscript copies, excerpts, and continuations.
This copy has the ownership inscription and press-mark of St. Augustine's abbey, Canterbury. Following a list of chapters, the main text starts with this fine initial 'S', formed out of a dragon.