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Additional MS 5111, f. 11

The Early Christian period extends from Apostolic times to around 600, when Pope Gregory the Great (c. 540-604) established a strong, independent Western Church that began the transition into the Middle Ages. The culture of the early BYZANTINE Empire is included under this heading. The Early Christian period (which overlapped with the LATE ANTIQUE) witnessed the beginnings of substantial book decoration: illuminated copies of the works of classical authors (such as the Roman Virgil) and of biblical texts (such as the Vienna Genesis and the Ashburnham PENTATEUCH) survive.


Emblems of the Visconti family, on either side of the dragonfly, Burney MS 132, f. 2 Emblems of Alfonso, Duke of Calabria (between 1448 and 1495), and King of Naples (between 1494 and 1495), Burney MS 133, f. 1

A pictorial ALLEGORY or symbolic representation, often accompanied by a MOTTO. An emblem can serve as an identifying sign for a person, family, or nation.


Egerton MS 2610

Endbands are bands placed at the HEAD and TAIL of the SPINE of a book in order to consolidate its ends, strengthen the attachment of the BOARDS, and impede the entry of worms. They consist of cores generally of ALUM TAWED leather, hemp, PARCHMENT, or linen cord (with cane and rolled PAPER also used at later dates) and are usually covered by silk or thread embroidery, with highly varied patterns and techniques. Ideally, the endbands should be tied down in the centres of the QUIRES (often at the same point as the KETTLE STITCH) and their ends laced into the BINDING boards (see CHANNELING). The identification of different details of endband sewing technique and patterning may help us group books together and assign them to specific production centres.


Arundel MS 292, f. 114v

Two or more blank or decorated leaves at the beginning or end of a book that can either line the BOARDS (fulfilling the function of PASTEDOWNS or decorative doublures) or serve as FLYLEAVES.


Yates Thompson MS 34, f. 1

A SERVICE BOOK containing the Epistle readings for the MASS arranged according to the liturgical year. The Epistle reading is generally taken from the New Testament Epistles, but is sometimes drawn from other New and Old Testament Books. Epistle lists (capitulare lectionum) were very occasionally attached to BIBLES or to New Testament volumes. They listed the readings for the various feast days by opening words, again according to the liturgical year. At high mass the Epistle was read by a subdeacon.


Harley MS 2970, f. 62v Egerton MS 2163, f. 32

Also known as a Gospel LECTIONARY or pericope book, an evangelary contains the Gospel readings for the MASS, arranged according to the liturgical year. Since an evangelary gives the full reading (pericope) for each feast, and the pericopes are in liturgical order, it is a more practical volume to use in the celebration of mass than a GOSPEL BOOK with added capitularies. The evangelary became increasingly popular from the CAROLINGIAN period on.


Harley MS 2821, f. 151v Yates Thompson MS 46, f. 14v Additional MS 34294, f. 10v

The evangelists are the 'authors' of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). They were often depicted as SCRIBES from the EARLY CHRISTIAN period on. The rendering of their figures is often accompanied by, or conflated with, the EVANGELIST SYMBOLS. Other types of depictions of the evangelists include scenes of Saint John on Patmos (found in manuscripts of the Book of Revelation, or APOCALYPSE) and of Saint Luke making a portrait of the Virgin and Child (an image ultimately of BYZANTINE derivation, which is encountered most often in BOOKS OF HOURS).


Harley MS 1023, f. 64v Arundel MS 157, f. 12v Egerton MS 2835, f. 35v

Symbols of the evangelists derived from the Old Testament visions of Ezekiel and the vision of Saint John in the APOCALYPSE. In the West, the beasts of Saint John's vision are usually associated with the evangelists as follows: Matthew is represented by a man; Mark by a lion; Luke by a bull; and John by an eagle. The symbols may appear alone, either with ATTRIBUTES (wings, haloes, and books) or without ('terrestrial' symbols); they may identify accompanying EVANGELIST PORTRAITS; or they may be conflated with human figures to form zoo-anthropomorphic evangelist symbols.


A book from which another is copied. See also MODEL and PECIA SYSTEM.


Burney MS 220, f. 46v Arundel MS 310, ff. 8v-9

An inscription that records a book's inclusion in a library, whether private or institutional. Such inscriptions offer valuable evidence of a manuscript's PROVENANCE. Bookplates also carry ex libris information. Libraries often employed distinctive labelling and shelving systems, many of which have been identified, and such storage data also provide evidence of provenance.


Arundel MS 282, f. 74

The closing of a textual unit, from the Latin explicitus, meaning 'unrolled'. When cataloguing manuscripts, the INCIPIT and explicit of a text are often cited to aid textual identification.


An expressionistic style of painting is one that conveys a sense of heightened emotionality. This often entails a MANNERED or exaggerated treatment of forms. An expressionistic approach was especially prevalent in phases of BYZANTINE and English art and in German ILLUMINATION.


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