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The lives of two important early saints, Sts Martin and Benedict, have been copied together in this volume dating from the first half of the 11th century. St Benedict (d. c. 545) of Nursia, Italy is considered the founder of western monasticism; his Benedictine Rule provides guidelines for monastic communities, and here it follows his vita or life.

Saint Martin (d. 397), bishop of Tours in Roman Gaul, was a soldier who converted to Christianity, and who famously cut his cloak in half to share it with a beggar. Thanks in part to these hagiographical works by his near contemporary, Sulpicius Severus (d. c. 425), St Martin’s reputation was established as an evangelist and miracle-worker.

On a front flyleaf is a drawing of a dog with a snake which is entwined around a human figure in a tunic, possibly referring to miracles performed by St Martin involving these creatures. Next to it are the shelfmarks of the abbey of Saint Victor, Paris, where this manuscript was listed in the library catalogue of 1514; the origin is unknown.

This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.