Free Library of Philadelphia


This manuscript has been dated to ca. 1220-1230.

Opening with an inhabited initial N beginning the prologue to the Twelve Minor Prophets.

This manuscript is from what is known as a glossed Bible. Beginning in the twelfth century, the books of the Bible were often copied with commentary compiled from various sources, including the Church Fathers, St. Jerome, and other medieval exegetes. The layout and presentation of the text helps the reader to distinguish between what is Scripture and what is commentary. The large double-spaced script in the center of the page is Scripture; the gloss is written in the smaller script on single-spaced lines and sometimes in the space between the lines of Scripture.

The facing page (verso) is a flyleaf from a missal which contains readings for the Fourth Sunday after Easter followed by the Epistle and Gospel readings for Wednesday after the Fourth Sunday. The leaf was removed from its original book and reused by a later binder as a protective fly-leaf. The readings reflect an older liturgy that fell out of use in the later Middle Ages, rendering the missal useless and a good source for recycled parchment.

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