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T h e  V i r t u a l  A b b e y : A  M e d i e v a l  T o u r
Abbey Entrance | Herb Garden | Scriptorium | Wine Cellar

Anthropomorphic Initial Hard Point Pen
Antiphonal Herbal Pigment
Bestiary Historiated Initial Pounce
Boards Hymnal Pricking
Books of Hours Illuminator Psalter
Breviary Initial Purple Pages
Carolingian Ink Rubricator
Colophon Insular Ruling
Diaper Knife Saints' Lives
Divine Office Lead Point Scribe
Drollery Marginalia Script
Evangelistic Portraits Miniature Scriptorium
Exemplar Mise-en-Page Underdrawing
Foliate Initial Oak Gall Vellum
Gesso Outline Drawing Vernacular
Gilding Palimpset Zoomorphic
Gloss Parchment  


Anthropomorphic Initial - a decorated Initial formed from the human figure.

Antiphonal - large format book of songs and chants intended for The Divine Office and usually displayed on a lectern to be read by an entire choir.

Visit The Aberdeen BestiaryBestiary - book of real or imaginary animals commonly described in terms of popular wisdom rather than scientific method, i.e., in the Aberdeen Bestiary, left, in which we learn that dogs are "the most intelligent of all animals and are devoted to humans..."; the most elaborate bestiaries are those from the British Isles and French versions written in the Vernacular.

Boards - hardwood covers of medieval manuscripts surrounded in soft leather to guard against dust, humidity and bookworms.

Books of Hours - book for private devotions containing prayers for different hours of the day. Its humble beginnings were traced to 10th century monastic life. Their secular appeal grew proportionately toView the Tres Riches Heures the 'eye candy' (who said it originated with the Web?) that was employed in illuminating dramatic Biblical scenes and the lives of popular saints. Small and prettily decorated, among the best-known books of hours include the 13th century Trés Riches Heures.

Breviary - service book essential to the medieval monastery for celebrating The Divine Office in daily recitation.

Carolingian - the manuscript style named for the 8th century Carolingian Empire under whose rule Charlemagne ordered monasteries begin using the neat, easily read script, Carolingian Minuscule - in some ways a natural progression of Insular:

Carolingian script

Colophon - primarily important to historians for providing the name the scribe and illustrator, the owner of the manuscript, or the person who commissioned it (also see Scribe). Colophons may also include the monks' own and often jaded, personal endnotes, i.e.,

"Let God increase sense for those who desire to write."

"Writing is excessive drudgery. It crooks your back, it dims your sight, it twists your stomach, and your sides."

"Here ends the second part of the title work of Brother Thomas Aquinas of the Dominican Order; very long, very verbose; and very tedious for the scribe; thank God, thank God, and again thank God."

"If anyone take away this book, let him die the death, let him be fried in a pan; let the falling sickness and fever seize him; let him be broken on the wheel, and hanged. Amen."

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