(France[?], ca. 1150). 381 x 279 mm. (15 x 11"). Double column, 40 lines of text in a fine late romanesque book hand.
Rubrics in red accompanying A HANDSOME SEVEN-LINE "T" in yellow on a blue background outlined in red, WITH A SMALL WINGED DRAGON sheltering under the upper left horizontal element of the initial. Once used as a binding liner and consequently trimmed at head with loss of one line, somewhat wrinkled, the verso either always blank or now with all text obliterated by binder's glue, one corner defective (affecting a few words in three lines of text on the recto), a scattering of very small holes causing trivial loss of text, but still a leaf very much worth having, with one side generally well preserved and with a most pleasing decorative initial that shows only very modest signs of use.
This leaf with its attractive capital begins the story of the martyred Saint Gregory of Spoleto, who was tortured and beheaded in 304 A.D. by the Roman emperor Diocletian during the Great Persecution of Christians that began in February 303. According to legend, his remains were to be fed to the wild animals used for public games, but were instead purchased by a wealthy Christian woman for a proper burial. Given Gregory's story, the zoomorphic figure incorporated in the initial here is in some sense appropriate even if, as a winged dragon, it provokes whimsy before thoughts of anthropophagy. (ST12238a)
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PJP Catalog: 70.310