(Italy, ca. 1100). 275 x 165 mm. (10 1/2 x 6 1/2"). Double column, written in a Caroline minuscule hand.
One two-line initial in red, a large decorative "P" in yellow against red, green, and blue grounds with green vine-work, the tail extending far down the margin and terminating in a vine-like interlace. A bit more than half the leaf missing, vellum somewhat rough and browned, text a little faded on one side, though still clear and legible, the "P" trimmed at the top and a little rubbed, but the colors still bright and pleasing.
The so-called Atlantic Bible was a luxurious production that was incredibly costly and time consuming to make, and it would have been one of the prized possessions of the church or monastery where it resided. According to Christopher de Hamel, "Twelfth-century giant Bibles are not just particularly grand books, or the most beautiful Bibles of their time, but are among the most ambitious artistic enterprises surviving from the twelfth century in any medium." ("The Book: A History of the Bible," p. 80). This particular fragment was likely recovered from a binding, but happily retains most of an impressive initial signaling the beginning of its chapter: "Primo tempore adleviata est terra Zabulon." (ST13123b)
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PJP Catalog: 70.033