Durham Cathedral Library MS A.III.4 – Kings, glossed; Benjamin minor
We are back to initial letters again this week and we have a small but perfectly formed ‘E’ for you (so small, we have made it a bit bigger in the colouring book style version, and left a space for you to add your own flourishes or illuminations – a drawing of the ageing King David perhaps?). Like our last letter, this one appears to have been missed out even though others in Durham Cathedral Library MS A.III.4 Kings, glossed; Benjamin minor have been coloured (f.4v, f.37r, f.105r, and f.136r).
Our E for ‘Et’ begins the first verse of III Kings (also known as 1 Kings in modern Bibles (after 1516), where the first and second Books of Kings are known as 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, and the third and fourth are known as 1 Kings and 2 Kings) which reads:
Et rex David senuerat, habebatque aetatis plurimos dies, cumque operiretur vestibus, non calefiebat.
Now King David was old and advanced in years. And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm.1 Kings 1:1 English Standard Version
If you have not already coloured in the image of David from Durham Cathedral Library MS B.II.30 Cassiodorus on the Psalms, take a look at Part 3 of ‘Colour your own medieval manuscript’.
Stylistically, our E contains foliate curls and entwined tubes which end in what are officially designated ‘beast heads’. The Digitisation Team has been arguing about what precisely these ‘beasts’ are. Wolves, sheep, dragons, and llamas have been suggested. What do you think?
Next week, we will have a whole page of uncoloured letters for you from Bede and other historical texts!