Writing in the West

21. A Friar's Bible

Friar's Illuminated Bible 13th C.

Friar's bible, 2011-4247

 

Thirteenth century, Friar's Illuminated Bible Leaf, on vellum. This is from a small portable Bible 2 columns of 48 lines ruled in plummet. Written on very fine vellum in dark brown ink in an extremely small & elegant Gothic book hand. A small catchword appears between the two columns near the bottom of the leaf. This leaf contains the opening of the Gospel of Mark 1-3. Leaf size: approx. 167 x 112 mm.

 

Such ‘pocket’ bibles were made mostly for the new orders of friars, Dominicans and Franciscans, whose task was to preach the word of God to men and women in the street. This required bibles who miniscule script and thin vellum made them small enough to be easily carried around.