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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita S. Benedicti
Italy, perhaps in Padua, ca. 1450
MS M.184 fol. 25r

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Miniature, left compartment: 1) Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, Demoniac Cleric ordained -- In church, beside altar on which is open book, three tonsured clerics, the foremost holding crozier, attend mitered bishop, wearing quatrefoil morse on vestments, extending stole to extended left arm of kneeling tonsured cleric. To right, stand two men, one bearded and with sword tied on belt, both wearing hats. Miniature, right compartment: 2) Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, Demoniac Cleric attacked by Devil -- Horned, winged and bearded devil, with claw feet, grasps and embraces tonsured cleric, bleeding from wounds in raised left hand and breast. At left in doorway, youthful male raises right hand and looks on, above is cross inscribed in tympanum. Scene in landscape with figure on tower of crenellated castle on hill in background. Miniature within frame at end of Chapter 16 of Book II of Dialogues; The Demoniac Cleric disobeys Benedict of Montecassino and takes Holy Orders, only to be possessed by devil again.

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