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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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France, ca. 1511
MS M. 8 fol. 23v

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Thomas a Becket: murdered before High Altar -- One of two soldiers, cuts with sword, head of Thomas Becket, nimbed and tonsured, bleeding from wound, wearing chasuble, kneeling before draped altar. He raises wafer (host) with both hands. Miter with infulae is on altar. Retable behind the altar, is decorated with crucifixion, showing cross flanked by three (?) figures. Two men are in background behind the soldiers. Margins decorated with border of floreate ornament including grape, daisy, campanula, viola, columbine, strawberry and thistle and inhabited by dragonfly and snail. Text is first lesson in first nocturn for Matins on 12.29, feast of Thomas Becket.

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