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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Vita S. Benedicti
Italy, perhaps in Padua, ca. 1450
MS M.184 fol. 23r

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Benedict of Montecassino: Scene, Visit of Totila, arrival of Totila -- Emerging from door at left, among crowd of twelve men, at least seven wearing hats or headgear, including one falconer, one man with monkey perched on his shoulder, one man holding crown and one guard, all kneel or stand and accompany Riggo as Totila, wearing short decorated robe, kneeling with arms crossed on breast before Benedict of Montecassino, nimbed, tonsured and bearded, wearing monk’s habit, seated on bench with open book with pseudo-inscriptions on lap, accompanied by seven monks, wearing hooded habits (most with only heads visible). Scene in room with two doors and wooden ceiling. Miniature within frame for beginning of Chapter 14 of Book II of Dialogues; Totila, King of the Goths, desires a prophecy from Benedict of Montecassino but wanting to mock him sends an impersonator named Riggo in his place.

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