2. DECORATED INITIAL 'E'

Boethius, De Musica; (and Guido of Arezzo, Micrologus), Latin
England (Christ Church, Canterbury), c.1125-50
Parchment, 21.1 x 14.4 cm 102 leaves

Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand/Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, MSR-05, fol. 50v

 

The splendid intial 'E' is one of five Romanesque initials that introduce the book-divisions in a medieval copy of the treatise on music by the philosopher Boethius (480-524). The initials are composed of vegetal, interlace and zoomorphic motifs, in which a winged dragon and dragon-heads feature prominently - characteristics that have been associated with Norman illumination.