PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION AND MATERIALITY
Parchment, a substantially complete leaf, c.300×240mm, with wide lower and outer margins, the corners clipped with no more than a few letters cropped, ruled very faintly for two columns of 28 lines written above top line, with chapter initials in red usually, but not always, starting on a new line, a few capitals stroked in red.
The turn-in and spine creases, and traces of the pasteboard boards on the inner face of this leaf make clear how it was used as a book-cover. Curiously, it appears that the spine was deliberately effaced, with the exception of the red initial “E” which encroaches onto it. The placement of the title/author “A Tinard” on what would have been the back cover suggests that the book was stored flat, with the back cover uppermost, as would have been normal in the Middle Ages, but very unusual after 1600.
Upright and sloping ‘d’ are both used, ascenders of ‘b’, ‘d’, ‘h’, ‘l’ have a clubbed top, ‘ę’ is used frequently, including the incorrect ‘ęcclesię’ and even ‘ęçcclesia’!, neither double or single ‘i’ is dotted, round ‘r’ not used after ‘o’, tall ‘s’ used consistently, it and ‘r’ descending somewhat lower than minims, adjacent round letters do not touch (even ‘pp’, as in ‘appelltur’), though the final stroke of ‘e’, ‘r’, and ‘t’ often touch the next letter, ‘x’ and ‘z’ sit on the line, an abbreviation mark is used often for omitted ‘m’ and ‘n’, but the prefixes ‘pre-’ and ‘pro-’ are written in full.
recto: “[pri]mogenitus mortuorum & princeps ręgum terrę… et quę oportet”
verso: “fieri post hęc. … & tenes nomen meum & non”
The chapter divisions are marked at the modern revelation 1:9, 2:1, 2:8, and 2:12, numbered in the adjacent margin “[iv]”–“vii”.
(1) The space between the columns on what would have been the back cover of the host volume is inscribed in 18th(?)-century capitals “A. Tinard”.
(2) A 19th- or early 20th-century English-speaking owner wrote a textual identification at the top of the first column.
Latin Bibles are by definition written in Latin, in terms both of their language and their alphabet. Hebrew letters occur occasionally in the Old Testament, but they are almost always transliterated into the Latin alphabet as “Aleph”, “Beth”, “Gimel”, etc. Thus virtually the only place where a non-Latin alphabet can be found is in the text of Revelation 1:8, found on the present leaf, where we read “Ego sum .α. & .ω. principium et finis …”. Knowledge of Greek was extremely rare in western Europe before the 15th century, but many people would recognise the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and omega, as these letters often written on a book held by God in depictions of the Last Judgement, e.g. on cathedral portal sculptures.