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  • Caption: "The <i>Books of Hours</i>, the outcome of changes in the society in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, are the best known as well as the most artistic of all the theological volumes of the Middle Ages. With the general acceptance of the Christianity throughout Europe by the year 1300, a general prayer book for the wealthy laity was needed, and these <i>Books of Hours</i>, <i>Horae</i>, <i>Offices</i>, or <i>Hours of the Virgin</i>, as they are called, filled that they want. In general, they contain sixteen sections, including the calendar, with the Saint Days; the Gospels of the Nativity ; the eight hours of the virgin, the most important part; and the Service of the Dead. The <i>Books of the Hours</i> were deemed so essential a means of salvation and of obtaining indulgences that it is probable that there were few families of wealth or nobility who did not posses a copy. Emperors, dukes and merchant princes frequently ordered richly illuminated and illustrated copies as betrothal gifts. Pilgrims usually returned home from their journey to a shrine with as fine a copy as they could afford. <i>Books of Hours</i> were usually produced in the medieval scriptoriums with the patience engendered in a sheltered life and the skill fostered by religious devotion. All materials used, parchment, ink, colors, and quills, were prepared within monastic walls. The monastic book hands (or styles of writing), for long periods of time, were crystallized, so it is possible to allocate an example to a particular country and century, even when there is no mention in the text as to where the book was written." (Ege, Otto F.)
  • ca. 1460
  • Illuminated manuscript written in France, ca. 1460 A.D.
  • Latin
  • Text
  • manuscript leaf
  • image/tiff
  • 11.9 x 17.1 cm
  • ksl:egeboo05
Access Rights Open Access
RIS Citation


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Original Leaves from Famous Books