The Douce ApocalypseWestminster, or possibly Canterbury (Great Britain) circa 1270
Gothic (littera formata)
Bodleian Library, Oxford (Great Britain)
Date of Publication of the Facsimile: 1983
This is an example of the facsimile reproductions of a text -- in this case the Apocalypse or Book of Revelation -- rather than of the full extant manuscript codex which contains it. In addition to some miscellaneous materials, Bodley Ms Douce 180 contains two main sections: a version of the Apocalypse in Old French, with commentary and very limited ornamentaion, and the lavishly illuminated Latin text of the Apocalypse represented here. Selections from the commentary by Berengaudus are included in the smaller script; the practice of incorporating commentary in this way was common in the Middle Ages, rather like modern footnotes.
The empty square space to the left under each picture was intended for the insertion of a larger painted initial letter. The manuscript was never completely finished. Contrast the clearly visible rulings with the dry-point rulings, say in the Trier Apocalypse above. It is not simply a matter of ensuring that the scribe writes in straight lines; the rulings have become part of the ornamentation.