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Image © Hildesheim, St Godehard

THE NATIVITY
Luke 2:7

A complex structure, looking more like the whole of Bethehem than a stable, frames the Nativity. The Virgin lies diagonally on the right, her hand raised signifying speech, addressing the pensive Joseph. The star and angel hover above the crib. Unusually, there are animals both above and below the crib (AP, 54,82).

Animals licking the Christ child are found in Ottonian manuscripts from Fulda (B.L. Egerton MS 809). Anglo-Saxon manuscripts provide examples of individual features on this page: the angel above Mary and the pensive Joseph is found in the Missal of Robert of Jumièges; the diagonally placed Virgin is in the Benedictional of St Aethelwold (Rouen, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS.Y.6; London, British Library, MS. Add.49598) Nearly all Anglo-Saxon manuscripts place the crib, with its animals, below the Virgin’s couch while Carolingian examples place the crib centrally between Mary and Joseph. The St Albans Psalter clings on to both these traditions, retaining the beasts below the couch and placing the crib with more beasts centrally. (AP, pl 102)

Quire 2.
Thread or stitch holes for protective curtain



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