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Image © Hildesheim, St Godehard
Iconography: The Martyrdom of St Alban. On the left the judge stands holding the staff of office in his hand. The executioner sheathes his sword while his eyes drop out. As Alban falls, decapitated, his soul is rescued from his mouth by an angel. On the right a man holds a signum or standard on a long staff. Alban's soul, in the form of a dove, is ushered to Christ and his angels in heaven. This is the earliest surviving depiction of the Martyrdom, although more scenes from Alban's life were probably shown on his gilded tomb, decorated with figures in high relief and commissioned by Geoffrey (GA,81-3). Geoffrey also commissioned a great hanging for the altar, showing the Invention of St Alban (GA,94). The signum is similar to one shown on the gravestone of Flavinus, now at Hexham Abbey (Phillips, 1977, pl.2; see Kjølbye-Biddle, 2001, 85-110). The earliest text of St Alban's martyrdom, by Gildas, refers to 'the presence of wicked men who displayed the Roman standards to the most horrid effect' (see Sharpe, 2001, 31)
Art: This page has been scored with lines for text. Under drawing visible by the executioner's belt.
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Image © Hildesheim, St Godehard

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