historiated initial

What is historiated initial?

historiated initial meaning in Information Science terminology / glossary / dictionary is:

An initial letter in an illuminated manuscript or early printed book containing an identifiable figure or group of figures (human, animal, and/or imaginary) in a narrative scene that may or may not be related to the text. See this example in a 14th-century copy of Boethius’ On the Consolation of Philosophy (Special Collections, Glasgow University Library, MS Hunter 374) and this example from a 15th-century Italian antiphonal (Metropolitan Museum of Art). Click here to see an example in a 13th-century Dutch psalter and here to see an example in a 15th-century English bible (British Library). An historiated initial may contain more than one scene, as in this example from a 12th-century martyrology (British Library) and this large initial “I” in the 13th-century Marquette Bible (Getty Museum, MS Ludwig I 8). In this example from an edition of Petrus Comestor’s Historia Scholastica printed in 1473, the scene inside the initial “S” is carried over into the adjacent border (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). To see other beautiful examples, try a keywords search on the term in Goggle Images. Compare with figure initial and inhabited initial. See also: historiated border.


reference: ABC-CLIO