|The introduction to the chapter is written in a lighter ink and is a little difficult to read. The heading, with its anagram form and full complement of interlace patterns, funny heads and a bird reads HIS TEMPORIBUS. At least it is supposed to, although what is supposed to be a P looks suspiciously like a T to me, even with artistic licence. Perhaps aesthetics took precedence over spelling at this point. Or perhaps the P is tangled up backwards with the M and the T is just extraneous. The final S and the U are entangled into an angular knot. You can spend happy hours trying to work out these headings.|
|An eagle-eyed reader of this website, Jan Dovenitz, has suggested that the P which looks like a T might perhaps be a Greek pi. When you look at it, it does seem to have two upright strokes rather than just one. I have since discovered another illustration of an Anglo-Saxon heading which incorporates pi, so that explanation looks increasingly likely. Five points to Gryffyndor for quick and scholarly thinking!|
|Bede Historiae Ecclesiasticae Gentis Anglorum, a 9th century copy (British Library, Cotton Tiberius C II, f.34). All images by permission of the British Library.|
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