If, like me, you enjoy looking at illuminated manuscripts, you have probably noticed that the first letter of a passage is often (a) larger than the rest of the text, (b) decorated in some way, and (c) truly beautiful.
The word for this first, larger letter is ‘Initial’. Initials come in three types:
Decorated (the most basic type), Inhabited (incorporating a picture) or Historiated, which has a scene from the story or subject of the text, incorporated in it.
The design or embellishment of a Decorated Initial generally has nothing to do with the subject of the text and is, as they say, ‘just for pretty.’
|The scribe appears to have liked Morning Glories…|