D – Decorated Initial

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…