ABSTRACT

The illustrations that formed the original opening folios of a thirteenth-century collection of Latin works on penance and pastoral care (now London: British Library, Harley MS 3244) are linked to William Peraldus, Summa de Vitiis (Treatise on Vice) and Clement of Llanthony, De Sex Alis Cherubim (On the Six Wings of the Cherub). Until now, the illustrations have been examined mainly for their depiction of the “militarization of the Christian ethos” (Binski). However, they exhibit a wealth of monstrous allegorical figures, some expressing significant social and religious tensions in their anti-heretical “othering.” In the first image, a friar or canon receives a scroll from Christ. The central illustrated diagram depicts the battle-lines of the monstrous Seven Deadly Sins with their vices against a mounted knight and his winged vanguard. The final illustration shows a six-winged cherub defeating the seven-headed dragon of sin. The article interprets the illustrations' blurring boundaries between us and them, the human and the monstrous, the demonic and the divine.

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