One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of an initial letter in an illuminated manuscript) decorated with designs representing scenes from the text.
- ‘Numerous panels and illuminated miniatures or historiated initials survive and frequently appear on the art market.’
- ‘Interestingly in this context, a dove with a crown in his beak hovers right outside the opening and well-known historiated initial of Book I of Juliana's vita.’
- ‘These, too, were the work of several artists working simultaneously on numbers of quires on details such as historiated initials.’
- ‘The fifth historiated capital is of a very different type.’
Late 19th century: from French historié, past participle of historier in an obsolete sense ‘illustrate’, from medieval Latin historiare, from historia (see history).
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