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Illuminated manuscript is a manuscript that has examples until 5th century.  It is  seen that most of the Christian texts were based on illuminated manuscript form, even Bible. Those manuscripts were extremely expensive and accessible with only wealthy people and the church. Illuminated manuscripts were in the ascendant in the Middle East after the rise of Islam. Actually the finest examples or lets say the ones which have been survived, contain mostly religious texts. Jewish, Christian and Muslim texts were all reproduced by painstaking scribes.  During the Medieval Era, Books of Hours which was a customized prayer books were also so popular and this population caused them to reach its height among European elite.

They were produced through replicating the texts part by the help of black ink and then illuminated parts were added by handwritten and drawing. In the monastery, the monks who had good aesthetic senses managed to produce them. Not only religious texts, but also they were working on philosophy and other topics from Ancient Greece and Rome.


Illuminated manuscripts includes ornamental borders, capitals and lots of illustrations. They also include gold and silver leaf along with a very rich and vivid colors. As I mentioned before, ornamental borders and decorated capitals with miniatures were the essential parts. Miniature paintings indicate depict scenes from the texts.

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