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Initial D: The Lion of Judah
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Unknown
German, Hildesheim, about 1170s
Tempera colors, gold leaf, and silver leaf on parchment
11 1/8 x 7 7/16 in.
MS. 64, FOL. 111V

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Standing prominently within an initial D , the Lion of Judah serves here as a representation of one of the original twelve tribes of Israel. Christian commentators used the Lion of Judah as a symbol to signify Jesus' descent from King David. The initial heralds the beginning of the prayer Deus qui Hod[ierna die (God who on this day).