Royal Misattribution: Monograms in the León Antiphoner

Elsa De Luca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
426 Downloads (Pure)


The ‘León Antiphoner’, León, Cathedral Library, MS 8 is the most complete manuscript containing Old Hispanic chant, including office and mass chants for the whole church year. As such, it is the most studied Old Hispanic source, yet it has not securely been dated. Recent hypotheses range from the first third of the tenth century through the eleventh. By reviewing the attribution of the royal monograms found on fol. 4v, it is possible to set a terminus ante quem for the manuscript’s compilation to c. 960. In the first section I summarise previous scholarly hypotheses about León 8’s dating together with the proposed attributions of the signum and the monograms on fol. 4v. Subsequently, I introduce the ways in which monograms and signa were used in the Visigothic written world, with a special focus on royal monograms. Finally, I discuss L8’s monograms and signum, reassess the dating of the manuscript and outline a new hypothesis on the role of León 8 as royal insignia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-51
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Medieval Iberian Studies
Issue number1
Early online date9 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • León Antiphoner
  • monogram
  • signum
  • royal charters
  • Visigothic
  • Sancho I


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