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One of the few surviving, early medieval, Latin technical treatises. Its attribution, localization, and dating rest largely on internal evidence variously interpreted and inconclusive. The treatise now comprises three books: it is generally agreed that Books I and II, written in verse by one hand at some time between the 7th and 12th centuries, constitute the original text; Book III, written in prose, was added piecemeal during the 12th and 13th centuries. The treatise is commonly attributed to (H)Eraclius, who is cited as the author in Books I and III but probably wrote only Books I and II. It is not known whether he was a native of Italy or a northerner promoting his knowledge of Roman techniques, and accordingly De coloribus has been located to either Italy or northern Europe.

Relatively complete versions of the text survive in two manuscripts, both accompanied by Theophilus’s treatise De diversis artibus (extracts of the text within compilations of technical material are more common): the first (ex-Trinity Coll., Cambridge, MS. R. 15 5; London, BL, Egerton MS. 840 A) is German and dated ...



Marius Hauknes

[ Vic ]

French village in the commune of Nohant-Vic, south-east of Châteauroux, in the central département of Indre. The name suggests Roman origins (Lat. vicus: ‘village’), but nothing is known of its ancient and early medieval history. A bull promulgated by Pope Paschal on 15 November 1115 shows that at least from the early 12th century the village was a parish dependent on the Benedictine Abbey of Déols. The parish church of St Martin, dated on architectural grounds to the late 11th century or early 12th, is the only surviving medieval building. A common type for this period and region, it is a small church with a single nave, a square chancel, and round apse in the east. Fragments of sarcophagi from the 12th century indicate that a cemetery surrounded the church from its earliest beginnings.

St Martin is best known for its extensive fresco decoration (early 12th century) that covers the interior walls of the church in its entirety. The nave is painted in non-figural, monochrome decoration and the chancel walls, as well as the vaulting of the apse, have Old and New Testament narrative scenes as well as some eschatological subjects. Episodes from the ...