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Initial A: David and Companion Musicians, an illumination from a German manuscript, c.1170s; King David can be identified by his symbolic attributes: a crown and harp. (The J Paul Getty Museum)

From thirteenth-century Franco–Flemish illuminated manuscript; a siren (here a symbol of vanity) and centaur (hypocrisy). (The J Paul Getty Museum)

Saint John the Evangelist Writing, Apocalypse, Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 1340 - 1350, MS. 108, v (Getty Museum)

An ancient Greek patera with Medusa. (The J Paul Getty Museum)

Carrow Psalter, Adoration of the Magi, Walters Manuscript W.34, fol. 33v detail by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts, via Flickr

Genesis: The creation of the animals including the unicorn Oxford MS. Douce 135 fol17v

The Nativity in the Stammheim Missal, German, 1170s.

Manuscript of the Apocalypse, ca. 1300. French. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Cloisters Collection, 1968. (68.174) | The Apocalypse, or the Revelation to St. John, is the last of the canonical books of the New Testament. #Cloisters