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Fool

bread psalm frequently eat

Fools and jesters are recognizable in medieval art largely by their costume (a cap with bells and a ridiculously short or multicolored garment) and the objects they carry (a staff or club and a round bread or stone—which they are often depicted attempting to eat). Traditionally the attendants of kings and nobles, jesters are frequently found in scenes of court life and as marginalia in Gothic manuscripts. In illustrated Psalters an enlarged initial letter containing an image of a fool is frequently found at Psalm 52 (53) marking one of the eight liturgical sections into which the Psalms were divided for weekly reading and illustrating the opening of the Psalm text: Dixit insipiens in corde suo: Non est Deus (“The fool said in his heart, There is no God.”) The club and bread are references to later passages in the Psalm which describe the iniquities of humans (“There is none that do good”) and the evildoers who “eat up my people as they eat bread.” In illustrations of, and derived from, the Psychomachia of *Prudentius, a fool (personifying the *vice of Folly) is often opposed to the *virtue of Prudence.
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