Inhabited initial

An enlarged letter that contains human or animal figures but not an identifiable narrative scene.

An enlarged letter at the beginning of a chapter, paragraph, or important section of a text that contains human or animal figures but not an identifiable narrative scene (which is a historiated initial). Inhabited initials are particularly characteristic of Romanesque illumination. Borders can also be inhabited.

    Michelle Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts (Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the British Library, c1994).