The Lindisfarne Gospels and the Early Medieval World

Overview

The Lindisfarne Gospels, written and illuminated at the beginning of the eighth century, is one of the most outstanding masterpieces of early medieval European book painting. It was the creation of just one person, Eadfrith, who was Bishop of Lindisfarne, and is a precious testament to the tenacity of Christian belief during one of the most turbulent periods of British history. Costly in time and materials and superb in design, the manuscript is an artistic and religious world treasure. Although written in Latin,...

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Overview

The Lindisfarne Gospels, written and illuminated at the beginning of the eighth century, is one of the most outstanding masterpieces of early medieval European book painting. It was the creation of just one person, Eadfrith, who was Bishop of Lindisfarne, and is a precious testament to the tenacity of Christian belief during one of the most turbulent periods of British history. Costly in time and materials and superb in design, the manuscript is an artistic and religious world treasure. Although written in Latin, the manuscript also contains the oldest surviving translation of the Gospels into English, added to the manuscript around 970 AD.

            “The Lindisfarne Gospels” and the Early Medieval World brings together historical, archaeological, paleographical, and theological perspectives to explore and understand the full significance of this magnificent undertaking. Lavishly illustrated with full-page colour reproductions of the essential pages of The Lindisfarne Gospels and incorporating new research on relations between the British Isles, continental Europe and the Near East during the early Middle Ages, this book is a fantastic resource that celebrates both the beauty and the historical significance of the original manuscript.

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Editorial Reviews

Salon 246 ( Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter)
“It is impossible to turn to The Lindisfarne Gospels and the Early Medieval World without seeing the synthesis of pagan and Christian on virtually every page of this copiously illustrated book. Michelle Brown hints that this might have been quite deliberate: that ‘the Lindisfarne Gospels display their vision of the Christian present in a manner that was designed to be welcoming to all,’ in the spirit of Gregory the Great who instructed missionaries not to destroy pagan shrines and festivals but to ‘make them Christian’—hence the Lindisfarne Gospels’ enmeshing of animal iconography, runes and carpets of guilloche with fresco-like portraits of the Evangelists.”
Medieval Review
Offers arresting insights and is especially successful in setting the Lindisfarne Gospels within its broad cultural and historical context. . . . [A] splendid volume that will have wide appeal, providing readers with a magisterial evaluation of this most beautiful of early medieval manuscripts.”—Medieval Review

— Timothy Graham

Medieval Review - Timothy Graham
“Offers arresting insights and is especially successful in setting the Lindisfarne Gospels within its broad cultural and historical context. . . . [A] splendid volume that will have wide appeal, providing readers with a magisterial evaluation of this most beautiful of early medieval manuscripts.”—Medieval Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780712358019
  • Publisher: British Library, The
  • Publication date: 12/15/2010
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michelle P. Brown is professor of medieval manuscript studies at the University of London; she was formerly curator of illuminated manuscripts at the British Library. Her recent publications include The Lindisfarne Gospels: Society, Spirituality and the Scribe; Painted Labyrinth. The World of the Lindisfarne Gospels; Pagans and Priests: The Coming of Christianity to Britain and Ireland; and In the Beginning: Bibles Before the Year 1000.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: the Significance of the Lindisfarne Gospels
1. The World of the Lindisfarne Gospels
2. The Biography of the Book
3. The Text of the Lindisfarne Gospels
4. The Word made word: the Palaeography of the Lindisfarne Gospels
5. The Art of the Lindisfarne Gospels
6. The Making of the Lindisfarne Gospels
Conclusion

General Reading
Collations, Transcriptions, Glossaries and Printed Editions of the Text of the Lindisfarne Gospels
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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