The Lindisfarne Gospels is an illuminated Latin manuscript of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The manuscript was produced on Lindisfarne in Northumbria in the late 7th century or early 8th century, and is generally regarded as the finest example of the kingdom's unique style of religious art, a style that combined Anglo-Saxon and Celtic themes, what is now called Hiberno-Saxon art, or Insular art. The manuscript is complete (though lacking its original cover), and is astonishingly well-preserved considering its great age.
In the 10th century an Old English translation of the Gospels was made: a word-for-word gloss inserted between the lines of the Latin text by Aldred, Provost of Chester-le-Street. This is the first translation of the Gospels into the English language.
The Gospels were taken from Durham Cathedral during the dissolution of the monasteries, ordered by Henry VIII, and were acquired in the early 17th century by Sir Robert Cotton from Thomas Walker, Clerk of the Parliaments. Cotton's library came to the British Museum in the 18th century, and from there to the British Library in London.
Exhibiting the Lindisfarne Gospels: Michelle Brown, Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library, Discusses New Interpretations of This Treasure, and How This Month Visitors to the Library Will Be Able to Get Closer to It Than Ever before. (Frontline)
May 01, 2003; THE LINDISFARNE GOSPELS give an invaluable insight into one of the formative periods of world history, when the implications of...