Gospel Book, in Latin

Gospel Book, in Latin

Collection ID

MS.000607

Type

Manuscript

Date

ca. 1050, with late 11th century inserted leaves

Geography

Brittany, France

Language

Latin

Medium

Vellum, ink

Dimensions

134 leaves; 7.9 × 5.5 × 1.7 in. (20.2 × 14.2 × 4.3 cm)

Exhibit Location

On view in The History of the Bible, Translating the Bible


In the early Middle Ages, Brittany was a center of manuscript production, but Viking raids in the tenth century interrupted the production of manuscripts, which is why so few Breton manuscripts survive from this period. This manuscript comes from a period of revival. The scribe wrote the text in a careful Carolingian minuscule hand. Most of the initials are rendered in the same brown ink as the text, without additional color, but contain simple, interwoven designs. In contrast, the arches on the canon tables are decorated in orange, green, and yellow ink. Later inscriptions on three leaves place the manuscript in the library of the monastery St. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, Normandy, but it is uncertain when the manuscript arrived there.

Created in the mid-11th century, in Brittany, France. Acquired by the 14th century by the Benedictine monastery of St. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, Normandy.[1] Possibly acquired by Charles de Montchal (1589–1651), archbishop of Toulouse. [2] Acquired by Theodore Williams (1785–1875), a minister in England, until 1827. Purchased at auction in 1827 by Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792–1872). [3] By bequest to the Robinson Trust until 1975; Sold at auction in 1975 to a private collector in Switzerland. [4] Privately purchased by Jörn Günther Rare Books until 2012; Privately purchased in 2012 by the Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2013 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Several inscriptions identify the manuscript as belonging to the monastery. See, for example, fols. 1, 73v, and 133v. [2] Many of the texts at St. Sauveur passed into the hands of Montchal. It is possible that the item here is the Codex CXCIV described in Montfaucon, Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum Manuscriptorum Nova II (Paris 1739), 905. [3] Stewart, Wheatley, and Adlard, “A Catalogue of the Splendid and Valuable Library of The Rev. Theodore Williams” (London: Stewart, Wheatley, and Adlard, 1827), 51. [4] Sotheby’s, November 26, 1975, Lot. 817.

Selected References: Beatrice Kitzinger, “Cross and Book: Late-Carolingian Breton Gospel Illumination and the Instrumental Cross.” (unpublished PhD dissertation, Harvard University, 2012).

Museum of the Bible Publications: Roland S. Werner, “Unser Buch: Die Geschichte der Bibel von Mose bis zum Mond (Our Book: The Story of the Bible from Moses to the Moon)” (Vandenhoek & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG and Museum of the Bible, 2017).

David Trobisch, Jennifer Atwood, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, and Rory P. Crowley. “Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations” (Museum of the Bible and Abilene Christian University Press, 2012).

description

In the early Middle Ages, Brittany was a center of manuscript production, but Viking raids in the tenth century interrupted the production of manuscripts, which is why so few Breton manuscripts survive from this period. This manuscript comes from a period of revival. The scribe wrote the text in a careful Carolingian minuscule hand. Most of the initials are rendered in the same brown ink as the text, without additional color, but contain simple, interwoven designs. In contrast, the arches on the canon tables are decorated in orange, green, and yellow ink. Later inscriptions on three leaves place the manuscript in the library of the monastery St. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, Normandy, but it is uncertain when the manuscript arrived there.


provenance

Created in the mid-11th century, in Brittany, France. Acquired by the 14th century by the Benedictine monastery of St. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, Normandy.[1] Possibly acquired by Charles de Montchal (1589–1651), archbishop of Toulouse. [2] Acquired by Theodore Williams (1785–1875), a minister in England, until 1827. Purchased at auction in 1827 by Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792–1872). [3] By bequest to the Robinson Trust until 1975; Sold at auction in 1975 to a private collector in Switzerland. [4] Privately purchased by Jörn Günther Rare Books until 2012; Privately purchased in 2012 by the Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2013 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Several inscriptions identify the manuscript as belonging to the monastery. See, for example, fols. 1, 73v, and 133v. [2] Many of the texts at St. Sauveur passed into the hands of Montchal. It is possible that the item here is the Codex CXCIV described in Montfaucon, Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum Manuscriptorum Nova II (Paris 1739), 905. [3] Stewart, Wheatley, and Adlard, “A Catalogue of the Splendid and Valuable Library of The Rev. Theodore Williams” (London: Stewart, Wheatley, and Adlard, 1827), 51. [4] Sotheby’s, November 26, 1975, Lot. 817.

Selected References: Beatrice Kitzinger, “Cross and Book: Late-Carolingian Breton Gospel Illumination and the Instrumental Cross.” (unpublished PhD dissertation, Harvard University, 2012).

Museum of the Bible Publications: Roland S. Werner, “Unser Buch: Die Geschichte der Bibel von Mose bis zum Mond (Our Book: The Story of the Bible from Moses to the Moon)” (Vandenhoek & Ruprecht GmbH & Co. KG and Museum of the Bible, 2017).

David Trobisch, Jennifer Atwood, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, and Rory P. Crowley. “Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations” (Museum of the Bible and Abilene Christian University Press, 2012).


Currently On Display

Museum of the Bible

400 4th St SW, Washington, DC 20024
(866) 430-MOTB

Get Museum Tickets

Questions about our Collections?

Visit Contact Us Page
(866) 430-MOTB


To acquire permission to use this image, please visit our Rights and Reproduction page.