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Medieval Studies Anglo-Saxon Manuscript Illumination
by
Catherine E. Karkov

Introduction

“Anglo-Saxon manuscript illumination” refers to those manuscripts produced in the area that is now England, or by Anglo-Saxon scribes and illuminators working elsewhere, between the period c. 600 AD to c. 1100 AD. There is some overlap during the earlier centuries with Insular illuminated manuscripts, manuscripts produced in Ireland and the British Isles between roughly the years 600 and 850, and early Northumbrian manuscripts such as the Lindisfarne Gospels (London, British Library, Cotton Nero D.IV), which can be classed as either Anglo-Saxon or Insular. Anglo-Saxon manuscript illumination can consist simply of decorated initials or interlinear and marginal pen flourishes, but it also includes elaborately decorated manuscripts filled with golden letters and full-page figural or narrative miniatures. It is not limited just to religious manuscripts (though most of the most luxuriously decorated manuscripts are religious); medical and “scientific” manuscripts, histories and hagiographies, charters and legal manuscripts, poetic texts, and calendars were also illuminated. In general, Anglo-Saxon illumination is characterized by a love of expressive line (line drawing is a major art form), color wash, and a creative use of the relationship between center and margin, or what is within and what is beyond the central framed image or text block. The Anglo-Saxons are also credited with inventing several types of image: the historiated initial (an initial containing an abbreviated narrative or image related to the text that follows), the “disappearing Christ” (a type of Ascension in which only Christ’s legs remain visible within the picture frame), and the Coronation of the Virgin (in the earliest examples of which the Virgin receives a crown on her death bed). Historiated initials appear in the some of the earliest Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, but the more complex iconographic innovations of the biblical narrative scenes are associated with the 10th-century Benedictine reform centered on Winchester and Canterbury. In almost all manuscripts, whatever their date or provenance, illumination and text work very closely together, and one should never be studied in isolation from the other.

General Overviews

Brown 2007 is beautifully illustrated and thus best for getting a sense of the style and range of Anglo-Saxon illumination, although the text contains numerous typos, so some double-checking of information is necessary. That said, it is engagingly written and the illustrations easily browsed and so the best place for the general reader to begin. Owen-Crocker 2009 is best for providing a general overview of the multiple aspects of manuscript study and is an especially good place for students to begin. Karkov 2011 is the most up-to-date survey of Anglo-Saxon art and contains a chapter devoted specifically to manuscript illumination. Dodwell 1982 is also a general survey, now somewhat dated but especially useful for giving a sense of how much has been lost. Neuman de Vegvar 1987 and Henderson 1999 are particularly good on early Northumbrian manuscripts. Gameson 1995 is good for the 10th and 11th centuries. Stevick 1994 deals with the design and layout of the manuscript page. The bibliographies of the entries listed below should be consulted for earlier overviews.

  • Brown, Michelle P. Manuscripts from the Anglo-Saxon Age. London: British Library, 2007.

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    Beautifully illustrated with numerous color photographs, this book provides a basic survey of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts from the earliest days through to the immediate post-Conquest period. A good place for the general reader or student to begin.

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  • Dodwell, C. R. Anglo-Saxon Art: A New Perspective. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1982.

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    A survey of what literary sources reveal about Anglo-Saxon taste and attitudes toward art and of the enormous losses of objects that have occurred over the centuries. Dodwell was the first to give sustained attention to the way in which such losses have distorted our understanding of the period.

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  • Gameson, Richard. The Role of Art in the Late Anglo-Saxon Church. Oxford: Clarendon, 1995.

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    Coverage is limited to art (mostly manuscripts) produced by and for the church in the 10th and 11th centuries, and the approach is one of traditional stylistic and iconographic analysis, but the book is especially interesting for its treatment of such ideas as the relationship between inscriptions, borders, and images―topics that have receive short shrift elsewhere.

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  • Henderson, George. Vision and Image in Early Christian England. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

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    Attempts to eliminate the traditional divisions between “Insular” and “Anglo-Saxon” art by adopting the Continental descriptor “Early Christian” (a term applied more generally to European, especially Mediterranean, art and architecture of the 4th to 8th centuries). Devoted largely to manuscript art, with art in other media discussed as it relates to questions generated by issues such as narrative, color, or artistic production.

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  • Karkov, Catherine E. The Art of Anglo-Saxon England. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2011.

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    Covers all aspects of Anglo-Saxon art with a double focus on art as aesthetic vehicle and as political and cultural force. Manuscript illumination is discussed throughout but is also the subject of its own chapter.

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  • Neuman de Vegvar, Carol. The Northumbrian Renaissance: A Study in the Transmission of Style. Selinsgrove, PA: Susquehanna University Press, 1987.

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    While the subject of this book is the art of Northumbria from the 6th to the late 8th century, Neuman de Vegvar is careful to locate that art within its broader Anglo-Saxon and European context. The material is presented largely in terms of style and stylistic development, as well as the importance of the Mediterranean world to that development. Good coverage of the earliest Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.

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  • Owen-Crocker, Gale R., ed. Working with Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts. Exeter, UK: Exeter University Press, 2009.

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    Aimed at graduate students and nonspecialists, this book provides an excellent introduction to all aspects of working with Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. Chapters, all written by experts in the field, cover handling manuscripts, codicology, manuscript sources for prose and poetry, Latin manuscripts, glosses, illumination, and digital matters.

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  • Stevick, Robert D. The Earliest Irish and English Bookarts: Visual and Poetic Forms Before A.D. 1000. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994.

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    Using mathematical analysis of illuminated carpet pages and poetic texts, Stevick argues that the authors, designers, artists, and scribes of manuscripts used the same mathematical and geometrical patterns, shapes, and proportions.

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Bibliographies

There are no bibliographies devoted exclusively to Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscripts, but the following entries all include coverage of the topic. Deshman 1984 and Werner 1984 are now out of date, but both include key early publications as well as historiographic information. The International Medieval Bibliography provides the fullest coverage, although one does need to know what one is looking for to search it. Entries on Anglo-Saxon art in all media are included in the annual bibliographies of Anglo-Saxon England and the Old English Newsletter. Bibliographies for the Study of Medieval Art, International Bibliography of Art, and Bibliography of the History of Art all provide general art historical coverage and may be particularly useful for students and general readers.

Catalogues

Alexander 1978 and Temple 1976 provide the best general introductions to Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscripts and contain complete coverage of the manuscripts known at the time of their publication. Images are mostly small and in black and white, but the catalogue descriptions are generally good. Ohlgren 1986 is the best guide to individual narrative scenes and motifs. Gneuss 2001 is a list of manuscripts written or owned in England up until 1100, many of which are illuminated.

  • Alexander, Jonathan J. G. Insular Manuscripts: 6th to the 9th Century. A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles 1. London: Harvey Miller, 1978.

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    Essential catalogue for images and basic information on early Anglo-Saxon manuscripts such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, Book of Cerne, Codex Amiatinus, and Stockholm Codex Aureus. As with Temple 1976, much information is dated, but it is still essential for early bibliography and comparative images.

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  • Gneuss, Helmut. Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100. Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies 241. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001.

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    Essential source for the contents of manuscripts written or owned in Anglo-Saxon England. Updates to the 2001 handlist have been published in “Addenda and Corrigenda to the Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts,” by Helmet Gneuss (Anglo-Saxon England 32 [2003]: 293–305).

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  • Ohlgren, Thomas, ed. Insular and Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: An Iconographic Catalogue, c. A.D. 625 to 1100. Garland Reference Library of the Humanities 631. New York: Garland, 1986.

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    Provides the complete shelfmark and folio number for a wealth of different iconographic motifs. It is easy to use for standard scenes, such as the Ascension, but the terminology used for other motifs can be idiosyncratic as the actual subject of some images and scenes remains controversial, and some carry more than one meaning. Most so-called ornamental or decorative motifs are not included.

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  • Temple, Elżbieta. Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts 900–1066. A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles 2. London: Harvey Miller, 1976.

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    The source to go to for a quick and relatively complete overview of Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscripts from the death of Alfred to the Conquest. Extensively illustrated, though mostly in black and white. Some information, especially the bibliographies, is now dated. Double-checking Temple’s information is a good idea, but this is still an essential starting point.

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Library Catalogues

Most major libraries now have online access of some sort, though coverage and quality can be uneven. Electronic catalogues often provide better quality images than those available in print but can be difficult to browse. Printed catalogues often still provide more descriptive information on any given manuscript than their online counterparts, so they too should be consulted. The Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts is probably the most useful site, as the British Library houses the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts in the world. Parker on the Web and Corsair are also important resources but should be supplemented with Budny 1997. Early Manuscripts at Oxford University is also essential, especially for its high-resolution images, as is LUNA for the breadth of its coverage. Again, these should be supplemented with Pächt and Alexander 1973. Enluminures and Mandragore, base des manscrits enluminés de la BnF are also important image resources for French material. Gameson 2008 is the best resource for early Canterbury manuscripts.

Exhibition Catalogues

Many exhibitions include Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, but few are devoted exclusively to them (Ganz, et al. 2007 is an exception). As Anglo-Saxon manuscripts were neither produced nor read in isolation, the catalogues listed below are important for the information they provide on the social and cultural setting in which the books were created and their relationship to other contemporary art forms in addition to what they have to say about the individual manuscripts. Moreover, most catalogues include excellent descriptions of artworks as well as contextual essays by leading scholars in the field. Starting with Webster and Backhouse 1991 and then following with Backhouse, et al. 1984 will provide readers with a sense of chronology and scope. Brown 2006 and Binski and Panayotova 2005 are excellent for their larger international context. Holcombe 2009 is important for its focus on Anglo-Saxon drawings. Hawkes 1996 and Ganz, et al. 2007 are more specialized: The former deals only with Northumbria and the latter only with the Lambeth Palace library.

  • Backhouse, Janet, Derek H. Turner, and Leslie Webster, eds. The Golden Age of Anglo-Saxon Art, 966–1066. London: British Museum, 1984.

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    The bibliography and some of the information is now out of date, and the choice of 966 as a starting date is problematic, but it still provides an excellent overview of the best-known works of the period along with some that deserve to be better known. Some black-and-white illustrations are murky, yet the rich colors and abundant use of gold that gives the exhibition its title shine through.

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  • Binski, Paul, and Stella Panayotova, eds. The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Book Production in the Medieval West. London: Harvey Miller, 2005.

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    Catalogue of an exhibition that brought together manuscripts from the collections of the Cambridge University and its college libraries. Includes a number of important Anglo-Saxon manuscripts such as the Cambridge Corpus Christi College Psychomachia and the Winchcombe Psalter.

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  • Brown, Michelle P., ed. In the Beginning: Bibles before the Year 1000. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 2006.

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    The catalogue of an important international exhibition of early Bibles and biblical manuscripts that helps locate the Anglo-Saxon (and Insular) material within the larger context of the birth and growth of the Christian Church and its books. Excellent explanatory essays.

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  • Ganz, David, and Jane Roberts, with Richard Palmer. Lambeth Palace Library and Its Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts. London: Taderon, 2007.

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    Small catalogue of nine Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and later manuscripts influenced by the Anglo-Saxons. Illustrations are all in black and white, but entries are informative, and it includes an excellent introductory essay.

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  • Hawkes, Jane. The Golden Age of Northumbria. Morpeth, UK: Tyne & Wear Museums, 1996.

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    This catalogue is concerned only with the art of Northumbria and is particularly noteworthy for its attention to sculpture rather than manuscripts; nevertheless, it is important for setting the context for early Anglo-Saxon manuscript production. It is aimed more at the tourist and general public than the scholarly world.

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  • Holcombe, Melanie, ed. Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009.

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    The catalogue covers the whole of the Middle Ages, but it is important for its treatment of Anglo-Saxon drawing as a major art form in its own right. Includes St. Dunstan’s Classbook, the Sherborne Pontifical, the Arenberg Gospels, the Bury Psalter, the Harley Psalter, and illustrated saints’ lives. See also the website.

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  • Webster, Leslie, and Janet Backhouse, eds. The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture A.D. 600–900. London: British Museum Press, 1991.

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    A sort of prequel to The Golden Age of Anglo-Saxon Art exhibition (see Backhouse, et al. 1984), this catalogue takes a more explicitly political approach to its subject, though that is not always apparent in the individual catalogue entries. The title implies an active role for art in the making of nation and national culture that few would now deny, but the attempts at suggesting cultural unity are problematic. Arranged chronologically.

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Journals

Many journals devoted to the study of the Middle Ages and/or the history of art will include articles on Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscripts, though not on a regular basis. Anglo-Saxon England provides the best coverage of all matters Anglo-Saxon and the most articles devoted to the era’s illuminated manuscripts. Gesta is devoted to medieval art and has published many important articles on Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. Scriptorium is a bilingual journal devoted to manuscript studies. Art Bulletin, Art History, and Speculum are more general in scope. Early Medieval Europe publishes more historical and archaeological than art historical material but is certainly worth browsing. The same is true of the Old English Newsletter, which focuses on language and literature.

Facsimiles

The scope and quality of manuscript facsimiles varies a great deal. Some, like Prescott 2002, provide complete full-color reproductions of the manuscript. Failing access to the original manuscript, these types of facsimiles are best. Digital facsimiles such as Kiernan 2011 and Muir 2004 generally contain higher quality images and are excellent for details of images and script but cannot convey a sense of what it is like to use the actual book. Barker 1986 is especially valuable for its introductory essays. Gollancz 1927 and Kendrick, et al. 1956–1960 are superseded by Muir 2004 and The Lindisfarne Gospels, respectively, but are still important for their place in the history of facsimile production. Ohlgren 1992 provides black-and-white images of sixteen important manuscripts.

  • Barker, Nicholas, ed. The York Gospels. London: Roxburghe Club, 1986.

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    A full facsimile of the manuscript, though not all pages are reproduced in full color. The book includes introductory essays by Jonathan Alexander, Patrick McGurk, Simon Keynes, and Bernard Barr. The manuscript is important for its cycle of evangelist portraits as well as for the involvement of the Canterbury scribe Eadwig Basan in its production.

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  • Gollancz, Israel, ed. The Caedmon Manuscript of Anglo-Saxon Biblical Poetry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1927.

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    A facsimile of the late-10th- or early-11th-century Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Junius 11 with a lengthy introduction on the codicology and provenance of the manuscript and the style and iconography of the drawings. The images have been superseded by those of Muir 2004 and those available online.

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  • Kendrick, T. D., et al. eds. Evangeliorum quattuor Codex Lindisfarnensis. 2 vols. Olten and Lausanne, Switzerland: Urs Graf, 1956–1960.

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    Although this volume has been replaced by the 2002–2003 facsimile, it remains more accessible to many than the facsimile volume of that edition as the price of the latter is prohibitive for many libraries. The introductory essays, though dated in many respects, are still useful.

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  • Kiernan, Kevin, ed. Electronic Beowulf. 3d ed. CD-ROM. London: British Library, 2011.

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    Numerous editions of this electronic resource exist as it is updated regularly to take account of new discoveries and interpretations as well as advances in digital technology. The third edition supersedes all earlier, which are no longer supported.

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  • The Lindisfarne Gospels: Cotton MS Nero D.IV of the British Library, London. Lucerne, Switzerland: Faksimile Verlag Luzern, 2002–2003.

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    With commentary by Michelle Brown, this limited edition includes 290 of 980 copies bound in a reproduction of the 19th-century Victorian binding of the original manuscript. The quality of the images is excellent but cannot compare with the quality of digital facsimiles such as Muir 2004, which allow the user to zoom in on details of both imagery and script.

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  • Muir, Bernard M., ed. A Digital Facsimile of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Junius 11. Bodleian Digital Texts 1. Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2004.

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    This is one of a handful of digital facsimiles that set the standard for the digitizing of medieval manuscripts. It presents an integrated view of the text and drawings of this important late Anglo-Saxon poetic manuscript, although its analysis of the style, iconography, and function of the drawings tends to repeat somewhat uncritically the work of earlier scholars.

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  • Ohlgren, Thomas H., ed. Anglo-Saxon Textual Illustration: Photographs of Sixteen Manuscripts with Descriptions and Index. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 1992.

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    Includes black-and-white reproductions of the illuminated pages of sixteen manuscripts, not the manuscripts as a whole. Includes the Æthelstan (Galba), Harley, Bury, and Paris Psalters; the Boulogne, Arenberg, Trinity, Eadwig, Bury, Judith of Flanders, Pembroke College 301 and 302, and Monte Cassino Gospel Books; the British Library, MS Cotton Cleopatra C.VIII Psychomachia; and the Oxford Junius 11 poetic manuscript.

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  • Prescott, Andrew, ed. The Benedictional of St. Æthelwold: A Masterpiece of Anglo-Saxon Art. London: British Library, 2002.

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    A full-color, affordable facsimile of one of the most lavish and important illuminated Anglo-Saxon manuscripts ever produced. The brief introduction and commentary are based almost exclusively on Deshman 1995 (cited under The Benedictional of Æthelwold).

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Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile Volumes

This series, which grew out of the destruction of libraries during World War II, stopped publishing in 2002. The volumes are of varying quality. Gameson 2001–2002 is the only full-color facsimile. Keynes 1996; Dodwell and Clemoes 1974; Brown, et al. 1980; and McGurk, et al. 1983 are particularly noteworthy for the quality of their introductory essays. Arngart 1952 is useful for information on what remains a relatively inaccessible manuscript. D’Aronco and Cameron 1998 is a facsimile of a “scientific manuscript.” Wright 1967 is a facsimile of an important early Anglo-Saxon psalter.

  • Arngart, O., ed. The Leningrad Bede. Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile 2. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1952.

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    Now known as the St. Petersburg Bede. Contains one of the earliest historiated initials to survive, enclosing an image thought to represent Gregory the Great. Historiated initials are an Anglo-Saxon innovation that became a feature of later Anglo-Saxon illumination and were subsequently taken up by scribes and artists across the medieval world. The manuscript is also important as a near-contemporary copy of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History.

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  • Brown, T. Julian, Christopher D. Verey, and Elizabeth Coatsworth, eds. The Durham Gospels; together with Fragments of a Gospel Book in Uncial: Durham, Cathedral Library MS A.II.17. Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile 20. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1980.

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    This important 8th-century manuscript is part of a group of illuminated Insular gospels that also includes the Books of Durrow and Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels. It is copiously decorated throughout in the style of Lindisfarne but is perhaps most famous for the image of the Crucifixion on folio 38 verso with its complex interaction of word and image (on which see O’Reilly 2007, cited under Iconography).

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  • D’Aronco, M. A., and M. L. Cameron, eds. The Old English Illustrated Pharmocopoeia: British Library Cotton Vitellius C.III. Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile 27. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1998.

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    Facsimile of an 11th-century manuscript containing the herbal of Apuleius and the Medicina de quadrupedibus. Along with McGurk, et al. 1983, it is an excellent example of late Anglo-Saxon interest in “scientific” and encyclopedic types of manuscript. The original manuscript is beautifully illuminated with more than two hundred miniatures, though only eight are reproduced in color in the facsimile.

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  • Dodwell, C. R., and Peter Clemoes, eds. The Old English Illustrated Hexateuch: British Museum Cotton Claudius B.IV. Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile 18. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1974.

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    Most of the reproductions in this facsimile are in black and white (only five of the four hundred color drawings are reproduced in color). In addition to the iconography and style of the miniatures, the introduction provides information on origin, provenance, codicology, painting technique, and the authorship of the text, which is partly by Ælfric. There is much discussion of the manuscript’s supposed lost exemplar.

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  • Gameson, Richard, ed. The Codex Aureus: An Eighth-Century Gospel Book: Stockholm, Kunglige Bibliotek A.135. 2 vols. Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile 28, 29. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 2001–2002.

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    A rich, full-color facsimile of this luxury mid-8th-century Anglo-Saxon manuscript in two volumes. Volume 1 contains a lengthy introduction that is less informative about the art than it is about the codicology and history of the manuscript. The manuscript is also known as the Canterbury Codex Aureus, as it is believed to have been produced in Canterbury, although that attribution has been questioned (see Brown 2001, cited under Patrons and Readers, and Brown 2006, cited under Exhibition Catalogues).

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  • Keynes, Simon, ed. The Liber Vitae of the New Minster and Hyde Abbey, Winchester: British Library Stowe 944; together with Leaves from British Library Cotton Vespasian A.VIII and British Library Cotton Titus D.XXVII. Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile 26. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1996.

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    The exceptionally lengthy and detailed introduction to this volume makes clear the historical importance of the Liber Vitae and related manuscripts both individually and as a group. The Liber Vitae contains the earliest surviving manuscript portrait of an Anglo-Saxon queen, a portrait that is noted for its innovative iconography.

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  • McGurk, Patrick, David N. Dumville, Malcolm R. Godden, and Ann Knock, eds. An Eleventh-Century Anglo-Saxon Illustrated Miscellany: British Library Cotton Tiberius B.V; together with Leaves from British Library Cotton Nero D.II. Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile 21. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1983.

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    Still essential reading, as many of the manuscript’s images have not been reproduced elsewhere. Contains one of only two Anglo-Saxon illustrated metrical calendars, one of three Anglo-Saxon versions of the East, an important mappa mundi, and other texts and images. The range of texts that were brought together to form this manuscript make it important to questions of patronage and collecting in Anglo-Saxon England.

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  • Wright, David H., ed. The Vespasian Psalter: British Museum, Cotton Vespasian A.I. Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile 14. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1967.

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    The original 8th-century manuscript is believed to have been written at Canterbury. Both the script and the illumination of this manuscript are of the highest quality but, unfortunately, very few images are reproduced in color—only three in this volume. Detailed discussion of iconography of all images, plus commentary on gloss added in the 9th century by a Mercian scribe.

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Iconography

Iconography is the study of the meaning of images, as opposed to their style or composition. It is the most common tool used in the analysis of Anglo-Saxon, and all, early medieval art. It is also concerned in large part with establishing relationships between images and their textual sources, so many of the studies listed below focus on the ways in which images are used to express particular exegetical, theological, liturgical, or political views. Werckmeister 1967, Brown 1996, and O’Reilly 2007 deal with early Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. Deshman 2010 provides an excellent introduction to the iconographic complexities of later Anglo-Saxon manuscript art, as well as to the relationship between Anglo-Saxon and Continental manuscripts. Schapiro 1979, Raw 1990, and Karkov 2004 survey particular iconographic types—the Ascension, the Crucifixion, and images of ruler, respectively. Karkov 2001 is concerned with the way in which iconography can work to gender readings and O’Reilly 1992 with the way in which it can work as an aid to religious devotion and contemplation.

  • Brown, Michelle P. The Book of Cerne: Prayer, Patronage and Power in Ninth-Century England. London: British Library, 1996.

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    In-depth codicological, palaeographic, and iconographic study of this manuscript, a product of the golden age of Mercia. Attention is devoted to the iconographic sources, influences at work on text and imagery, and what that might tell us about its origins and patron. Organization of material within chapters is sometimes confusing, with subsidiary information often presented in smaller type and only summarily synthesized in main text.

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  • Deshman, Robert. Eye and Mind: Collected Essays in Anglo-Saxon and Early Medieval Art. Edited by Adam Cohen. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2010.

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    The late Robert Deshman was one of the leading experts on the iconography of later Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and their relation to continental art, particularly the art of Ottonian Germany. This volume brings together thirteen articles published between 1971 and 1997 and includes an updated bibliography.

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  • Karkov, Catherine E. “Broken Bodies and Singing Tongues: Gender and Voice in the Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 23 Psychomachia.” Anglo-Saxon England 30.1 (2001): 115–136.

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    Prudentius’s poem, the Psychomachia (or battle for the human soul) was extremely popular in Anglo-Saxon England. This article looks at the way in which the battle is gendered so that the female Vices become monsters, while the female Virtues become male.

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  • Karkov, Catherine E. The Ruler Portraits of Anglo-Saxon England. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2004.

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    An analysis of imagery, iconography, and patronage of the courts of Anglo-Saxon England. Provides coverage of all media, including coins, seals, and architecture, though it is focused primarily on manuscript illumination. It also examines the question of what we mean by “portrait.”

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  • O’Reilly, Jennifer. “St John as a Figure of the Contemplative Life: Text and Image in the Art of the Anglo-Saxon Benedictine Reform.” In St Dunstan: His Life, Times and Cult. Edited by Nigel Ramsay, Margaret Sparks, and Tim Tatton-Brown, 165–185. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 1992.

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    Explores the iconography of St. John as writing evangelist, visionary, and witness at the Crucifixion in 10th- and 11th-century Reform manuscripts. Argues that these images were both devotional and an aid to the interpretation of scripture and the meaning of the contemplative life.

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  • O’Reilly, Jennifer. “‘Know Who and What He Is’: The Context and Inscriptions of the Durham Gospels Crucifixion Image.” In Making and Meaning in Insular Art. Edited by Rachel Moss, 300–316. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts, 2007.

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    A close reading of the image of the Crucifixion and its surrounding inscriptions in the Durham A.II.17 Gospel book. Demonstrates that image and inscription are integrally linked to each other and that together they lead the viewer to a meditation on the dual nature of Christ.

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  • Raw, Barbara C. Anglo-Saxon Crucifixion Iconography and the Art of the Monastic Revival. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

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    An important survey of the depiction of the Crucifixion in Anglo-Saxon England, mostly, though not exclusively, in manuscript illumination. Locates the images within the exegetical and theological concerns of the church at the time.

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  • Schapiro, Meyer. “The Image of the Disappearing Christ: The Ascension in English Art around the Year 1000.” In Late Antique, Early Christian and Medieval Art: Selected Papers. By Meyer Schapiro, 267–287. New York: Braziller, 1979.

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    Identifies possible sources for and influences on this innovative Anglo-Saxon iconography of the Ascension in which only Christ’s feet and legs remain within the frame of the miniature. Argues that it is in part due to increasing naturalism of late Anglo-Saxon art. Countered by Deshman 2010 (Chapter 13: “Another Look at the Disappearing Christ: Corporeal and Spiritual Vision in Early Medieval Images”). Originally published in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Series 6 (March 1943): 135–152.

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  • Werckmeister, Otto Karl. Irisch-northumbrische Buchmalerei des 8. Jahrhunderts und monastiche Spiritualität. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1967.

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    Excellent iconographic study of pages from three of the major early Irish and Northumbrian manuscripts: the Echternach Gospels, the Durham A.II.17 Gospels, and the Book of Kells. Werckmeister provides a close reading of each of the pages analyzed, and his work was ahead of its time in the emphasis given to the meaning of abstract decoration as well as figural or representational imagery.

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Patrons and Readers

A number of important studies are concerned with patronage—people who commissioned, owned, and read the manuscripts. In some instances, as is the case with the Classbook of St. Dunstan, owners were also involved in the production of the manuscript. Some of the works listed below focus on individual manuscripts and their owners; others look more broadly at the range of manuscripts accumulated by individual patrons. Lapidge 2008 is included in this section as a guide to the sorts of manuscripts known to have been owned by individual monastic libraries. As both it and Brown 2001 cover issues of patronage and reading in general, they are probably the best places to start. Heslop 1990, Keynes 1985, McGurk and Rosenthal 1995, and Rosenthal and McGurk 2006 all deal with royal or aristocratic patronage. Budny 1992 and Prescott 1988 are concerned with important monastic patrons.

  • Brown, Michelle P. “Female Book Ownership and Production in Anglo-Saxon England: The Evidence of the Ninth-Century Prayerbooks.” In Lexis and Texts in Early English: Studies Presented to Jane Roberts. Edited by Christian J. Kay and Louise M. Sylvester, 45–67. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001.

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    Surveys the evidence (or lack thereof) for female book ownership in the period, especially in relation to the important “Tiberius Group” of manuscripts. Also critiques the scholarly assumption that all manuscripts were produced by and for men unless proved otherwise.

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  • Budny, Mildred. “‘St Dunstan’s Classbook’ and Its Frontispiece: Dunstan’s Portrait and Autograph.” In St Dunstan: His Life, Times and Cult. Edited by Nigel Ramsay, Margaret Sparks, and Tim Tatton-Brown, 103–142. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 1992.

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    Examines a manuscript known to have been owned and used by Dunstan at Canterbury in terms of what it reveals about Dunstan as reader and about the monastic life he lived. Portrait and inscriptions (some in Dunstan’s own hand) are read in conjunction with the contents of the book as a whole. Provides information on scientific analysis of the hands of the inscriptions and drawing.

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  • Heslop, T. A. “The Production of de luxe Manuscripts and the Patronage of King Cnut and Queen Emma.” Anglo-Saxon England 19 (1990): 151–195.

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    Argues that some of the best-known and most lavish illuminated books of the early 11th century were produced under the patronage of Cnut and Emma, sometimes for their own use but more often to be given as gifts and without a particular recipient in mind. Such patronage both encouraged allegiance to the court and was a sign of the couple’s piety for both this world and the next.

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  • Keynes, Simon. “King Æthelstan’s Books.” In Learning and Literature in Anglo-Saxon England: Studies Presented to Peter Clemoes on the Occasion of His Sixty-fifth Birthday. Edited by Michael Lapidge and Helmut Gneuss, 143–201. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

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    Considers Æthelstan’s role as a collector and, perhaps, commissioner of manuscript. Includes a list and critical discussion of those manuscripts known to have been owned by the king or to have been collected by him to be given as gifts to others.

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  • Lapidge, Michael. The Anglo-Saxon Library. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239696.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Covers Anglo-Saxon libraries from the 6th century to the Norman Conquest, with information on the libraries of Antiquity and the Early Christian era that were sources for the Anglo-Saxons, as well as what can be known of the nature and contents of Anglo-Saxon libraries. Includes appendices containing all known Anglo-Saxon library inventories.

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  • McGurk, Patrick, and Jane Rosenthal. “The Anglo-Saxon Gospel Books of Judith, Countess of Flanders: Their Text, Make-Up, and Function.” Anglo-Saxon England 24 (1995): 251–308.

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    Judith of Flanders was one of the most important patrons, male or female, of the 11th century and is known to have owned a number of lavish gospel books. This is the first in a series of papers by Rosenthal and McGurk to look at their contents, the style and iconography of their imagery, and what they reveal about the woman who owned and used them.

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  • Prescott, Andrew. “The Text of the Benedictional of St Æthelwold.” In Bishop Æthelwold: His Career and Influence. Edited by Barbara Yorke, 119–147. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 1988.

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    The Benedictional of St Æthelwold is one of the most lavishly decorated of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. Prescott’s paper provides an analysis of its texts, some composed by Æthelwold. It provides insights into both the bishop’s reasons for commissioning the manuscript and the ideology of the 10th-century monastic reform.

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  • Rosenthal, Jane, and Patrick McGurk. “Author, Symbol and Word: The Inspired Evangelists in Judith of Flanders’ Anglo-Saxon Gospel Books.” In Tributes to Jonathan J. G. Alexander: The Making and Meaning of Illuminated Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, Art, and Architecture. Edited by Susan L’Engle and Gerald B. Guest, 185–202. London: Harvey Miller, 2006.

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    Companion article to McGurk and Rosenthal 1995, focusing specifically on the series of evangelist portraits and the messages they would have conveyed to their owner.

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Artists

Very little is known about the individual artists responsible for the illumination of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. It is possible to identify artistic hands, though until the digital advances of recent years this was a subjective exercise at best. Gameson 2011 is important for the identification of an itinerant international, most likely professional artist who worked on some of the best-known manuscripts produced c. 1000. Pfaff 1992 and Karkov 2006 deal with the work of Eadwig (Eadui) Basan, a Christ Church Canterbury scribe working in the early 11th century, who some believe was responsible for the illumination of some of the manuscripts on which he worked. Farr 2003 also takes up the question of Eadwig’s artistic production but discusses it in the larger context of artists’ stylistic responses to older material. Alexander 1992 is probably the best place for the general reader to start as it provides a survey of illuminators and their working methods.

  • Alexander, Jonathan J. G. Medieval Illuminators and Their Methods of Work. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992.

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    A survey of illuminators and their tools and techniques from the early Middle Ages to the 15th century. Includes discussion of only a few Anglo-Saxon manuscripts but good for providing historical and art historical context.

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  • Farr, Carol. “Style in Late Anglo-Saxon England: Questions of Learning and Intention.” In Anglo-Saxon Styles. Edited by Catherine E. Karkov and George Hardin Brown, 115–130. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003.

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    Examines stylistic responses to and recyclings of earlier works of art by late Anglo-Saxon artists, including some of the manuscripts produced by Eadwig Basan: the Grimbald Gospels, Eadwig Gospels, and Arundel Psalter.

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  • Gameson, Richard. “An Itinerant English Master Around the Millennium.” In England and the Continent in the Tenth Century: Studies in Honour of Wilhelm Levison (1846–1947). Edited by David Rollason, Conrad Leyser, and Hannah Williams, 87–134. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2011.

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    Identifies an itinerant master artist who worked both in England and in Fleury and Saint-Bertin, helping to produce such masterpieces as the Ramsey Psalter, the Harley 2506 Aratea, and the Boulogne Gospels.

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  • Karkov, Catherine E. “Writing and Having Written: Word and Image in the Eadwig Gospels.” In Writing and Texts in Anglo-Saxon England. Edited by Alexander R. Rumble, 44–61. Cambridge, UK: Brewer, 2006.

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    Analysis of the pictorial program of Hannover, Kestner Museum WM XXIa, 36, written by Eadwig c. 1020. Argues that the focus of the imagery on scribal creation suggests that the manuscript, if not illuminated by Eadwig, was certainly conceived as a type of scribal “portrait.”

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  • Pfaff, Richard W. “Eadui Basan: Scriptorium Princeps?” In England in the Eleventh Century: Proceedings of the 1990 Harlaxtan Symposium. Edited by Carola Hicks, 267–283. Stamford, UK: Paul Watkins, 1992.

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    Concerned primarily with a close analysis of the kinds of texts attributed to Eadwig’s hand. Also speculates on the position Eadwig is likely to have held at Christ Church, suggesting that he may have been the equal of Eadwine (the “scriptrium princeps” of the 12th-century Eadwine Psalter) and may have served as a model for him.

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Palaeography

Palaeography is the study of historical scripts and handwriting. Palaeography is used in part as a means of dating and localizing manuscripts through the identification of individual and regional hands and styles, and in part as a way of understanding the development of different types of books and documents. Ker 1990; Lowe 1972; and Da Rold, et al. 2010 are catalogues of different types of manuscripts. Brown 1999 is a guide to historical scripts and the best place to start if you know nothing about Anglo-Saxon scripts. Bischoff 1990 and Brown 1993 provide general historical information on manuscript production and writing in antiquity and the Middle Ages. Rumble 2006 is a collection of essays that examine the art of writing across the disciplines. Brown 2003 contains case studies on how the style of script could be altered by Anglo-Saxon scribes to suit their own ideological or institutional purposes.

  • Bischoff, Bernhard. Latin Palaeography: Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Translated by Dáibhí Ó Cróinín and David Ganz Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

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    Divided into three parts. Part A deals with codicology, or the characteristics of manuscripts and the tools used for writing. Part B covers the history of Latin script, and Part C is concerned with manuscripts and cultural history.

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  • Brown, Julian. A Palaeographer’s View: The Selected Writings of Julian Brown. Edited by Janet Bately, Michelle Brown, and Jane Roberts. London: Harvey Miller, 1993.

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    Julian Brown was one of the most important palaeographers working on Anglo-Saxon and Insular manuscripts. This collection brings together a selection of his published and previously unpublished work on material on manuscripts from the 5th to the 11th centuries. Also includes papers on inscriptions and faked manuscripts.

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  • Brown, Michelle P. A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600. London: British Library, 1999.

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    Surveys the evolution of scripts in chronological sequence. Nicely illustrated with full-page plates that make the discussion easy to follow and terminology easy to understand.

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  • Brown Michelle P. “House Style in the Scriptorium, Scribal Reality and Scholarly Myth.” In Anglo-Saxon Styles. Edited by Catherine E. Karkov and George Hardin Brown, 131–150. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003.

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    A critical examination of the uses and abuses of the concept of “house style,” that is, the idea that a scriptorium has one recognizable style of script. Shows that scribes could later script to suit the requirements of different types of manuscripts and/or circumstances of production.

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  • Da Rold, Orietta, Takako Kato, Mary Swan, and Elaine Treharne, eds. The Production and Use of English Manuscripts 1060–1220. Leicester, UK: University of Leicester, 2010.

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    Searchable e-book that seeks to identify and analyze all manuscripts containing Old English written in England between 1060 and 1220 and to evaluate the status of English relative to Latin and Norman French. Includes a catalogue of manuscripts, bibliography, and information on the cultural contexts of manuscript production.

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  • Ker, Neil Ripley. Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon. Oxford: Clarendon, 1990.

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    Catalogue of all known pre-1200 vernacular manuscripts with descriptive analysis of scripts. Appendix lists manuscripts written in the vernacular by continental scribes. Originally published in 1957.

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  • Lowe, Elias Avery. Codices Latini Antiquiores: A Palaeographical Guide to Latin Manuscripts Prior to the Ninth Century. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972.

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    Catalogue of early Latin manuscripts including Anglo-Saxon and Insular manuscripts produced before the 9th century. Includes summaries of codicological details, provenance, and date, though some of the latter remain controversial.

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  • Rumble, Alexander R., ed. Writing and Texts in Anglo-Saxon England. Cambridge, UK: Brewer, 2006.

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    A collection of nine papers all devoted to various aspects of palaeography, codicology, or the art of writing. Valuable introductory essay on the state of manuscript/scribal studies by Alexander Rumble.

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Conference Proceedings

Conferences generally have a set theme, so that the papers in their published proceedings will generally address that theme across the disciplines, making it easier to situate illuminated manuscripts within their historical and cultural contexts. Hourihane 2011 explores the broader relationship between Ireland and England. Hawkes and Mills 1999 is more narrowly focused on the art of the early Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. Panayotova 2007 is based around manuscripts in Cambridge connections. Crawford, et al. 2009 contains papers dealing with perceptions of form and order across media.

  • Crawford, Sally, Helena Hamerow, and Leslie Webster, eds. Form and Order in the Anglo-Saxon World, AD 6001100. Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 16. Oxford: Oxford University School of Archaeology, 2009.

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    Brings together papers on perceptions of form and order in both Anglo-Saxon literary and material culture. Includes Carol Farr, Nancy Netzer, and Richard Gameson on Insular and Anglo-Saxon gospel books; Susan Youngs on metalwork motifs in Insular manuscripts; and Richard Bailey on concepts of form and order in the work of T. D. Kendrick and its relevance for today.

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  • Hawkes, Jane, and Susan Mills, eds. Northumbria’s Golden Age. Stroud, UK: Alan Sutton, 1999.

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    Papers cover history, archaeology, material culture, and the world of Bede. Papers devoted to manuscripts include Nancy Netzer on the Northumbrian connections of the Book of Durrow, Christopher Verey on Lindisfarne and Rath Melsigi, Carol Farr on the diagram pages of the Codex Amiatinus, and Perette Michelli on the Ezra portrait in Amiatinus. Panayotova 2007 is concerned exclusively with manuscripts in Cambridge University collections.

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  • Hourihane, Colum, ed. Insular and Anglo-Saxon Art and Thought in the Early Medieval Period. University Park: Penn State University Press, 2011.

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    Papers from a conference concerned with the interaction of Insular and Anglo-Saxon art across the early medieval world. Includes papers on gospel books, Southumbrian manuscripts, issues of dating manuscripts, the performance of manuscripts, scripts, the image of St. John, bookbinding, the Arenberg Gospels, and the Old English Hexateuch.

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  • Panayotova, Stella, ed. The Cambridge Illuminations: The Conference Papers. Papers presented at a conference held in Cambridge in December 2005. London: Harvey Miller, 2007.

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    Most of the papers in this volume are devoted to manuscripts of the 12th century or later, but the text also includes papers on the Anglo-Saxon Hrabanus Maurus manuscript now in Trinity College Cambridge, the Pembroke College 302 (“Hereford”) Gospel Lectionary and the Caligula Troper, and late Anglo-Saxon evangelist portraits.

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Proceedings of the International Conference on Insular Art

The International Conference on Insular Art usually takes place every three or four years in Ireland or the United Kingdom. The contents of the volumes include coverage of art in all media produced in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, along with archaeological studies, historiography, and questions of international models and influences. Where to start relies on the interest of individual readers, but to get a sense of the development of the field it is best to start with Ryan 1987 and progress chronologically through Spearman and Higgitt 1993; Bourke 1995; Redknap, et al. 2001; and Moss 2007.

  • Bourke, Cormac, ed. From the Isles of the North: Early Medieval Art in Ireland and Britain: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Insular Art Held in the Ulster Museum, Belfast, 7–11 April 1994. Belfast, UK: HMSO, 1995.

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    Includes papers on the relationship between enamel and early Irish and Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, evangelist symbols, and the mnemonics of early gospel book decoration.

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  • Moss, Rachel, ed. Making and Meaning in Insular Art: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Insular Art Held at Trinity College Dublin, 25–28 August 2005. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts, 2007.

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    Most of the essays focus on sculpture or metalwork, but the volume includes papers on display capitals, the decoration of canon tables, the motif of the blessing hand, and the Durham Gospels Crucifixion page.

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  • Redknap, Mark, Nancy Edwards, Susan Youngs, Alan Lane, and Jeremy Knight, eds. Pattern and Purpose in Insular Art: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Insular Art Held at the National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff, 3–6 September 1998. Oxford: Oxbow, 2001.

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    Includes papers on the Barberini Gospels, style in Insular art, the St. Petersburg Gospels, and the visual characteristics and function of carpet pages.

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  • Ryan, Michael, ed. Ireland and Insular Art, A.D. 500–1200: Proceedings of a Conference at University College Cork, 31 October–3 November 1985. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1987.

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    The proceedings of the first International Insular Art conference. Includes papers on early gospel books and on the motif of the rough-hewn cross in Anglo-Saxon art.

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  • Spearman, R. Michael, and John Higgitt, eds. The Age of Migrating Ideas: Early Medieval Art in Northern Britain and Ireland; Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Insular Art Held in the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh, 3–6 January 1991. Stroud, UK: Sutton, 1993.

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    Includes papers on interlace and icons, Cassiodorus and the Codex Amiatinus and Lindisfarne Gospels, the influence of Northumbrian art and manuscripts on those of the continent, and Ultan the scribe.

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Essay Collections

Like conference proceedings, essay collections offer differing disciplinary and methodological views on a given theme, generally by leading scholars in the field. Few collections are devoted exclusively to the illumination of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, but the volumes listed below are examples of the types of collections in which Anglo-Saxon manuscript illumination plays a central part. Gameson 1994 includes papers on Anglo-Saxon bibles and situates them within the larger context of medieval Bible production. Gameson 1999 is devoted to the Christian origins of Canterbury, in which books were crucial. Karkov and Brown 2003 explores theories and uses of style in Anglo-Saxon England across the disciplines. Keefer, et al. 2010 is concerned with the role the cross played in Anglo-Saxon culture. Minnis and Roberts 2007 is a festschrift—a volume honoring the work of one scholar, in this case the eminent iconographer Éamonn Ó Carragáin. Roberts and Webster 2011 contains papers addressing the origins and influences of Anglo-Saxon culture. Withers and Wilcox 2003 focuses on the meaning of the naked body across Anglo-Saxon culture. Alexander, et al. 1984 is a collection of papers by the important scholar of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts Francis Wormald.

  • Alexander, J. J. G., T. J, Brown, and Joan Gibbs, eds. Francis Wormald: Collected Writings. Vol. 1, Studies in Medieval Art from the Sixth to the Twelfth Centuries. London: Harvey Miller, 1984.

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    Includes eleven papers on the St. Augustine Gospels, the Utrecht Psalter, the “Winchester School,” the Tiberius Psalter, Anglo-Saxon manuscript art in the 10th and 11th centuries, and the influence of Anglo-Saxon style on the art of later periods.

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  • Gameson, Richard, ed. The Early Medieval Bible: Its Production, Decoration, and Use. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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    Eleven papers covering Bible production in Western Europe from the 7th to the 13th centuries. Contributions relevant to the Anglo-Saxon period include Patrick McGurk on the oldest Latin bibles, Richard Gameson on the Royal 1.B.VII Gospels, David Ganz on book production in early England, and Richard Marsden on the Old Testament in late Anglo-Saxon England.

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  • Gameson, Richard, ed. St Augustine and the Conversion of England. Stroud, UK: Sutton, 1999.

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    Contains sixteen papers dealing with the foundation and early history of Canterbury. Important papers for manuscript illumination are Mildred Budny on the Biblia Gregoriana, Richard Marsden on the Gospels of St. Augustine, and Richard Gameson on the earliest Canterbury books.

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  • Karkov, Catherine E., and George Hardin Brown, eds. Anglo-Saxon Styles. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003.

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    This book includes papers on artistic, codicological, and literary style from across the Anglo-Saxon period. Manuscript contributions include Carol Farr on style in late Anglo-Saxon illumination, Michelle Brown on script, and William Schipper on manuscript layout.

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  • Keefer, Sarah Larratt, Karen Louise Jolly, and Catherine E. Karkov, eds. Cross and Cruciform in the Anglo-Saxon World: Studies to Honor the Memory of Timothy Reuter. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2010.

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    The third in a series of volumes on the cross in Anglo-Saxon England by these same editors, this book includes papers on the carpet pages of the Lindisfarne Gospels by Michelle Brown, visual patterns and poetic layout by David Pelteret and Helen Damico, and Ælfwine’s Prayerbook by Catherine Karkov.

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  • Minnis, Alastair J., and Jane A. Roberts, eds. Text, Image, Interpretation: Studies in Anglo-Saxon Literature and Its Insular Context in Honour of Éamonn Ó Carragáin. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2007.

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    Includes papers by Malcolm Parkes on books as evidence for cultural relations between England and the Continent, Michelle Brown on the Barberini Gospels, Catherine Karkov on text and image in the Red Book of Darley, and Anna Maria Luiselli Fadda on the iconography of the Resurrection in England and Ireland.

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  • Roberts, Jane A., and Leslie Webster, eds. Anglo-Saxon Traces. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2011.

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    Contains papers by Julia Crick on script, Carol Farr on pocket gospels in Anglo-Saxon England, and Catherine Karkov on the image of the Crucifixion in Würzburg, Universitätsbibliothek, M.p.th.f.69.

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  • Withers, Benjamin C., and Jonathan Wilcox, eds. Naked Before God: Uncovering the Body in Anglo-Saxon England. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2003.

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    Contains ten papers on the naked body in Anglo-Saxon prose, poetry, law, and art. Includes papers on the Donestre in the Marvels of the East by Susan Kim, the naked and damned by Catherine Karkov, Eve in the Junius 11 Genesis by Mary Dockray-Miller, and nakedness in the same poem by Janet Schrunk Ericson.

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Individual Manuscripts

The following are manuscripts on which a significant body of scholarship has amassed, an indication of their particular importance to an understanding of Anglo-Saxon manuscript illumination and culture, as well as to the Anglo-Saxon contribution to the development of the book. For information on other manuscripts, the Bibliographies and Catalogues sections should be consulted. The entries in this section are arranged in roughly chronological order, although there is still debate about the exact dating of almost all of the manuscripts.

The Codex Amiatinus

The Codex Amiatinus is a pandec, a one-volume copy of the Bible, made at the twin monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow while Ceolfrith was abbot (688–716) and then taken to Rome by the abbot as a gift for the pope. Ceolfrith died en route, and the manuscript ended up at Monte Amiata. At some stage in its early history, its dedication page was altered to make it appear to be an Italian book. So successful was the ploy that it was accepted as Italian until the 19th century. The first quire of the manuscript includes a series of full-page miniatures (including the famous portrait of the Old Testament scribe Ezra) and diagrams that are both iconographically complex and clear statements of Wearmouth-Jarrow’s abiding romanitas. Starting with Bruce-Mitford 1967 followed by O’Reilly 2009 provides an excellent account of the manuscript and its history. Corsano 1987 and Meyvaert 1996 offer alternative interpretations of its sources. Henderson 1993 and Michelli 1999 focus on the Ezra portrait and its relationship to the portrait of the evangelist Matthew Lindisfarne Gospels. Farr 1999 provides a close reading of the diagram pages. (See also Michael 2006, cited under The Lindisfarne Gospels)

  • Bruce-Mitford, Rupert L. S. The Art of the Codex Amiatinus. Jarrow Lecture 1967. Jarrow, UK: Parish of Jarrow, 1967.

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    This publication became the authoritative account of the manuscript’s program of illumination as well as of its script and meaning. It does not really address the complex issues of its textual or iconographic sources, but is the best place to start to get an overall sense of the manuscript.

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  • Chazelle, Celia. “Ceolfrid’s Gift to St Peter: The First Quire of the Codex Amiatinus and the Evidence of Its Roman Destination.” Early Medieval Europe 12.2 (2003): 129–157.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.0963-9462.2004.00124.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that the manuscript was intended from the beginning as a gift for the pope and that this was reflected in the original arrangement of the first quire. Offers a new ordering for the quire based on technical and chemical analysis of the manuscript and its pigments, as well as on the contents of both text and images. Interprets the Ezra portrait as an image meant to remind the pope of his responsibilities.

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  • Corsano, Karen. “The First Quire of the Codex Amiatinus and the Institutiones of Cassiodorus.” Speculum 41 (1987): 3–34.

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    Argues that a copy of the Institutiones was known at Wearmouth-Jarrow and that it was a direct source for Amiatinus. The manuscript’s miniatures, however, were not copies of earlier Italian images but creative pastiches made by the monks of Wearmouth-Jarrow.

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  • Farr, Carol A. “The Shape of Learning at Wearmouth-Jarrow: The Diagram Pages in the Codex Amiatinus.” In Northumbria’s Golden Age. Edited by Jane Hawkes and Susan Mills, 336–344. Stroud, UK: Sutton, 1999.

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    The diagram pages in Amiatinus display the arrangement of the books of the Bible according to Hilary, Jerome, and Augustine. Farr compares them with the frontispiece of a gospel fragment attributed to Wearmouth-Jarrow (now bound with the Carolingian Utrecht Psalter) and folio 114r of Irish Book of Kells. Argues that the Amiatinus diagrams are statements of authority and learning and Wearmouth-Jarrow’s central place within Northumbrian Christianity.

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  • Henderson, George. “Cassiodorus and Eadfrith Once Again.” In The Age of Migrating Ideas: Early Medieval Art in Northern Britain and Ireland: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Insular Art Held in the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh, 3–6 January 1991. Edited by R. Michael Spearman and John Higgitt, 82–91. Stroud, UK: Sutton, 1993.

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    Looks at the miniature of the scribe Ezra and its relationship to the portrait of Matthew in the Lindisfarne Gospels. Also explores the portrait’s connection to manuscripts produced in Cassiodorus’s monastery of Vivarium and the possible influence of opus sectile work from the same monastery.

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  • Meyvaert, Paul. “Bede, Cassiodorus, and the Codex Amiatinus.” Speculum 71.4 (1996): 827–883.

    DOI: 10.2307/2865722Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A close reading of the style and iconography of the miniatures and other forms of decoration in the first quire of the manuscript. Argues that while the manuscript does have relationships with Cassiodorus’s Institutiones, the monks of Wearmouth-Jarrow were working from a copy of the Codex Grandior.

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  • Michelli, Perette. “What’s in the Cupboard? Ezra and Matthew Reconsidered.” In Northumbria’s Golden Age. Edited by Jane Hawkes and Susan Mills, 345–358. Stroud, UK: Sutton, 1999.

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    Argues that the Amiatinus Ezra portrait is an Insular adaptation of a portrait invented by Cassiodorus and that it suggests that a copy of all of his Novum Codices were available at Wearmouth-Jarrow. Also argues that the Lindisfarne Gospels was based on a gospel volume of the Novum Codices.

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  • O’Reilly, Jennifer. “‘All That Peter Stands For’: The Romanitas of the Codex Amiatinus Reconsidered.” In Anglo-SaxonIrish Relations before the Vikings. Edited by James Graham-Campbell and Michael Ryan, 367–395. Proceedings of the British Academy 157. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

    DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264508.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A close reading of the script and art of the manuscript that argues that the manuscript was both a statement of religious authority and a vision of what romanitas meant within the religious culture of early Northumbria. Also offers an excellent survey of earlier work on the manuscript.

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The Lindisfarne Gospels

The early-8th-century Lindisfarne Gospels is one of the greatest early Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. It is not only an artistic masterpiece but was crucial to the development of the gospel book in northern Europe and a key monument in the cult of St. Cuthbert and the history and development of his community. In the 10th century, while the community was settled at Chester-le-Street (Durham), the priest Aldred added an Old English gloss and colophon to the manuscript that also tells us more about its production and history than we know about most Anglo-Saxon works of art. Michelle Brown is the leading expert on the book, so Brown 2003 is a key place to start. Roberts 2006 is best for Aldred’s colophon but is usefully read together with Nees 2003. Brown 2000 and Brown 2010 are both concerned with the regional and international culture in which the Lindisfarne Gospels was produced. Bonner, et al. 1989 is excellent for an overview of the history and development of Lindisfarne and the Cuthbert community. Michael 2006 focuses on the Lindisfarne Matthew portrait and the Codes Amiatinus portrait of the scribe Ezra. (See also The Lindisfarne Gospels, cited under Facsimiles.)

  • Bonner, Gerald, David Rollason, and Clare Stancliffe, eds. St Cuthbert, His Cult and His Community to AD 1200. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 1989.

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    While not devoted exclusively, or even primarily, to the Lindisfarne Gospels, the thirty-one papers in this volume offer an excellent and very readable introduction to the background of the Gospels, the history and concerns of the Lindisfarne community, and Insular book production in the 7th and 8th centuries.

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  • Brown, Michelle P. “In the Beginning Was the Word”: Books and Faith in the Age of Bede. Jarrow Lecture 2000. Jarrow, UK: St. Paul’s Church, 2000.

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    Explores the book as a cult object in the early Anglo-Saxon period, with particular emphasis on the Lindisfarne Gospels and the cult of St. Cuthbert. Argues that the manuscripts produced at Lindisfarne and Wearmouth-Jarrow were highly influential on medieval perceptions of the book. Links the Gospels directly with ideas expressed in the writings of Bede.

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  • Brown, Michelle P. The Lindisfarne Gospels: Society, Spirituality and the Scribe. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.

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    Both a stand-alone study and the commentary volume to the 2002 facsimile of the manuscript, the chapters of this book cover the origins, provenance, script, codicology, and art of the Lindisfarne Gospels. It is exemplary for setting the book not only within the historical and theological context of 8th-century Northumbria where it was produced but also within the larger international world of the early church and its intellectual and trading networks.

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  • Brown, Michelle P. The Lindisfarne Gospels in the Early Medieval World. London: British Library, 2010.

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    Introduction to the Lindisfarne Gospels and the world in which it was produced aimed at the general reader. Offers some new insights into connections (or possible connections) between early Anglo-Saxon England and the Near East. Beautifully illustrated.

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  • Michael, M. A. “The Birth of Non-authorship: Interpreting the Lindisfarne Gospels St Matthew and the Codex Amiatinus Ezra.” In Pen in Hand: Medieval Scribal Portraits, Colophons and Tools. Edited by Michael Gullick, 174–185. Walkern, UK: Red Gull, 2006.

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    Surveys the art historical scholarship comparing the Lindisfarne and Amiatinus images and argues that early medieval culture may have had a concept of the “nonartist” long before Roland Barthes’s postmodern notion of the death of the artist.

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  • Nees, Lawrence. “Reading Aldred’s Colophon for the Lindisfarne Gospels.” Speculum 78.2 (2003): 333–377.

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    Critiques the accepted origins of the manuscript, suggesting that it may have been produced in the mid-8th century, possibly at Melrose rather than Lindisfarne.

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  • Roberts, Jane. “Aldred Signs Off from Glossing the Lindisfarne Gospels.” In Writing and Texts in Anglo-Saxon England. Edited by Alexander R. Rumble, 28–43. Cambridge, UK: Brewer, 2006.

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    This is the most authoritative publication on Aldred’s 10th-century gloss to the manuscript. Roberts gives an accurate transcription and translation and provides evidence that lines from the colophon that name the book’s original makers preserve earlier verses, perhaps once inscribed on the book’s cover.

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The Benedictional of Æthelwold

A benedictional contains the blessings read by a bishop before communion on different days of the liturgical year. The Benedictional of Æthelwold, produced for Æthelwold, bishop of Winchester c. 970, is one of the most lavish and most important late Anglo-Saxon manuscripts to survive. It is a key monument of the monastic reform, of which Æthelwold was an important leader. The manuscript is decorated with an extensive series of full-page miniatures and decorated initials, painted in a color wash technique and contained within golden frames filled with acanthus ornament. The style has become known as the “Winchester Style,” but the name is misleading as it was certainly not limited to manuscripts created in or around Winchester. Deshman 1995 is the place to start. Karkov 2003 focuses on the miniatures of Saints Swithun and Æthelthryth. O’Reilly 2007 explores the relationship between text and picture in the manuscript in the context of other reform era books. (See also Prescott 1988, cited under Patrons and Readers, and Prescott 2002, cited under Facsimiles.)

  • Deshman, Robert. The Benedictional of Æthelwold. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.

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    First book-length study of the art, text, and function of this important manuscript of reform period Winchester. Offers a thorough iconographic and stylistic analysis of each of the full-page miniatures and synthesizes the material to give the reader a sense of what the book as a whole meant both as a personal possession and as vehicle for reform ideology.

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  • Karkov, Catherine E. “The Body of St Æthelthryth: Desire, Conversion and Reform in Anglo-Saxon England.” In The Cross Goes North: Processes of Conversion in Northern Europe, AD 300–1300. Edited by Martin O. H. Carver, 397–411. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2003.

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    A close reading of the manuscript’s miniature of St. Æthelthryth and its accompanying benediction in the context of Æthelwold’s manipulation of the saint’s cult. Compares the miniature to that of St. Swithun in the same manuscript.

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  • O’Reilly, Jennifer. “Text und Bild in der angelsächsischen benediktinischen Reform.” In Benediktinische Kunst: Kultur und Geschichte eines europäischen Erbes. Edited by Roberto Cassanelli and Eduardo López-Tello García, 95–110. Regensburg, Germany: Schnell and Steiner, 2007.

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    Excellent consideration of the close relationship between text and image in a set of key manuscripts illuminated during the reform era. In addition to the Benedictional, this paper deals with the Eadwig Psalter (British Library, Arundel 155), the Harley Psalter (British Library, Harley 603), and the New Minster Charter (British Library, Cotton Vespasian A.VIII).

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The Junius 11 Poetic Manuscript

The late-10th- or early-11th-century Junius 11 manuscript is the only one of the surviving manuscripts of Old English poetry to be illuminated with anything more than decorated initials. The manuscript contains the four poems: “Genesis,” “Exodus,” “Daniel,” and “Christ and Satan.” It is illuminated with a series of expressive line drawings that serve, in part, as a sort of visual gloss on the text. The drawings were completed only as far as page 88, but spaces left for drawings throughout the rest of the manuscript show that at least the three Old Testament poems were to have been illuminated. The manuscript is also incorrectly known as the Caedmon (or Caedmonian) manuscript because early scholars believed it to be the work of the poet Caedmon. Raw 1976 and Henderson 1985 give a sense of older art historical views on the manuscript. Broderick 1983 and Ohlgren 1972 should be read next for a sense of the manuscript’s originality. Finnegan 1998 is a report on a previously unnoticed drawing. Karkov 2001 treats the book as a whole and thus provides the fullest analysis of the manuscript but should be read last as it takes issue with earlier readings. Liuzza 2002 is excellent for the poetic contents but does not deal with the drawings. Anlezark 2011 includes a translation of the three Old Testament poems. (See also Gollancz 1927 and Muir 2004, cited under Facsimiles.)

  • Anlezark, Daniel. Old Testament Narratives. Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 7. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011.

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    Includes text and translations of “Genesis,” “Exodus,” and “Daniel” (along with the poem “Azarias”). Essential resource for those who cannot read the Old English originals.

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  • Broderick, Herbert R. “Observations on the Method of Illustration in MS Junius 11 and the Relationship of the Drawings to the Text.” Scriptorium 37 (1983): 161–177.

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    One of the first authors to attribute a high degree of originality to the manuscript’s two artists. Sees three primary sources for the images: an Early Christian Genesis manuscript, the c. 800 Utrecht Psalter, and contemporary Anglo-Saxon manuscript illumination.

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  • Finnegan, Robert E. “The Man in ‘Nowhere’: A Previously Undiscovered Drawing in Bodleian MS Junius 11.” English Studies 79.1 (1998): 23–32.

    DOI: 10.1080/00138389808599111Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes and analyzes a newly discovered image of a male figure looking in on the circles of Creation on page 7 of the manuscript. Suggests that the image is the creation of the second artist and a sort of self-portrait through which the second artist observes the first artist’s work.

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  • Henderson, George. “The Programme of Illustrations in Bodleian MS Junius XI.” In Studies in English Bible Illustration. Vol. 1. By George Henderson, 138–183. London: Pindar, 1985.

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    As the title suggests, this article is concerned with the manuscript’s program of illustrations as a whole. Attributes problems in the coherence of the program to the artists’ copying an incomplete exemplar. Provides a list of suggested subjects for the illustrations that were never completed.

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  • Karkov, Catherine E. Text and Picture in Anglo-Saxon England: Narrative Strategies in the Junius 11 Manuscript. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

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    This is a study of the complex interrelationship between the texts and drawings in the manuscript. Also looks at issues of audience reception. The quality of the plates is disappointing, but all the images are available in high resolution.

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  • Liuzza, Roy M., ed. The Poems of MS Junius 11: Basic Readings. New York: Routledge, 2002.

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    Contains fourteen papers, some new but most reprints of seminal essays on the manuscript’s poetry and its sources. The publishers did not allow the inclusion of illustrations, so the manuscript’s drawings are not addressed directly; nevertheless, as text and image work closely together in this manuscript, an understanding of the poems is essential.

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  • Ohlgren, Thomas H. “The Illustrations of the Caedmonian Genesis: Literary Criticism through Art.” Medievalia et Humanistica 3 (1972): 199–212.

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    Like Broderick, Ohlgren analyzes the drawings as original creations that are tied closely to the text of the poem they accompany. One of the first Anglo-Saxonists to argue for the necessity of understanding the book as an integrated whole.

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  • Raw, Barbara. “The Probable Derivation of Most of the Illustrations in Junius 11 from an Illustrated Old Saxon ‘Genesis.’” Anglo-Saxon England 5 (1976): 133–148.

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    Focuses on the sources for the drawings and the reasons for the apparent dislocation of some of them from the text. Argues that the artists of Junius 11 copied most of their drawings from an Old Saxon exemplar.

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The Old English Hexateuch

The Old English Hexateuch contains the earliest vernacular translation of the first five books of the Bible into English. Part of the text of this manuscript was composed by the monk Ælfric, making it a particularly important manuscript for literary scholars. It is also one of the most heavily illuminated of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, with many of its drawings left unfinished, allowing study of the processes through which Anglo-Saxon artists completed their miniatures. Like the Junius 11 manuscript, it is not a luxury book, and it thus raises questions about patronage, literacy, and audience in late Anglo-Saxon England. Withers 2007 provides the most complete discussion of the manuscript, while Barnhouse and Withers 2000 is an interdisciplinary look at the manuscript and its larger cultural context. (See also Dodwell and Clemoes 1974, cited under Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile Volumes.)

  • Barnhouse, Rebecca, and Benjamin C. Withers, eds. The Old English Hexateuch: Aspects and Approaches. Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2000.

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    Includes Melinda Menzer on the preface, Richard Marsden on the Old Testament text, Rebecca Barnhouse on text and audience, Sarah Larratt Keefer on the liturgical canticles, Mary Richards on prose fragments of Genesis, David Johnson on the program of illumination, Catherine Karkov on image and audience, Jonathan Wilcox on laughter, Timothy Graham on the manuscript’s early modern users, and Benjamin Withers on colonialism and the manuscript.

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  • Withers, Benjamin C. The Illustrated Old English Hexateuch, Cotton Claudius B.IV: The Frontier of Seeing and Reading in Anglo-Saxon England. London: British Library, 2007.

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    Chapters cover the design and construction, style, iconography, authorship, and reception of the manuscript. Withers’s focus is on the relationship between text and image in the manuscript and on the manuscript’s place within the development of a literate vernacular culture in the 11th century. The bibliography of Withers’s book is an excellent guide to earlier publications on the manuscript.

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The Harley 603 Psalter

Sometime around the year 1000, the Utrecht Psalter, produced in Reims c. 800, was brought to Canterbury. Harley 603 was the first of three Utrecht-derived manuscripts to be made in England. Like Utrecht, Harley is a “literal” psalter, meaning that the images accompanying the psalms translate them almost line for line into a visual image. Unlike Utrecht, in which all the drawings are monochrome, Harley 603 is decorated with brightly colored outline drawings in a uniquely Anglo-Saxon interpretation of the earlier Carolingian Reims style. Not a slavish copy, the individual drawings show a great deal of originality. Noel 1995 is the most comprehensive study of the manuscript and excellent for giving a sense of its artistic originality. Van der Horst, et al. 1996 is best for an understanding of the manuscript’s relation to the Utrecht Psalter and other manuscripts derived from or influenced by it. Gameson 1990 and Gameson 1993 focus on the hands of the different artists. Heslop 2008 includes a reconsideration of the reasons for the manuscript’s production.

  • Gameson, Richard. “The Anglo-Saxon Artists of the Harley 603 Psalter.” Journal of the British Archaeological Association 143.1 (1990): 29–48.

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    Gameson offers a detailed analysis of the different styles employed by the Anglo-Saxon artists whose hands are identifiable in the manuscript. Also critiques the means by which the individual hands can be identified and the evidence for their having worked on other Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.

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  • Gameson, Richard. “The Romanesque Artist of the Harley 603 Psalter.” English Manuscript Studies 1100–1700 4 (1993): 24–61.

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    Not strictly speaking Anglo-Saxon, this article is concerned with the 12th-century additions to the manuscript and their relationship to the Utrecht Psalter.

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  • Heslop, T. A. “The Implication of the Utrecht Psalter in English Romanesque Art.” In Romanesque Art and Thought in the Twelfth Century: Essays in Honor of Walter Cahn. Edited by Colum Hourihane, 267–289. Princeton, NJ: Index of Christian Art, 2008.

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    Includes discussion of the influence of Harley 603 on the style and iconography of English manuscript production in the 12th and 13th centuries. Suggests that Harley was specially commissioned by Archbishop Æthelnoth for presentation to the pope.

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  • Noel, William. The Harley Psalter. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

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    Focuses on the making of the Psalter rather than on art historical analysis, though valuable information on the latter is included. Important for demonstrating how this manuscript, often dismissed as simply an 11th-century copy of the 8th-century Utrecht Psalter, is in fact highly original. Also discusses the place of the Psalter in the “Utrecht Psalter tradition” that was to continue into the 13th century.

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  • Van der Horst, Koert, William Noel, and Wilhelmina C. M. Wüstefeld, eds. The Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David. London: Harvey Miller, 1996.

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    Five chapters by well-known experts focus on the importance of various aspects of Utrecht’s style, codicology iconography, and influence. The essays are followed by a catalogue, which consists of manuscripts that all, in one way or another, reflect the importance of the Psalter to the history of manuscript illumination in western Europe, Harley 603 being one of the most important of these.

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The Tiberius Psalter

British Library, Cotton Tiberius C.VI was produced at Winchester c. 1060. It is the earliest surviving typological psalter to contain a prefatory cycle of Old and New Testament miniatures in which Davidic and Christological imagery is placed in a typological relationship. It is lavishly illustrated with decorated initials, line drawings, and fully painted miniatures showing a range of artistic sources and influences from pre-iconoclastic Byzantine art, to earlier Irish and Carolingian art, to what had by this date become Winchester stylistic and iconographic traditions. The late Kathleen Openshaw provided the most detailed study of the manuscript’s contents, style, and iconography to date. Openshaw 1989 and Openshaw 1993 are complementary studies of important aspects of the manuscript’s iconography and function and are best read together. Openshaw 1992 places the Psalter in the context of the earlier Irish tradition of psalter illustration. Heimann 1966 explores some of the manuscript’s iconographic parallels with other late Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. Wormald 1984 has been supplanted by the later studies but is still useful for its description of the manuscript and its images.

  • Heimann, Adelheid. “Three Illustrations from the Bury St Edmunds Psalter and Their Prototypes: Notes on the Iconography of Some Anglo-Saxon Drawings.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 29 (1966): 39–59.

    DOI: 10.2307/750708Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The Tiberius Psalter shares some of its imagery with a number of other late Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, including the Bury Psalter. Heimann discusses the iconographic relationship between the groups, with substantial attention paid to Tiberius’s images of Vita and Mors (6v) and the Creator within the circle of Creation (fol. 46r).

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  • Openshaw, Kathleen M. “The Battle between Christ and Satan in the Tiberius Psalter.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 52 (1989): 14–33.

    DOI: 10.2307/751536Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Discusses the coherence and organization of the manuscript’s program of illumination. Identifies the triumph of Christ over Satan as a central theme intended to provide encouragement to the reader in the daily battle against evil. Includes a good summary of the manuscript’s sources and earlier scholarship.

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  • Openshaw, Kathleen M. “The Symbolic Illustration of the Psalter: An Insular Tradition.” Arte Medievale, 2d ser., 6 (1992): 41–60.

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    In-depth analysis of the symbolic (or typological) tradition of psalter illustration, of which the Tiberius Psalter is a part. Contextualizes the tradition within the larger spiritual concerns of the church in early medieval England and Ireland and the meaning and use of psalters.

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  • Openshaw, Kathleen M. “Weapons in the Daily Battle: Images of the Conquest of Evil in the Early Medieval Psalter.” Art Bulletin 75.1 (1993): 17–38.

    DOI: 10.2307/3045930Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Builds on the argument put forward in Openshaw 1989, exploring how the theme of the battle between Christ and Satan, so prominent in the Tiberius Psalter, is varied in different ways over an extensive period of time. The main point, again, is that the imagery provided models that readers could transfer to their own daily struggle.

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  • Wormald, Francis. “An English Eleventh Century Psalter with Pictures: British Library Cotton Tiberius C.VI.” In Francis Wormald: Collected Writings. Vol. 1, Studies in Medieval Art from the Sixth to the Twelfth Centuries. Edited by J. J. G. Alexander, T. J. Brown, and Joan Gibbs, 36–46. London: Harvey Miller, 1984.

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    Describes and catalogues the Psalter’s imagery and suggests that it might show the influence of a 10th-century model (originally published in Walpole Society 38 [1960–1962]: 1–13).

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The Caligula Troper

A troper is a musical manuscript containing tropes, verses, or phrases added to plainchant. London, British Library, Cotton Caligula A.XIV is one of only three tropers to survive from Anglo-Saxon England. It is thought to have been produced in the third quarter of the 11th century, but exactly where is a matter of debate—Canterbury, Hereford, and Worcester have all been suggested, with recent scholarship leaning heavily toward Worcester, as attested in the entries below. It is the work of a one scribe and one artist and is renowned for its expressive and dramatic style as well as for its integration of text and image. Teviotdale 1992a and Teviotdale 1992b localize the manuscript and outline the process of its production. Teviotdale 1995 and Heslop 2007 both detail the argument for a Worcester origin but disagree over its relationship to the stylistically similar Cambridge, Pembroke College MS 302. Teviotdale 1998 focuses on the manuscript’s later life at Worcester.

  • Heslop, T. A. “Manuscript Illumination at Worcester c. 1055–1065: The Origins of the Pembroke Lectionary and the Caligula Troper.” Paper presented at a conference held in Cambridge in December 2005. In The Cambridge Illuminations: The Conference Papers. Edited by Stella Panayotova, 65–75. London: Harvey Miller, 2007.

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    Argues that the two manuscripts are the work of the same artist and that they were produced at Worcester rather than Hereford. Explains the differences in style evident in some of the miniatures as the result of the passage of time and/or the demands of different patrons.

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  • Teviotdale, Elizabeth C. “Some Thoughts on the Place of Origin of the Cotton Troper.” In Cantus Planus: International Musicological Society Study Group; Papers Read at the Fourth Meeting, Pécs, Hungary, 3–8 September 1990. Edited by Lászlo Dobszay, Agnes Papp, and Ferenc Sebö, 407–412. Budapest: Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Musicology, 1992a.

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    Locates the troper at Worcester Cathedral at the end of the 12th century where it was bound together with a Worcester troper-proser. Suggests that the manuscript may have been made for Wulfstan of Worcester.

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  • Teviotdale, Elizabeth C. “The Making of the Cotton Troper.” In England in the Eleventh Century: Proceedings of the 1990 Harlaxton Symposium. Edited by Carola Hicks, 301–316. Stamford, UK: Paul Watkins, 1992b.

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    Presents arguments for identifying separate phases of scribal and artistic activity and changes in plan in the production of the manuscript. Suggests that the manuscript was not originally intended to be illuminated and provides a detailed analysis of key aspects of its iconography. Includes a useful list of the manuscript’s contents.

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  • Teviotdale, Elizabeth C. “The ‘Hereford Troper’ and Hereford.” Paper presented at a conference held in Hereford in June 1990. In Medieval Art, Archaeology and Architecture at Hereford. Edited by David Whitehead, 75–81. British Archaeological Association Transactions 15. London: British Archaeological Association, 1995.

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    Summarizes the various opinions on the manuscript’s place of production and argues that the Troper was produced at Worcester rather than Hereford (with which it has long been associated) and that it should be distinguished artistically from the Pembroke Lectionary with which it is so often linked in the scholarship.

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  • Teviotdale, Elizabeth C. “An Episode in the Afterlife of the Caligula Troper.” In Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts and Their Heritage. Edited by Phillip Pulsiano and Elaine M. Treharne, 219–226. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 1998.

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    Provides a brief description of the manuscript, but the main focus is on the annotations added to the manuscript, probably in the 13th century, and their intended use.

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LAST MODIFIED: 06/26/2012

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195396584-0113

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