Lindisfarne Gospels

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Lindisfarne Gospels

  1. 1. Lindisfarne Gospels Travis Lee Briles<><
  2. 2. What Is It? <ul><li>Gospel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Good News </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forming the foundations of the Christian faith, tells the story of Jesus’ life, particularly his death. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lindisfarne Gospels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Synoptics (Including) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Matthew </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mark </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Luke </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Latin text (original) is from Jerome’s Vulgate. (Eadfrith) </li></ul><ul><li>The English text was probably copied down from another unknown source by Aldred. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What Is It? (Cont.) <ul><li>The Lindisfarne Gospels were made in Lindisfarne Priory. Lindisfarne was a Holy Island with a shrine to St. Cuthbert who passed in A.D. 687. Lindisfarne was a largely religious community and home to a monastery. The gospels were written in honor of God and Saint Cuthbert. Saint Cuthbert lived a life of solitude on the island of Farne for several years. He then became a bishop. When he died his body was taken to Lindisfarne and placed there in a shrine as an honor of sainthood. Saint Cuthbert’s life story was written shortly after his death. There, many of his miracles are recorded within both accounts of his life. The miracle of the uncooked goose is one of his more renowned miracles upon where he trapped some monks on Lindisfarne with a storm because they disobeyed his instructions to prepare and partake of a goose that was hanging in his guest’s house. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What Was It For? <ul><li>The collection of the Lindisfarne Gospels was made as a tribute to God as well as to Saint Cuthbert. The Lindisfarne Gospels was not supposed to be used. It was a book that was made with the intention of looking pretty, a job well accomplished. It was a book that represented diversity and unity at the same time. One theory for this is that the book itself was a symbol. It wasn’t made for communal readings, because most of the community wasn’t educated enough to be able to read. Thus the document was a symbol of the written form of what people believe not only in word, but also in images as the book contains 15 full page pictures. This made it more of the representation of the oral tradition that the standard citizen would have known. This turns the Lindisfarne Gospels into a symbol of what people believe instead of the book from which they read their beliefs. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What Was It For? (Cont.) <ul><li>Though this is what the document was used for, that was not the full extent of Bishop Eadfrith’s original purpose. He did not intend for the document to be used by students in a library. However he did intend for it to be read from in the church for ceremonial purposes on special occasions and so forth. Thus it is possible that the book was used for public reading by a bishop or a priest within the monastery, but it wasn’t for use by the commoners. Because of this the book’s usual place of rest would have been on the alter in the monastery. This is part of the reason for the ornamental decorations on the book. It needed to be significant to truly show the worth of the Word of God. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Who Created It? <ul><li>On the last page of the Lindisfarne Gospels Priest Aldred left an account of the workers of the gospels. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Eadfrith, Bishop of the Lindisfarne Church, originally wrote this book, for God and for Saint Cuthbert and - jointly - for all the saints whose relics are in the Island. And Ethelwald, Bishop of the Lindisfarne Islanders, impressed it on the outside and covered it - as he well knew how to do. And Billfrith, the anchorite, forged the ornaments which are on it on the outside and adorned it with gold and with gems and also with gilded-over silver - pure metal. And Aldred, unworthy and most miserable priest, glossed it in English between the lines with the help of God and Saint Cuthbert….” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Who Created It? (Cont.) <ul><li>Bishop Eadfrith </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Took office in A.D. 698. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wrote the original text of the Lindisfarne Gospels. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bishop Ethelwald </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Took office in A.D. 721. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He is credited with binding the document together. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Billfrith the Anchorite </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lived as a Hermit and a Priest. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ornamented or decorated the document’s outer casing. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aldred </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lived as a Priest in the Mid 10th Century. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Added the Anglo-Saxon translation to the already existing Latin text. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What Was It Made Of? <ul><li>Ink </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dark Brown - Almost Black </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From Carbon or soot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Colors came from different sources (Decorations) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blues - Blue Lapis Lazuli </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pinks and Purples - Folium from fruits and flowers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kermes (red) - Derived from insects living on evergreens near the Mediterranean </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yellows and Whites - Arsenic Sulphide in orpiment </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What Was It Made Of? (Cont.) <ul><li>Pages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Made from Vellum, probably from a calfskin. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One piece of vellum could make eight leaves of paper. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are 258 leaves to the Lindisfarne Gospels. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That is 129 large pieces of vellum. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Binding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gold </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jewelry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possible Writing Utensils </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quill Pen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reed </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Elements of Style <ul><li>The fact that the Lindisfarne Gospels were originally written and created by Bishop Eadfrith shows that he spent a very significant amount of time on it. As most monks of his time, he spent time copying down literature because he had the ability to read and write. Because of this, a lot of his own personal character can be found within the text of the gospels. </li></ul><ul><li>One example of this is the form of writing he used. It is called an insular majuscule. This style was developed in Ireland where it spread to Northumbria, the location of Lindisfarne. In the creation of this document, Bishop Eadfrith used many different rules of compasses to maintain the consistency of the document’s script from page to page. The text is remarkably consistent throughout the work as a whole. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Transportation? <ul><li>By A.D. 875 there were several attacks by Vikings taking place amongst monasteries. Lindisfarne was one of them in A.D. 793. When those who had fled returned from the attacks, Bishop Eardulf took it upon himself to save the priceless artifacts of Lindisfarne. He gathered the community, upon which he appointed seven to look after the articles and took with him the valuables of the monastery in search of a safe place. These valuables included the remains of Saint Cuthbert, Bishop Eadfrith, and Bishop Ethelwald, as well as the Lindisfarne Gospels. While at sea a storm arose and knocked the book out of the ship and into the sea. This was caused by the late Saint Cuthbert as he was displeased with Eardulf’s plan. The mission was abandoned immediately. Later Hundred, one of the seven, had a dream in which Saint Cuthbert appeared to him disclosing the location of the manuscript. It was found in the sand where it had been washed up on a beach at low tide. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Where Is It Now? <ul><li>The Lindisfarne Gospels now resides in the British Library. After the attempted voyage to a new home in A.D. 875, the monks of Lindisfarne found refuge with the four gospels at the Minster of Chester-le-Street. In A.D. 995 they moved to Durham and it is believed that they took the gospels with them. The Lindisfarne Gospels could have stayed in Durham all the way up to the 1590’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Another possibility is that it was taken in A.D. 1539 by Henry VIII with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Nevertheless it wound up in the hands of Robert Bowyer in 1605. He was the Keeper of the Records of the Tower of London and Clerk of the Parliaments. In A.D. 1613 it was a part of Sir Robert Cotton’s collection. Luckily Cotton’s entire collection including the Lindisfarne Gospels was donated to what is now the British Library in A.D. 1753. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Are There Others? <ul><li>The Gospels of Saint Chad are some of the closest related works to that of the Lindisfarne Gospels. It is believed that whoever wrote the Gospels of Saint Chad had the opportunity to study and draw from the Lindisfarne Gospels. This is particularly noticeable on the cross-carpet pages, full page drawings of a cross. There are also great similarities in the use of animals between the two. One of the big differences between them though is seen in the geometrical pattern of the pages. The author of the Gospels of Saint Chad used many more straight lines and sharp corners even in his text as compared to the round, fluidness of Eadfrith’s Lindisfarne Gospels. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Are There Other’s (Cont.) <ul><li>Another book that runs in close correlation with the design of the Lindisfarne Gospels is the Tara Brooch. This document is more closely related to the gospels in the ornamentation of it. The back of this document parallels many drawings of Eadfrith’s with its use of curved lines, animals (especially birds), and the layout of its borders. There is no date for this document. It was found near the ancient city of Tara. One of the major differences is that the Tara Brooch is only about 3 inches or 76.2 millimeters in diameter. The Lindisfarne Gospels pages are approximately 13.39 inches by 11.02 inches or 340 millimeters by 280 millimeters. </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Picture of Matthew <ul><li>The symbol of Matthew - the angel blowing the trumpet derived from Revelations 4:7. </li></ul><ul><li>The halo around the head of Matthew denoting that he is a saint. </li></ul><ul><li>He is writing in a book symbolic of the writing of his gospel. </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Picture of Mark <ul><li>The winged lion is used to symbolize Mark because Mark stresses the majesty and kingship of Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>The halo around his head symbolizing his sainthood. </li></ul><ul><li>His writing of the gospel is depicted in this image as well. </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Picture of Luke <ul><li>The symbol of Luke with the winged ox is derived from John’s writings in Revelations 4:7. </li></ul><ul><li>The halo around his head is symbolizing his sainthood or holiness. </li></ul><ul><li>His writing of the gospel is depicted here as well with the manuscript in his hands. </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Picture of John <ul><li>John’s symbol is the eagle because his writings show the most emphasis on Jesus as a divine figure and as a mystical person. This is derived from John’s writings in Revelation 4:7. </li></ul><ul><li>The halo around his head denotes sainthood. </li></ul><ul><li>The manuscript he’s holding is representative of his gospel. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Works Consulted <ul><li>Backhouse,Janet. The Lindisfarne Gospels. New York: Phaidon Press Inc., 1981. </li></ul><ul><li>Brown, Michelle P. &quot;The Lindisfarne Gospels.&quot; http://www.fathom. com/course/33702501/sessions.html (accessed 9/27/08). </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The Lindisfarne Gospels.&quot; 2/12/06.http://catholic-resources.org/Art /4Gosp-Lindisfarne.htm (accessed 9/27/08). </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The Lindisfarne Gospels.&quot; http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/themes/ euromanuscripts/lindisfarne.html (accessed 9/26/08). </li></ul>

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