An important Anglo-Saxon manuscript acquired for the nation – Medieval manuscripts blog

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A 10th-century Anglo-Saxon manuscript has been added to the collection of the British Library. Comprising a single leaf of a benedictional, the manuscript in question has been acquired from the estate of Stephen Keynes. It will now be available for consultation by researchers in the BL’s Manuscripts Reading Room (Add MS 89378), and it can be examined online on BL’s Digitised Manuscripts site.

Sorgente: An important Anglo-Saxon manuscript acquired for the nation – Medieval manuscripts blog

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The Hidden Gospels of Abba Garima, Treasures of the Ethiopian Highlands

garima-gospels[via Classics at Oxford] The Gospels of Abba Garima  have remained hidden for centuries in the Ethiopian highlands in the Abba Garima Monastery – which no woman may enter. According to tradition, God miraculously stopped the sun in the sky to allow Saint Abba Garima to complete them in a single day. Translated from Greek into Ethiopic, their production has remained an enigma. They are the earliest testament of the lost art of the Christian Aksumite kingdom of Ethiopia, which flourished around AD 350–650. Their vivid, finely painted illuminations are at once familiar but also entirely exotic, combining Ethiopian features with those seen elsewhere in Christendom. For the first time, a photo-exhibition in Oxford presents to the public all of the illuminated pages of these remarkable books, which are amongst the earliest and most important of the rare illustrated gospels books to have survived from Antiquity.

The three Garima Gospels, as the earliest surviving Ethiopian gospel books, are the earliest record of the translations of the Greek text of the four gospels into Ge‘ez, the language of the Ethiopian Church. They include the oldest extant set of portraits of the evangelists as frontispieces to their respective gospels, which became the norm in later illuminated gospel books. Like most gospel manuscripts, the Garima Gospels have ornately decorated “canon tables” which function as concordances of the different versions of the same material in the gospels. They also contain a unique image of the Jerusalem Temple, while an Alexandrian circular pavilion provides a missing link between pagan Hellenistic and Roman versions of the motif and later Christian ones. The Garima Gospels provide glimpses of lost late antique luxury gospel books and art in Ethiopia, as well as in the Christian East. Their artwork is closely related to Syriac, Armenian, Greek, and Georgian gospel books and to the art of late antique (“Coptic”) Egypt, Nubia, and Himyar (Yemen). The Garima texts and decoration demonstrate how a distinctive Christian culture developed in Aksumite Ethiopia, while also belonging to the mainstream late antique Mediterranean world.

The exhibition – extended to April 12 –  accompanies the publication of The Garima Gospels: Early Illuminated Gospel Books from Ethiopia, by Judith McKenzie, Francis Watson, Michael Gervers, et al., which places the Garima Gospels firmly within the historical and artistic contexts of the late antique Mediterranean world.

Organised by Judith McKenzie, Miranda Williams, and Foteini Spingou, with Michael Gervers’ photographs.

Sponsored by the Classics Faculty, the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, and the ERC Advanced Project, Monumental Art of the Christian and Early Islamic East, directed by Judith McKenzie.

Info: foteini.spingou@classics.ox.ac.uk ; miranda.williams@classics.ox.ac.uk
Contact phone: (01865) 2-88391.

Where: Outreach Room, Ground Floor, Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66, St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3LU. Admission free.

When: Monday 16 January 2017 – Wednesday 12 April 2017
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm; but check availability before coming, due to teaching, phone: 01865 288391.

NEWS/ 100 Pre-1200 Manuscripts From The British Library & BNF Are Now Online

The first 100 manuscripts  in the “Polonsky Foundation England and France Project” are now available for online viewing.  A full list of the digitised manuscripts with links to the viewer can be found on the British Library’s Manuscripts blog here:  100 MSS Online.

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Canon table with Evangelist surrounded by dragons and overgrown vines. The Préaux Gospels, Add MS 11850 f. 10v (photo: British Library)

The project is a joint effort between the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France to make available over 800 manuscripts decorated before the year 1200. These manuscripts cover a wide variety of topics and images from the Project’s focus of AD 700–1200 (you can read more about the Project or listen to the French interview of Matthieu Bonicel, Head of Innovation at the BnF). Some of the highlights include lavishly illuminated Gospels, like the Préaux Gospels from early 12th-century Normandy, with its amazing miniatures of the Evangelists and luxurious canon tables.

Full news: click here.

Via

“Discoveries that changed the world”: an exhibition at Cambridge University Library

@theUL  #Discoveries that changed the world”: an #exhibition @cambridgeuniversitylibrary

CAMBRIDGE (UK) – (via Cambridge University Library) The wills of William Loring and William Hunden, both dated March 1416, bequeathed books to the library of the University of Cambridge. Their gifts are the earliest surviving references to a library specifically associated with the University. Six hundred years on it has grown from a small collection of manuscripts kept in chests into one of the world’s greatest university libraries. Today, the Library  holds over eight million items, ranging from ancient clay tablets, illuminated medieval manuscripts and early printed books to electronic journals, e-books and digital archives. The physical library now fills more than 128 miles of shelving and unseen terabytes of digital content support a global community of scholarship. This long fascinating history is the main feature of Discoveries that changed the world. Lines of thought, the oustanding exhibition open at the Cambridge University Library until Sept. 30th, 2016. 

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Parchment manuscript. MS Ii.6.32, ff. 29v (c) Cambridge University Library

Across six themes, this exhibition highlights key moments in the evolution of human thought. They show how the collections in Cambridge represent and underpin some of the most significant developments in human history.  Selected items from the exhibition have been digitised in full and added to the Lines of Thought collection in Cambridge Digital Library. Highlighted items from the exhibition are also available in an iPad app, Words that Changed the World, accompanied by discussions by Cambridge University experts; it can be downloaded free from the App Store. An introductory film gives an overview of the themes of the exhibition.

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Matthew Parker (1504–1575) De antiquitate Britannicae ecclesiae London: John Day, 1572 (c) Cambridge University Library

Weekly half-hour drop-in sessions, hosted by members of Library staff, introduce the exhibition every Friday morning at 10.30. More in-depth tours of the physical exhibition presented by specialist curators can be booked here.

VISIT VIRTUAL EXHIBITION.