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3 Oct 2014
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The Lindisfarne Gospels

A new exhibition at the British Library puts the Lindisfarne Gospels on display and provides an insight into the culture of eighth century northern Europe. It was an era during which Britain was at a multi cultural crossraods with influences as wide ranging as Ireland, Germany, Northern Asia and the Middle East. Some pages from the opulent Gospel book can be seen on the right.

The Lindisfarne Gospels was produced early in the eighth century for ceremonial use at Lindisfarne monastery. The manuscript's main text is a Latin version of the Four Gospels known as Saint Jerome's Vulgate. This is a version of the Latin Bible made in the fourth century and used throughout the western world.

It fulfilled many important roles for the Christian community it served - it was an iconic sacred text, a cult focus and status symbol, a purely devotional work, and was also used as the basis of readings at church services.

Radio 4's In Our Time: The Lindisfarne Gospels

Incipit page introducing St Jerome's letter to Pope Damascus

St. John carpet page

St Mark, with his symbol a winged lion blowing a trumpet and carrying a book

St Matthew, with his symbol a winged man blowing a trumpet anc carrying a book

Listen - The discussion about the new exhibition at the British Library.

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