Codex aureus : an eighth-century gospel book

Codex aureus : an eighth-century gospel book
Kungliga Biblioteket
Latin, Old English
Shelf Mark:
A. 135
Alternate Names:
Codex aureus Holmiensis -- Canterbury Codex Aureus -- Codex purpureus
East Kent--Canterbury? (England)
195 folios (originally at least 200 folios) -- ca. 380-95 x ca. 310-320 mm. (was originally larger again, probably 400 x 325 mm.)
Date Description:
Second or third quarter of the 8th century
Prefaces by Jerome: Nouum opus and Plures fuisse (ff.1r-3r) -- Capitula for Matthew: Natiuitas ihu xpi (ff. 4r-4v) -- Canon tables I-VIII (ff. 5r-8v) -- Matthew portrait (f. 9v) -- Gospel of Matthew (ff. 10r-61v) -- Preface and capitula for Mark: Marcus euangelista di. electus/Erat Ioh. Baptiz. ihm. (f. 62r-62br) -- Gospel of Mark (ff. 63r-93v) -- Preface and capitula for Luke: Lucas syrus/Zacharie sacerdoti (ff. 94r-96r) -- Gospel of Luke (ff. 97r-148br) -- Preface and capitula for John: Johannis euana. unus/John. testimoniu. p.hibet. (ff. 149r-br) -- John portrait (f. 150v) -- Gospel of John (ff. 151r-191r)
Uncial, three to five scribes -- Insular minuscule (ninth-century addition re. the purchase of the manuscript from the "heathen", i.e. the Vikings) )
Type of Decoration:
Decorated monograms and capitals: Beginnings of prefatory texts (ff. 1r-2r)-"Novum opus..." and Pl of "Plures fuisse"-are segmented initials written in black and decorated with Insular motifs in a restrained palette, though formerly including some gold leaf. Simply decorated initials for Matthew, Luke and John, followed by decorative display script. Chi-ro monogram in gold, filled with decorative motifs, followed by embellished "autem" and display script on entire page (f. 11r) -- Eusebian tables (ff. 5r-8v; p. 65 for detailed analysis): They are the common arcade type of design for the tables, generally speaking. On each folio, there is a larger stylized arch within which is a smaller arcade of three or four arches. The designs and use of color are different on each folio. Some of the column "bases" and "capitals" are in fact roundels containing portrait busts or spiral or interlace patterns. The identities of the busts are unclear, perhaps Apostles. All but one of the pages of this roundel type also have an upside-down "arcade" along the bottom of the columns. The other, more architectural arcades have foliate capitals that support a lintel and bases that rest on a plinth. The columns and larger arch on each page are decorated with Insular motifs. -- Evangelist Portraits (Matthew f. 9v, John f. 150v; analysis p. 68): Both Evangelists sit fully frontal on a throne, holding a scroll (Matthew) or a book (John) in their left hand. Each is between pulled-back curtains within an arch whose tympanum contains his symbol. Between the column capitals and the arch are roundels; with Matthew they contain haloed bust figures, with John, spiral patterns. -- Alternating white and purple leaves throughout most of the codex; black and orange ink on white leaves; gold, silver, white and orange ink on purple leaves -- On numerous folios, patterns are formed formed across the text block by changing between contrasting ink colors and through the use of stippling details -- Section initials, proper names, and correspondences are embellished
Musical Notation:
Call Number:
Medieval [7th Floor Hesburgh] Paleography (Rm. 715Q) Oversize Z 115An .Ea76 v.28-29 Non-Circulating
Commentary Volume:
Nature of Facsimile:
Complete, in two volumes -- Photographic -- Color -- Wide margins, folio numbers printed at bottom -- Reduced size, average photograph size is 300 x 240 mm -- First volume includes full-size (440 x 360 mm), fold-out page of f. 11r, which starts with Matthew 1:18; in second volume there is a full-size fold-out of f. 63r, the beginning of the Gospel of Mark
Early English manuscripts in facsimile, 28 & 29
Publication Date:
Place of Publication:
Copenhagen, Denmark
Rosenkilde and Bagger
Special-Trykkeriet Viborg a-s
Other names: Richard Gameson. Extensive paleographical and art-historical introductions.
Type of Text:
Biblical, Gospel Book, liturgical, New Testament, religious