Name/TitleGospels of St. Augustine, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS. 286
About this objectThe growth of book culture was an important part of Christianity in Britain, using texts produced in continental Europe as an example, such as this one. This is a late sixth-century gospel book which, traditionally, is said to have been sent by Pope Gregory the Great to Augustine (d. 604) during Augustine's mission to England. The book was certainly in Canterbury by the end of the seventh century, and various additions were made there, including some 10th century Anglo-Saxon charters written between the gospels of Matthew and Mark.
This is the earliest surviving Latin gospel book with figure illumination: although most of it has been lost, with only a picture of Luke as a scribe under an arcade, and a page of gospel images in a grid. Such images seem to have been highly influential on later English art; a number of Anglo-Saxon and Romanesque manuscripts seem to owe a debt to its imagery, as does a famous scene in the Bayeux Tapestry.
The text is in Latin written on parchment—prepared from the skins of calves, sheep or goats. The opening shown is ff19V–20R.
Date MadeLate 6th century
Subject and Association KeywordsArrivals
Subject and Association KeywordsBooks
Subject and Association DescriptionLearn More: Binski & Panayotova. 2005; Brown 2007; Clarke 2002; Emms 2004; Gameson 1997; Verey 1989.
Medium and MaterialsInk and pigments on parchment
Measurements24.5 x 19 cm, ff. 2 + 265 + 6
Credit LineCorpus Christi College, Cambridge
Object numberEXH15: MS. 286