For the first time in 12 years, an extraordinary book is heading back to its home in north-east England. The Lindisfarne Gospels, a 1,year old manuscript, will be the centrepiece of a much awaited exhibition in Durham starting in July. But why is this book so special? The medieval book is in almost perfect condition A small, bleakly beautiful island just off the Northumberland coast was the theatre of an epic feat.
The area had been little affected during the centuries of nominal Roman occupation. The countryside had been subject to raids from both Scots and Picts and was "not one to attract early Germanic settlement". The conquest was not straightforward, however. The priory was founded before the end of and Aidan remained there until his death in A later bishop, Eadbert removed the thatch and covered both walls and roof in lead.
Bede comments on this: And let no one be surprised that, though we have said above that in this island of Lindisfarne, small as it is, there is found the seat of a bishop, now we say also that it is the home of an abbot and monks; for it actually is so.
For one and the same dwelling-place of the servants of God holds both; and indeed all are monks. Aidan, who was the first bishop of this place, was a monk and always lived according to monastic rule together with all his followers.
Hence all the bishops of that place up to the present time exercise their episcopal functions in such a way that the abbot, who they themselves have chosen by the advice of the brethren, rules the monastery; Lindisfarne gospels all the priests, deacons, singers and readers and other ecclesiastical grades, together with the bishop himself, keep the monastic rule in all things.
Monks from the Irish community of Iona settled on the island. Cuthbert later became Bishop of Lindisfarne. An anonymous life of Cuthbert written at Lindisfarne is the oldest extant piece of Lindisfarne gospels historical writing.
From its reference to "Aldfrith, who now reigns peacefully" it must date to between and The grave was preserved, however, and when opened in yielded a number of remarkable artefacts dating back to Lindisfarne. The inner of three coffins was of incised wood, the only decorated wood to survive from the period.
It shows Jesus surrounded by the Four Evangelists. Within the coffin was a pectoral cross 6. There was a comb made of elephant ivory, a rare and expensive item in Northern England. Also inside was an embossed silver covered travelling altar.
All were contemporary with the original burial on the island. When the body was placed in the shrine in other items were removed: Most remarkable of all was a gospel known as the St Cuthbert Gospel or Stonyhurst Gospel from its association with the college.
The manuscript is in an early, probably original, binding beautifully decorated with deeply embossed leather. Up to this point the Northumbrian and latterly Mercian churches had looked to Lindisfarne as the mother church.
There were significant liturgical and theological differences with the fledgling Roman party based at Canterbury. Allegiance switched southwards to Canterbury and thence to Rome. Colman departed his see for Iona and Lindisfarne ceased to be of such major importance.
In the northern ecclesiastical province of England was established with the archbishopric at York. There were only three bishops under York: Hexham covered County Durham and the southern part of Northumberland up to the River Coquet and eastwards into the Pennines.
Whithorn covered most of Dumfries and Galloway region west of Dumfries itself. The remainder, Cumbrianorthern Northumbria, Lothian and much of the Kingdom of Strathclyde formed the diocese of Lindisfarne.
He died in and was buried alongside Cuthbert. In his body was moved to Norham-upon-Tweed and later his head was translated to Durham Cathedral. Lindisfarne Gospels At some point in the early 8th century, the famous illuminated manuscript known as the Lindisfarne Gospelsan illustrated Latin copy of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, was made probably at Lindisfarne and the artist was possibly Eadfrithwho later became Bishop of Lindisfarne.
Sometime in the second half of the 10th century a monk named Aldred added an Anglo-Saxon Old English gloss to the Latin text, producing the earliest surviving Old English copies of the Gospels. Aldred attributed the original to Eadfrith bishop — The Gospels were written with a good hand, but it is the illustrations done in an insular style containing a fusion of Celtic, Germanic and Roman elements that are truly outstanding.
Ina Viking raid on Lindisfarne  [d] caused much consternation throughout the Christian west and is now often taken as the beginning of the Viking Age. The generally accepted date for the Viking raid on Lindisfarne is in fact 8 June; Michael Swanton writes: Never before has such terror appeared in Britain as we have now suffered from a pagan race The heathens poured out the blood of saints around the altar, and trampled on the bodies of saints in the temple of God, like dung in the streets.
Many monasteries were established on islands, peninsulas, river mouths and cliffs. Isolated communities were less susceptible to interference and the politics of the heartland.Details from Lindisfarne Gospel illuminations. Many of the images of the Lindisfarne Gospels above are from the online gallery at the British Library.
The Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the most magnificent manuscripts of the early Middle Ages, was written and decorated at the end of the 7th century by the monk Eadfrith, who became Bishop of Lindisfarne in and died in Its original leather binding, long since lost, was made by Ethelwald, who.
The Lindisfarne Gospels was written and decorated at the end of the 7th century by the monk Eadfrith, who became Bishop of Lindisfarne in Written and illustrated probably by Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne from to , the Lindisfarne Gospels is amongst our greatest artistic, linguistic and religious treasures.
The book is a copy of the four Gospels included in the New Testament, together with other text traditionally included in. Lindisfarne Gospels: Lindisfarne Gospels,, manuscript (MS. Cotton Nero benjaminpohle.com; British Museum, London) illuminated in the late 7th or 8th century in the Hiberno-Saxon style.
The book was probably made for Eadfrith, the bishop of Lindisfarne from to Attributed to . If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *benjaminpohle.com and *benjaminpohle.com are unblocked.