Winchester Gospels

I can't seem to find much background on this 11th century gospel codex (The Winchester Gospels) on display in the Wren Library at Trinity College, but it is very well preserved right next to a 9th century copy of Paul's epistles and directly across from one of Wittgenstein's actual notebooks and the first, handwritten copy of Milne's Winnie the Pooh:



Also next to it in the case is this lovely gem from a manuscript of the writings of St. Jerome. I have forgotton the date, but 10-11th? Regardless, this man teaching a bear to speak is a memorable image of medieval literacy. Though it is far later than St. Jerome, it jogged my memory as to his peculiar desire to make texts more readily understandable and readable through colemetric arrangement ("Per cola et commata," in basic stichometric sense-units rather than scripta continua). There is an interesting brief discussion of this as it relates to NT textual criticism a few pages into an old Kirsopp and Lake article on the text of Acts. (Kirsopp and Silva Lake, "The Acts of the Apostles" JBL 53/1 (1934): 34-45.)


Peter M. Head said...


There is some on-line info on Trinity B.10.4 from the old James catalogue:


E.g. for these two pages:
f.59b. Full page painting, border as before, with four quatrefoils in the sides. That at the top has a half- length beardless figure with flower and book: that on R. similar with palm and book, the other two have books only.
Inside the frame. Above, a half-length angel with lion's head and gold scroll. Below it a gold horizontal band. Below, Mark, beardless, in yellow over gold robe, dipping his pen and looking up: book on desk on his L.
f.60a. Similar frame with four quatrefoils containing half-length beardless figures with scrolls (that on L. has a book).
Gold and panelled initial containing lions and dragon.
Opening words of the Gospel in gold. Initium evang. IHV̅ XPĪ filii dei sicut.

Roger Pearse said...

Most interesting to see what you're looking at, after a long break. How did you get these photographs? I did take some digital photographs in Winchester Cathedral Library myself from a Salmasius edition of Tertullian's "De Pallio" one lunchtime a few years ago, but didn't know that they would permit Ms. photography. What equipment did you use?

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