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June 19 , 2011

Pages from the Book of Kells


The Book of Kells is a magnificently illuminated manuscript Gospel in Vulgate Latin containing the four Gospels of the New Testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created by Celtic monks on the small Island of Iona off the coast of western Scotland in about 800 CE. The text is mainly in Vulgate Latin dating from the 4th century CE, though there are passages in Vetus Latin or ‘Old Latin’ that predate the Vulgate Bible.

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The Book of Kells is chiefly celebrated for its illuminated illustrations and extraordinarily elaborate ornamentation. It is considered to represent the  very best of insular illumination and is widely considered Ireland’s most important national treasure. This ebook includes full colour images of all the major illuminated pages in the Book of Kells, together with an introduction, the main text of Sir Edward Sullivan's seminal study of the Book of Kells from 1914, a brief biography of Sir Edward Sullivan, and an essay on Saint Columba and the Island of Iona where the book was made.

9,500 words, 43 full colour plates, 2 black and white plates.

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