|Insular Minuscule and Majuscule
|Evangelia - 'Codex Epternacensis'.
|Foll. 223 (the last folio is blank except for a fifteenth-century cryptogram); 335 X 260 mm. <280 X ca. 205 mm.> in 2 columns of 24-25 lines.
Written in Northumbria, or possibly in a Continental centre with close Anglo-Saxon connexions such as Echternach, where the volume was preserved for centuries. The subscription at the end of foll. 222v reads: '+proemendaui ut potui secundum codicem de bibliotheca eugipi praespiteri quem ferunt fuisse sancti hieronimi indictione ui post consulatum bassilii u.c. anno septimo decimo'. This is manifestly copied from the exemplar, for the year 558 consitutes a paleographic anachronism. Provenance Echternach: the familiar fifteenth-century hand entered the title on fol. 1. The cryptogram on fol. 223v in which Arabic numerals do duty for vowels reads: 'Codex iste fuit in domo Tomadaii de Este, anno Domini millesimo quadragentesimo tricesimo tercio, hora sexta in meridie.' In the Bibliothèque Nationale its first shelf-mark was Suppl. Lat. 693 (see fol. 1).
Decoration by an artist of superb skill and ingenuity with a remarkable sense of form and composition: each Gospel is preceded by a full-page finely drawn symbol of the Evangelist and opens with a large, handsome initial followed by a few lines in fancy capitals of angular shape, the whole in typical 'Celtic' style; numerous smaller initials are in bold black, washed with bright yellow, with spiral, palmette, and interlace pattern, some with crescent-shaped protuberances in the outline and white circles on the black background, some surrounded by red dots or with red dots superimposed on the black stem; even holes in the parchment have a border of red dots. Script is a superb example of Anglo-Saxon calligraphy.
|Bibl. Nat. Lat. 9389.