Friday, August 5, 2011

The Oldest Book in Europe

£9m campaign to acquire the St Cuthbert Gospel | Past Horizons:

"The British Library has announced an ambitious fund-raising campaign to acquire the St Cuthbert Gospel for the nation. Created in the 7th century and intimately associated with one of Britain’s foremost saints, the Gospel is the earliest surviving intact European book and one of the world’s most significant books."

The Gospel of  St. John, amazingly preserved

I am book enthusiast, a "Bibliophile". Books to me are an extension of our brain, a depository of knowledge, a dialogue with our ancestors. No question, I love books. So this news is very interesting to me, more so because I have to confess I did not know of the St Cuthbert Gospel. This is the oldest book in Europe, having been produced by the monks of Lindisfarne in the late 600's and placed in St Cuthbert's casket, where it lay for four hundred years. In the year 1004 it was rediscovered when the casket was opened on relocating the Saint's remains. The book was probably plundered from its resting place by the barbarians of Henry VIII and went into private possession. It made its way to the Jesuits who are now selling it to the British Library for a cool nine million pounds. The book is in an astonishing state of preservation, its leather cover looks almost new. Read the rest in the link above.

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