Junius Manuscript

Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): United Kingdom
Medium: Parchment
Dimensions: 31.8 × 19.5 cm
Description: The Junius Manuscript, also called Junius 11, is a collection of four poems written in Old English, the vernacular language spoken in England in the early Middle Ages. The poems were written at different times but then compiled into this manuscript around the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. Their modern titles are Genesis, Exodus, Daniel, and Christ and Satan. The first poem is a paraphrase of Genesis, the second is a retelling of Exodus, the third paraphrases the Daniel story of the three Hebrew youths in the fiery furnace, and the fourth is a poem in three parts (the Fall of Satan, the Harrowing of Hell, and Christ's temptation in the desert). Junius 11 is the only illustrated work of Old English poetry from the Middle Ages.

Two different scribes wrote the text, the first of whom left spaces for illustrations—around ninety of which were left blank in the Exodus and Daniel sections. The existing illustrations, forty-eight Genesis images, are executed primarily as line drawings with colored inks. One exception is a creation scene (p. 11), for which the artist painted God/Jesus in full color.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 6
Image Credits: © Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

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Bodleian Library MS Junius 11, p. 16, winged devils falling into a Hellmouth Bodleian Library MS Junius 11, p. 25, Eve tempted by the serpent/Satan (in the form of an angel) Bodleian Library MS Junius 11, p. 46, Expulsion of Adam and Eve Bodleian Library MS Junius 11, p. 66, Noah's Ark Bodleian Library MS Junius 11, p. 82, Tower of Babel