St. Augustine Gospels

Date: Late sixth century
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Italy
Medium: Parchment
Dimensions: 24 × 19 cm
Description: Following the instructions Pope Gregory the Great (r. 590–604), a monk named Augustine travelled from Rome to England as a missionary, arriving there in 597. This manuscript, now called the St. Augustine Gospels, may have been in his possession as a tool of conversion. Whether the book arrived with Augustine or other Roman missionaries, it was certainly in Canterbury by the end of the seventh century. Although the manuscript was made in Italy, it is strongly associated with the early introduction of Christian scriptures and Mediterranean styles of art and writing to England. The page reproduced here shows scenes from the Passion of Christ arranged in a grid. Texts within the panels or in the margins help to identify each scene, for example, "IHS [an abbreviation for Jesus] lauit pedes discipulorum" (Jesus washed the feet of his disciples).
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 3

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Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 286, fol. 125r, detail