Irish monks spread the Christian faith all over Europe by their dedicated missions during the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries. The age-old Irish-Celtic culture began to fuse with the impressions gathered by the monks during their extended dangerous travels.
At that time, also called The Time of Scholars and Saints, the Irish monasteries were influential cultural and spiritual centres of Europe. At the height of Irish monasticism its most precious work was created, the Book of Kells.
The Book of Kells is thought to be the work of a number of unknown genius-artists living in the monastery of Iona around the year 800. It is first mentioned in an account of a theft in the church of Kells in 1007, which describes the book as “The great gospel book of Columcille, the holiest relic of the western world”.
In 1990, Faksimile Verlag Luzern (Switzerland) produced the first and only high quality Book of Kells facsimile edition of the beautiful insular manuscript. The facsimile, made in 1500 copies, was an immediate success and, despite the very high price tag (approx. 15000 EUR), it quickly sold out. Major libraries all over the world managed to purchase a copy, in many occasion with the help of generous donors.
Facsimile Finder shot high quality photos of the publisher’s archive copy and Giovanni Scorcioni is happy to share them with Medievalists.net. Check out these 10 beautiful photos here, with the full gallery of the facsimile edition on FacsimileFinder.com.
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