The Binding Of A Copy Of Augustine's 'The Harmony Of The Gospels'
The Gospels, written by the Four Evangelists, provide overlapping accounts of Christ's life. Some events are recorded in only one Gospel; others in more than one, and some of these seem to be contradictory. Several early Christian and medieval writers therefore composed works which combined and harmonised the differing accounts, including this one written St. Augustine in the year 400. This manuscript was certainly owned by Westminster Abbey, and was possibly also written there.
The original binding is preserved, and shows several features typical of 12th-century bindings: the flat spine (without raised bands); the semi-circular tab at the head (that at the tail is missing); the square-edged boards, flush with the leaves; and the strap-and-pin fastening, with traces of the original pink staining. The number '10' on the spine is a later addition. On the oak boards inside each cover is the faint transfer from a legal text in Hebrew, in Ashkenazi writing, dating before c.1400, and, if before 1290, possibly of English origin.