The Venerable Bede (b. c. 673, d. 735), whose greatest work was the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, also wrote a large number of works on science, music, poetry and biblical commentary, including on the Gospel of St Luke. His commentaries were intended to help learned audiences interpret the Scriptures.
This 12th-century manuscript copy was produced in the Benedictine Abbey of St Mary in Reading. A 13th-century ownership inscription inside the book confirms that it belonged to the Abbey. The inscription also includes an anthema, or curse. Medieval librarians commonly added curses to books to prevent readers from stealing or damaging works. The curse reads Quem qui celaverit vel fraudem de eo fecerit anathema sit (Anyone who conceals or does damage to it, may he be cursed).
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Alison Ray
- Christian religion and belief, Making manuscripts, History and learning
Through the evidence of surviving manuscripts, Alison Ray explores the collections of medieval libraries and how these libraries grew and changed over time.