Christian religion and belief

Discover how religious works were transmitted in the Middle Ages, and the central role played by Christianity in all aspects of medieval life.

Glossed Psalters Thumbnail

Glossed Psalters

Article by:
Tuija Ainonen, Kathleen Doyle

Manuscripts containing commentaries on the book of Psalms were widely circulated during the medieval period. Tuija Ainonen and Kathleen Doyle examine some of these glossed volumes.

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Saints in Medieval Manuscripts Thumbnail

Saints in medieval manuscripts

Article by:
Tuija Ainonen

The veneration of saints was an integral part of medieval culture. Tuija Ainonen examines a collection of manuscripts that contain saints’ lives and portraits.

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The Latin Middle Ages Thumbnail

The Latin Middle Ages

Article by:
Cillian O’Hogan

Why was Latin so important in the Middle Ages? Cillian O’Hogan examines the development of medieval Latin and how it survived the collapse of the Roman Empire.

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Calendars Thumbnail

Medieval calendars

Article by:
Kathleen Doyle, Cristian Ispir

Calendars provided one of the most important means of time keeping for the medieval world. Cristian Ispir and Kathleen Doyle explain how they were used.

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Music

Writing music

Article by:
Nicolas Bell

Music played a central role in Christian liturgy throughout the Middle Ages. Nicolas Bell describes the evidence for this music in manuscripts made before 1200.

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Church Fathers

Works of the Church Fathers

Article by:
Chantry Westwell

The writings of the Church Fathers formed the central core of books copied and owned by medieval monasteries after the Bible. Chantry Westwell provides an introduction to these formative works of the early Christian Church and to the manuscript copies produced.

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Reading Aids

Reading aids in the early medieval book

Article by:
Jesse Keskiaho

From the Bible to works of the Church Fathers, Jesse Keskiaho outlines the many ways writers and scribes used navigational tools to guide the reader in early medieval manuscripts.

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Hebrew in Christian Manuscripts

Hebrew in Christian manuscripts of the early Middle Ages

Article by:
Damian Fleming

In this survey Damian Fleming explores the early medieval Christian experience of Hebrew as a sacred and practical language.

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Manuscript production in the abbeys of Normandy, 700–1200

Manuscript production in the abbeys of Normandy

Article by:
Stéphane Lecouteux

Through the evidence of manuscript production Stéphane Lecouteux traces the history of Normandy and the region’s close ties with England before and after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

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Medieval Libraries

Medieval monastic libraries

Article by:
Alison Ray

Through the evidence of surviving manuscripts, Alison Ray explores the collections of medieval libraries and how these libraries grew and changed over time.

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French Illumination

French manuscript illumination

Article by:
Charlotte Denoël

Drawings and painted decoration in manuscripts ornamented the text as well as illustrated or commented on it. Charlotte Denoël outlines the history of manuscript art in early medieval France.

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English Illumination

English manuscript illumination

Article by:
Kathleen Doyle, Eleanor Jackson

Manuscripts reflect the creativity of artists and scribes, and the resources of their patrons. Kathleen Doyle and Eleanor Jackson outline the development of book art in early medieval England.

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Medieval Bindings

Medieval bindings

Article by:
Charlotte Denoël

A binding is an essential component of a manuscript, designed to hold it together and to protect it from wear and tear. Charlotte Denoël discusses the aesthetic and symbolic value of medieval bindings on books used ceremoniously and for study.

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Medieval bestiaries

Beastly tales from the medieval bestiary

Article by:
Elizabeth Morrison

Legends of animals helped readers in the Middle Ages to make sense of the living world. Elizabeth Morrison delves into the wondrous and delightful stories of the medieval bestiary.

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Franco-Saxon Decoration

Franco-Saxon manuscript decoration

Article by:
Emilia Henderson

Manuscripts decorated in the Franco-Saxon style are some of the most visually stunning signs of the flow of inspiration and connections across the English Channel in the early Middle Ages. Emilia Henderson examines the design and production of these works.

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Further themes

Art and illumination

Learn more about manuscript art from the illumination and decoration found in medieval books.

History and learning

Explore the spread and exchange of medieval culture and language before 1200.

Science and nature

From medical surgery to the stars of the constellations, what were the scientific works of the early Middle Ages and how were they transmitted?

Making manuscripts

Learn more about book production in the Middle Ages and how to illuminate a manuscript today.

Christian religion and belief

Discover how religious works were transmitted in the Middle Ages.

Medieval manuscript collections today

Learn more about modern care and research of medieval manuscripts.