Old English Hexateuch

Old English Hexateuch Facsimile Edition

Benedictine Abbey of St. Augustine, Canterbury (United Kingdom) — Second quarter of the 11th century and second half of the 12th century

394 pen and ink drawings containing 550 scenes from the Old Testament including 12 full-page miniatures at various stages of completion

  1. Between 1025 and 1050, the Hexateuch was translated into English vernacular for the first time

  2. This is the most richly illuminated of the seven surviving codices containing that translation

  3. With scenes set in Anglo-Saxon England, it is an important historical source on contemporary life

Old English Hexateuch

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Old English Hexateuch

Between 1025 and 1050, the first English vernacular translation of the Hexateuch, the first six books of the Hebrew Bible, was undertaken by a team of Anglo-Saxon monks under the supervision of Abbot Ælfric of Eynsham. Seven manuscripts with the translation survive to the present, the most famous of which is the richly illuminated codex stored in the British Library under the shelf mark Cotton MS Claudius B.iv. The so-called “Old English Hexateuch” was compiled at St. Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury and other texts in both Latin and English were appended to the manuscript during the 12th century, often using blank spaces left for miniatures that were never executed. The text is adorned by 394 pen and ink drawings containing 550 scenes including 12 full-page miniatures at various stages of completion. Scenes from the Old Testament are thus set in the everyday life of Anglo-Saxon England, making it an important historical source on contemporary life.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Altenglischer Hexateuch
Size / Format
312 pages / 32.5 × 21.5 cm
Date
Second quarter of the 11th century and second half of the 12th century
Script
Insular minuscule

Available facsimile editions:
Rosenkilde and Bagger – Copenhagen, 1974
Facsimile Editions

#1 The Old English illustrated Hexateuch

Rosenkilde and Bagger – Copenhagen, 1974

Publisher: Rosenkilde and Bagger – Copenhagen, 1974
Commentary: 1 volume by Charles R. Dodwell and Peter Clemoes
Language: English
1 volume: This facsimile is not complete. Partially colored reproduction of the entire original document with 312 black and white plates and five color plates. The pages are presented on a larger white background. The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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