Rabbula Gospels

Rabbula Gospels Facsimile Edition

Monastery of St. John of Zagba (Syria) — 586

Completed in 586 by the scribe Rabbula: a beautifully adorned Byzantine manuscript with the oldest surviving miniature of the Crucifixion

  1. The codex is one of the earliest Christian manuscripts to be furnished with large miniatures

  2. Its 8 full-page miniatures are notable for their bright colors, dynamism, drama, and expressiveness

  3. Originating from modern Syria, it is one of the finest Byzantine manuscripts produced in Asia

Rabbula Gospels

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Rabbula Gospels

Completed in 586, the Rabbula Gospels is simultaneously one of the finest Byzantine manuscripts produced in Asia as well as one of the earliest Christian manuscripts to be furnished with large miniatures, which are distinguished by their bright colors, dynamism, drama, and expressiveness. Elaborate floral and architectural motifs frame the miniatures, which includes the oldest surviving depiction of the Crucifixion found in a manuscript and shows the contemporary Eastern form of the image. The Syriac manuscript was produced in the scriptorium of the Monastery of St. John of ZagbaIt in modern day Syria and is one of the few specimens to survive the destruction of countless Byzantine manuscripts and works of art during the Iconoclasm of the 8th and 9th centuries. This precious artifact is named after the scribe Rabbula, who signed his name in the manuscript and about whom nothing else in known. Parts of the manuscript were overpainted by restorers and miniatures from other works were added in the 15th and 16th centuries.


Alternative Titles
Rabbula Evangeliar
Rabula Evangeliar
Rabula Gospels
Evangeliarii syriaci, vulgo Rabbulae
Size / Format
586 pages / 33.8 × 27.9 cm
8 full-page miniatures
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Urs Graf – Olten, 1959
Facsimile Editions

#1 The Rabbula Gospels

Urs Graf – Olten, 1959

Publisher: Urs Graf – Olten, 1959
Commentary: 1 volume by Carlo Cecchelli, Giuseppe Furlani and Mario Salmi
Language: English
1 volume: This facsimile is not complete. Reproduction of twelve pages (miniatures and four text pages) of the original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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