Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Cultural Interplay in the Eight Century: The 'Trier Gospels' and the Making of a Scriptorium at Echternach

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Cultural Interplay in the Eight Century: The 'Trier Gospels' and the Making of a Scriptorium at Echternach

Article excerpt

Nancy Netzer, Cultural Interplay in the Eighth Century: The 'Trier Gospels' and the Making of a Scriptorium at Echternach, Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology 3 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994). xvi + 258 pp.; 104 plates. ISBN 0521-41255-2. £45.00.

This monographic study examines in detail the codex of the Trier Gospels with a view to clarifying the many uncertainties which surround this eighth-century work. The author addresses such questions as the date and authorship of the work, its sources, the educational background of its scribe-artists, the rationale behind the layout and the physical makeup of the manuscript. In the process Nancy Netzer also deals with the likely working-practices of the eighth-century continental scriptorium and the flow of manuscripts and ideas between Insular, continental and Mediterranean centres of learning. The study is comprehensive, and the approach is to present descriptions of all the constituent parts of the manuscript 'not according to their order in the codex, but so as to complement the logic of the principal arguments' (p. 3). Thus it is clear that the study has both a central focus (the manuscript of the Trier Gospels) and, as the title suggests, a broader thesis relating to the Echternach scriptorium and the synthesis of traditions there. The points relating specifically to the Trier Gospels are well argued but the broader perspective suffers from a lack of surviving evidence. The concept of 'cultural interplay' is related almost solely to iconographie details which are listed, described and related to a wide range of sources and influences across early medieval Europe.

The first of Netzer's 'principal arguments' is the location of the Trier Gospels in the scriptorium at Echternach. Evidence is provided for assigning further manuscripts to this location, and a set of possible products of Echternach is suggested. The second argument relates to the scribe-artists and their contribution to developments at Echternach. Two scribes appear to have worked together on the manuscript, and their work did not always join seamlessly across the pages. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.