This Gospel book from the Carolingian period is a product of the Mainz school of calligraphy and illumination, which was a successor to the palace (or court) school of Charlemagne. In its canon tables and portraits of the evangelists, it blends the Ottonian style from the tenth century with the traditions of the earlier Carolingian Ada group (late eighth century). The manuscript received its fine binding in the Ottonian period. Its most valuable parts are the two outstanding ivories. The baptism of Christ is represented on the front cover; on the back are shown the Annunciation and the birth of Christ. It is uncertain whether the ivory on the back cover originally belonged to this codex. The Gospel book was originally owned by Bamberg Cathedral, to which it had possibly been presented by Emperor Henry II (reigned 1014−24). The Ada group refers to a set of ivory carvings and a group of about 10 illuminated manuscripts, named after a circa 750 gospel book commissioned by Ada, half-sister of Charlemagne. These works are the earliest examples of the court school of Charlemagne.

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Physical Description

I + 159 leaves : parchment, illuminations ; 30.5 x 21 centimeters


  • BSB shelfmark: Clm 4451
  • This description of the work was written by Karl-Georg Pfändtner of the Bavarian State Library.

Last updated: December 18, 2018