Skip to content
BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2020

Eusebian Reading and Early Medieval Gospel Illumination

From the book Canones: The Art of Harmony

  • Beatrice Kitzinger


This paper proposes that patterns of reading fundamental to the Eusebian apparatus also structure aspects of figural illumination in early medieval gospel books. Beginning with in-depth discussion of the St Augustine Gospels (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 286) and extending into several Carolingian and Anglo-Saxon examples, the essay explores the idea that Eusebian principles of textual segmentation, cross-reference, harmony, and diversity define a number of elaborate visual programmes-both within and beyond illuminated canon tables themselves. The resonance between Eusebian attitudes to text and the selected artists’ approach to the visual setting of the gospels suggests a complex interplay in the manuscripts’ programmes between transmitting the four evangelists’ texts and representing the distinct entity of the gospel book itself.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
Downloaded on 11.12.2023 from
Scroll to top button