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History of the Knots
These Celtic knot have been inspired by the beautiful manuscripts and metal work from the 6th - 8th centuries. The most famous of these are the manuscripts are Book of Kells, Lindesfarne and Durrow. The Book of Kells is one of the most famous books in the history of the world and was completed in about 800 AD. The vellum (calfskin) manuscript contains transcriptions of the four Gospels, lavishly illustrated and ornamented. It is the most elaborate manuscript of its kind to survive from the early Middle Ages. The scribes and artists who created the Book were Columban monks who lived in a monastery on the remote island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland. The monastery was founded late in the sixth century by an Irish monk, Colm Cille. At the time the book was produced, Irish monks were renowned throughout the rest of Europe for their work as scribes and illustrators. The Book of Kells contains 680 pages (or 340 folios). Just two of the pages are without ornament, while about thirty folios, including some major decorated pages, have been lost. The Book of Kells is a copy of the four Gospels in Latin. It is known for the extraordinary array of pictures, interlaced shapes and oranamental details. A 13th century scholar, Giraldus Cambrensis, writes of the Book of Kells "... you might believe it was the work of an angel rather than a human being". The Book is the most famous manuscript in the Library of Trinity College Dublin where it is permanently on display.
 
The Book of Kells Written in late 8th - early 9th century Written by three different scribes Also known as the Gospel of Colum Cille. The first record of it is in Kells, Co. Meath, Ireland in 1007, but others have suggested its origin as the Columban monastery on Iona. image1
   
image2 Book of Lindisfarne Written 687 and 721 Written in Nortumbria/Lindisfarne (probably) Now kept at London, British Museum, Cotton, Aldred, a tenth century priest who translated it wrote: The whole Book was written and illuminated by Eadfrith in one go, without a major break. It must have taken at least two years to complete. It may have taken much longer, as we do not have details about matters such as the weather. In 764 the Abbot of Wearmouth-Jarrow wrote blaming an exceptionally cold winter for his scribe's inability to complete some books that had been ordered. Eadfrith probably made the Gospels in the period immediately before the elevation of the relics of St. Cuthbert in 698, when he was still only a senior member of the community, possibly head of the monastic scriptorum
   
Book of Durrow Written in 650-690AD Now kept at Dublin, Trinity College, MS.A.IV.5 The Book of Durrow is a copy of the Latin Gospels, formerly belonging to Durrow Monastery, King's Co., Ireland, founded by Saint Columba in 553 AD, where it was probably written. The colophon claims that the scribe was Columba himself and that the book was written in twelve days. This is patently impossible, and it is believed that the current book is a copy of an earlier, undecorated original. The decorations consist of five carpet pages, five pages of Evangelists' emblems and four elaborate initial. Unusually the Evangelists have neither wings, haloes nor books, which implies and early date. The Book of Durrow is the earliest of the fully decorated manuscripts that remain, though the decoration is already of a high quality. This implies a practiced skill of which we no longer have any evidence imge3
   
imge4 The Ardagh Chalice. 9th Century In 1857 a farmer went to plant his potatoes in a fairy fort in Co Tipparery. Noone would have dared to disturb a fairy fort before that but he thought that they would protect his spuds from blight. Low and behold, he hit gold, digging up this beautiful piece of metal work that was hidden from the Viking raids in the 10th and 11th centuries. They say he got £50 for it and I am sure he made his way to the shores of America. Desigh on the Warrior shield ring
   
Cumdach 10th Century The Cumdach Shrine is said to have been made to hold the earliest of the surviving manuscripts is the Cathach of Colmcille, written in the 7th century. Legend has it that it was written in the library of St. Finnian of Moville around AD 560, by stylistically this is not possible. It issaid to have been written by the hand of Columba himself. He is said to have copied it from the Gospel of St. Martin. The word 'cathach' means 'battler' and the book was so called because it was carried into battle as an icon by the clan O Domhnaill as recently as 1497 image5
 
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