Naturally, the codex was supposed to be a gift to this house, but nothing was known of the donor. Bandini, the librarian of the Laurentiana, into whose hands the codex came, noticed that the names of neither the donor nor the recipient belonged to the original dedication. They were written in a different hand over parts of the original inscription, as betrayed by evident signs of erasure. The letters italicized above were by the second hand, while the initial letter C of the first line and the E in the fifth were original. Bandini noticed, also, that cenobium replaced a shorter word and that the last five letters of salvatoris were written on parchment that had not been erased, and so that the ten letters of this word replaced five of the original word. The metre also was entirely at fault.
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Columba , demonstrates that an Irish psalter must have been its source; but the text differs in many places from the best Irish manuscripts. The Codex Amiatinus qualifies as an illuminated manuscript as it has some decoration including two full-page miniatures , but these show little sign of the usual insular style of Northumbrian art and are clearly copied from Late Antique originals. It contains 1, leaves of strong, smooth vellum , fresh-looking today despite their great antiquity, arranged in quires of four sheets, or quaternions.
It is written in uncial characters, large, clear, regular, and beautiful, two columns to a page, and 43 or 44 lines to a column. A little space is often left between words, but the writing is in general continuous.
The text is divided into sections, which in the Gospels correspond closely to the Ammonian Sections. There are no marks of punctuation , but the skilled reader was guided into the sense by stichometric , or verse -like, arrangement into cola and commata , which correspond roughly to the principal and dependent clauses of a sentence.
From this manner of writing the script is believed to have been modeled upon the Codex Grandior of Cassiodorus ,  but it may go back, perhaps, even to St. Bede was most likely involved in the compilation. The dedication page had been altered and the principal librarian to the Laurentian, Angelo Maria Bandini suggested that the author was Servandus, a follower of St. Benedict , and that it had been produced at Monte Cassino around the s.
This claim was accepted for the next hundred years, establishing it as the oldest copy of the Vulgate, but scholars in Germany noted the similarity to 9th-century texts.
This also established that Amiatinus was related to the Greenleaf Bible fragment in the British Library. As the primary source of the Vulgate, the manuscript was of particular importance to the Catholics during the Counter-Reformation. Protestant translations derived from the original language of the Scriptures, but the Latin text of the Amiatinus was earlier than any then-known Hebrew manuscript, making it a "major piece of propaganda in the battle for textual precedence".
In Pope Sixtus V demanded the book be sent to Rome where it was consulted for a new papal edition of the Bible, the Vulgata Sixtina ;  although in the event, little or no use was made of its readings in either the Sistine or subsequent Sixto-Clementine official Vulgate editions, whose editors rather preferred later medieval Vulgate texts and editions now known to have been heavily corrupted by non-Vulgate readings.
In view of the many accumulated corruptions in all published editions of the Vulgate so far, the Oxford University Press accepted in a proposal from classicist John Wordsworth later Bishop of Salisbury to produce a new critical edition of the Vulgate New Testament.
The book is the work of several scribes writing in Roman uncial and at least one illuminator. It is a product of perhaps the most influential scriptorium in the pre-Carolingian world and is a stunning example of the late Antique style produced in what was at the time the farthest reaches of Christendom. Named for the Abbey of San Salvatore on Monte Amiata, the book was thought to have been made in Italy until the late s. Among the over folios are two full-page illuminations and a prologue of golden script on a purple ground. Its preservation of the complete text of the early Christian Latin bible and the influence of late Antique style on Insular and Carolingian art make the Codex Amiatinus one of the most important books produced in early medieval England. Oldest Surviving Complete Vulgate Bible The Codex Amiatinus preserves the oldest complete version of the text of the pre-Carolingian Latin Vulgate bible and is an essential record for scholars of biblical history. The book also contains two full-page illuminations.
The Codex Amiatinus: The Skins of 500 Calves Were Used to Create this Monumental Manuscript
Facsimile Dimensions: 2 volumes each 8. The Bibles were copied from the sixth-century Codex Grandior, now lost. Of the three texts, only the exemplar that later came to be known as the Codex Amiatinus survives. Completed by seven different scribes, it was presented to Pope Gregory II by associates of Ceolfrid, who died on his way to Rome in The manuscript was kept for centuries in the Abbey of the Holy Savior at Monte Amiata in Tuscany before it came to the Laurentian Library in , following the suppression of the religious orders by Pietro Leopoldo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany ruled — The codex features two major illuminations, a portrait of the Old Testament prophet Ezra and a depiction of Christ in Majesty. Ezra is shown writing a manuscript on his lap, seated before an open book cupboard containing a Bible in nine volumes.
Codex Amiatinus - AD 688-713
The symbol for it is written am or A Wordsworth. Some consider it, with White, as perhaps "the finest book in the world"; still there are several manuscripts which are as beautifully written and have besides, like the Book of Kells or Lindisfarne Gospels, those exquisite ornaments of which Amiatinus is devoid. It qualifies as an illuminated manuscript as it has some decoration including two full-page miniatures, but these show little sign of the usual insular style of Northumbrian art and are clearly copied from Late Antique originals. It contains leaves of strong, smooth vellum, fresh-looking today despite their great antiquity, arranged in quires of four sheets, or quaternions. It is written in uncial characters, large, clear, regular, and beautiful, two columns to a page, and 43 or 44 lines to a column.
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