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Formed as a New York City hardcore band in , Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom.
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By creating an account, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Statement. Register — opens a dialog box. Many of these minor decorative elements are imbued with Christian symbolism and so further emphasise the themes of the major illustrations.
The manuscript today comprises folios and, since , has been bound in four volumes. The leaves are on high-quality calf vellum , and the unprecedentedly elaborate ornamentation that covers them includes ten full-page illustrations and text pages that are vibrant with decorated initials and interlinear miniatures and mark the furthest extension of the anti-classical and energetic qualities of Insular art.
The Insular majuscule script of the text itself appears to be the work of at least three different scribes. The lettering is in iron gall ink , and the colours used were derived from a wide range of substances, many of which were imports from distant lands.
The manuscript takes its name from the Abbey of Kells , which was its home for centuries. Today, it is on permanent display at Trinity College Library, Dublin.
The Library usually displays two of the current four volumes at a time, one showing a major illustration and the other showing typical text pages, and the entire manuscript can be viewed on the Library's Digital Collections Repository.
The Book of Kells is one of the finest and most famous, and also one of the latest, of a group of manuscripts in what is known as the Insular style , produced from the late 6th through the early 9th centuries in monasteries in Ireland, Scotland and England and in continental monasteries with Hiberno-Scottish or Anglo-Saxon foundations.
Columba , the Ambrosiana Orosius , fragmentary Gospel in the Durham Dean and Chapter Library all from the early 7th century , and the Book of Durrow from the second half of the 7th century.
From the early 8th century come the Durham Gospels , the Echternach Gospels , the Lindisfarne Gospels see illustration at right , and the Lichfield Gospels.
Among others, the St. Gall Gospel Book belongs to the late 8th century and the Book of Armagh dated to — to the early 9th century.
Scholars place these manuscripts together based on similarities in artistic style, script, and textual traditions. The fully developed style of the ornamentation of the Book of Kells places it late in this series, either from the late 8th or early 9th century.
The Book of Kells follows many of the iconographic and stylistic traditions found in these earlier manuscripts. For example, the form of the decorated letters found in the incipit pages for the Gospels is surprisingly consistent in Insular Gospels.
Compare, for example, the incipit pages of the Gospel of Matthew in the Lindisfarne Gospels and in the Book of Kells , both of which feature intricate decorative knot work patterns inside the outlines formed by the enlarged initial letters of the text.
For a more complete list of related manuscripts, see: List of Hiberno-Saxon illustrated manuscripts. The Abbey of Kells in Kells, County Meath had been founded, or refounded, from Iona, the building taking from until the consecration of the church in Traditionally, the book was thought to have been created in the time of Columba ,  possibly even as the work of his own hands.
This tradition has long been discredited on paleographic and stylistic grounds: Columba's death in The proposed dating in the 9th century coincides with Viking raids on Iona , which began in and eventually dispersed the monks and their holy relics into Ireland and Scotland.
There are at least five competing theories about the manuscript's place of origin and time of completion.
First, the book, or perhaps just the text, may have been created at Iona , and then taken to Kells.
Second, the book may have been produced entirely at Iona. Fourth, it may have been produced in the north of England, perhaps at Lindisfarne , then brought to Iona and from there to Kells.
Finally, it may have been the product of Dunkeld or another monastery in Pictish Scotland, though there is no actual evidence for this theory, especially considering the absence of any surviving manuscript from Pictland.
Kells Abbey was plundered and pillaged by Vikings many times in the 10th century, and how the book survived is not known. This entry records that "the great Gospel of Columkille, Columba  the chief relic of the Western World, was wickedly stolen during the night from the western sacristy of the great stone church at Cenannas on account of its wrought shrine".
The force of ripping the manuscript free from its cover may account for the folios missing from the beginning and end of the Book of Kells.
The description in the Annals of the book as "of Columkille"—that is, having belonged to, and perhaps being made by Columba—suggests that the book was believed at that time to have been made on Iona.
Regardless, the book was certainly at Kells in the 12th century, when land charters pertaining to the Abbey of Kells were copied onto some of its blank pages.
The practice of copying of charters into important books was widespread in the medieval period, and such inscriptions in the Book of Kells provide concrete evidence about its location at the time.
The Abbey of Kells was dissolved due to the ecclesiastical reforms of the 12th century. The abbey church was converted to a parish church in which the Book of Kells remained.
The 12th-century writer Gerald of Wales , in his Topographia Hibernica , described seeing a great Gospel Book in Kildare which many have since assumed was the Book of Kells.
The description certainly matches Kells:. This book contains the harmony of the Four Evangelists according to Jerome , where for almost every page there are different designs, distinguished by varied colours.
Here you may see the face of majesty, divinely drawn, here the mystic symbols of the Evangelists, each with wings, now six, now four, now two; here the eagle, there the calf, here the man and there the lion, and other forms almost infinite.
Look at them superficially with the ordinary glance, and you would think it is an erasure, and not tracery.
Fine craftsmanship is all about you, but you might not notice it. Look more keenly at it and you will penetrate to the very shrine of art. You will make out intricacies, so delicate and so subtle, so full of knots and links, with colours so fresh and vivid, that you might say that all this were the work of an angel, and not of a man.
Since Gerald claims to have seen this book in Kildare, he may have seen another, now lost, book equal in quality to the Book of Kells, or he may have misstated his location.
The Book of Kells remained in Kells until In that year, Cromwell 's cavalry was quartered in the church at Kells, and the governor of the town sent the book to Dublin for safekeeping.
Henry Jones , who later became bishop of Meath after the Restoration , presented the manuscript to Trinity College in Dublin in , and it has remained there ever since, except for brief loans to other libraries and museums.
It has been on display to the public in the Old Library at Trinity since the 19th century. Over the years, the Book of Kells received several additions to its text.
In the 16th century, one Gerald Plunkett of Dublin added a series of Roman numerals numbering the chapters of the Gospels according to the division created by 13th-century Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton.
The manuscript's rise to worldwide fame began in the 19th century. The association with St. Columba, who died the same year Augustine brought Christianity and literacy to Canterbury from Rome, was used to demonstrate Ireland's cultural primacy, seemingly providing "irrefutable precedence in the debate on the relative authority of the Irish and Roman churches".
Over the centuries, the book has been rebound several times. During an 18th-century rebinding, the pages were rather unsympathetically cropped, with small parts of some illustrations being lost.
The book was also rebound in , but that rebinding broke down quickly. By the late s, several folios had detached completely and were kept separate from the main volume.
In , bookbinder Roger Powell rebound the manuscript in four volumes and stretched several pages that had developed bulges. In , the volume containing the Gospel of Mark was sent to Canberra , Australia, for an exhibition of illuminated manuscripts.
This was only the fourth time the Book of Kells had been sent abroad for exhibition. Unfortunately, the volume suffered what has been called "minor pigment damage" while en route to Canberra.
It is thought that the vibrations from the aeroplane's engines during the long flight may have caused the damage.
The Book of Kells contains the four Gospels of the Christian scriptures written in black, red, purple, and yellow ink in an insular majuscule script, preceded by prefaces, summaries, and concordances of Gospel passages.
The majority of the folios are part of larger sheets, called bifolios , which are folded in half to form two folios.
The bifolios are nested inside of each other and sewn together to form gatherings called quires. On occasion, a folio is not part of a bifolio but is instead a single sheet inserted within a quire.
The extant folios are gathered into 38 quires. There are between four and twelve folios two to six bifolios per quire; the folios are commonly, but not invariably, bound in groups of ten.
Some folios are single sheets, as is frequently the case with the important decorated pages. The folios had lines drawn for the text, sometimes on both sides, after the bifolios were folded.
Prick marks and guide lines can still be seen on some pages. Originally, the folios were of no standard size, but they were cropped to the current size during a 19th-century rebinding.
Each text page has 16 to 18 lines of text. The book must have been the product of a major scriptorium over several years, yet was apparently never finished, the projected decoration of some pages appearing only in outline.
It is believed that some 30 folios of the original manuscript have been lost over the centuries. The overall estimate is based on gaps in the text and the absence of certain key illustrations.
The extant book contains preliminary matter, the complete text of the Gospels of Matthew , Mark and Luke , and the Gospel of John through John The remainder of John and an unknown amount of the preliminary matter is missing and was perhaps lost when the book was stolen early in the 11th century.
The remaining preliminary matter consists of two fragmentary lists of Hebrew names contained in the Gospels, Breves causae Gospel summaries , Argumenta short biographies of the Evangelists , and Eusebian canon tables.
It is probable that, like the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Books of Durrow and Armagh, part of the lost preliminary material included the letter of Jerome to Pope Damasus I beginning Novum opus , in which Jerome explains the purpose of his translation.
It is also possible, though less likely, that the lost material included the letter of Eusebius to Carpianus, in which he explains the use of the canon tables.
There are two fragments of the lists of Hebrew names; one on the recto of the first surviving folio and one on folio 26, which is currently inserted at the end of the prefatory matter for John.
The first list fragment contains the end of the list for the Gospel of Matthew. The missing names from Matthew would require an additional two folios.
The second list fragment, on folio 26, contains about a fourth of the list for Luke. The list for Luke would require an additional three folios.
The structure of the quire in which folio 26 occurs is such that it is unlikely that there are three folios missing between folios 26 and 27, so that it is almost certain that folio 26 is not now in its original location.
There is no trace of the lists for Mark and John. The first list fragment is followed by the canon tables of Eusebius of Caesarea.
These tables, which predate the text of the Vulgate, were developed to cross-reference the Gospels. Eusebius divided the Gospel into chapters and then created tables that allowed readers to find where a given episode in the life of Christ was located in each of the Gospels.
The canon tables were traditionally included in the prefatory material in most mediaeval copies of the Vulgate text of the Gospels.
The tables in the Book of Kells, however, are almost unusable because the scribe condensed the tables in such a way as to make them confused.
In addition, the corresponding chapter numbers were never inserted into the margins of the text, making it impossible to find the sections to which the canon tables refer.
The reason for the omission remains unclear: The Breves causae and Argumenta belong to a pre-Vulgate tradition of manuscripts. The Breves causae are summaries of the Old Latin translations of the Gospels and are divided into numbered chapters.
These chapter numbers, like the numbers for the canon tables, are not used on the text pages of the Gospels.
It is unlikely that these numbers would have been used, even if the manuscript had been completed, because the chapter numbers corresponded to old Latin translations and would have been difficult to harmonise with the Vulgate text.
The Argumenta are collections of legends about the Evangelists. The Breves causae and Argumenta are arranged in a strange order: