Some random surfing today (now long since forgotten) brought me to the British National Library's virtual exhibition on the Lindisfarne Gospels. This fantastic illuminated manuscript was created at an island monastery in Northumbria, probably by a single monk around the early eighth century.
In addition to amazing artwork, the Gospels are the oldest surviving translation of any Gospels into English, in the form of word glosses added to the Latin version more than 200 years later by Aldred. The Lindisfarne Gospels thus represent one of the earliest attempts to make the Gospel message accessible beyond the circle of monastic scholarship, by annotating the sources with additional information, much as we do today with HTML and other markup languages.
I was also struck to learn that the book begins with 16 pages of "canon tables" indexing similar passages between the Gospels, developed by Eusebius, of which my Composite Gospel Index is just a more modern example.
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