This dissertation constitutes a detailed material study of eight Gospel book manuscripts produced at the Abbey of Montecassino in the late eleventh-century:
- CittγåÊ del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vat. lat. 10644, ff. 28r-31v (mass evangelistary; s.XI2; fragment)
- Frosinone, Archivio di Stato, Fondo pergamene inv. 142 (mass evangelistary; s,XI/XII; fragment)
- Lucca, Archivio di Stato, Busta 9, c. 263, n. 45 (evangelary/mass evangelistary; s.XIex; fragment)
- Montecassino, Archivio dell'Abbazia, 191, pp. 1-128 (night office evangelistary; s.XImed)
- Montecassino, Archivio dell'Abbazia, 211 (evangelary; s.XIex)
- Montecassino, Archivio dell'Abbazia, 229 (mass evangelistary; s.XIex)
- Montecassino, Archivio dell'Abbazia, 424 (night office evangelistary, s.XImed)
- Rimini, Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga, SC-MS.24 (night office evangelistary, s.XIex)
The material evidence of production processes (the preparation and selection of parchment; the folding, assembling, pricking and ruling of folios; the copying, rubricating and illumination of text) are described, analyzed, and compared with codicological and palaeographical data from contemporary Cassinese manuscripts, other Gospel books produced in the Beneventan script, and with quantitative studies of contemporary and/regional manuscript production. Material evidence of the use and adaptation of the object is discussed, and an attempt is made to understand the Cassinese Gospel books within their historical spatial contexts at the Abbey.
Gospel books, central to the celebration of Christian liturgy, are frequently assumed to be in some way different to other books. By investigating each material aspect of this group of Gospel books from a single time and place, we demonstrate to what extent this was the case. By focusing attention on the Gospel books as material objects, the study underlines that their intended functions and actual use(s) had as much to do with their physical presence as to do with their textual contents. In this way, the study of the Cassinese Gospel books as material objects provides a more secure basis for future work on the use of Gospel books in the Middle Ages, both at Montecassino and elsewhere.