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Introducing the Book of Kells

In this video, Rachel Moss and Fáinche Ryan will introduce you to the Book of Kells, summarise the content of the book, and its history.

The Book of Kells is a gospel book, containing the four accounts of Christ’s life that form the New Testament of the Bible.

It is one of the few precious survivals of an influential tradition of book production that flourished in the Irish Church in the eighth and ninth centuries. The name of the manuscript derives from the monastery at Kells, Co. Meath in Ireland. The monastery was founded c. 807AD by monks fleeing Viking attacks at the monastery of Iona, off the Western coast of Scotland.

Although it is impossible to date the manuscript with absolute certainty, it is generally agreed that it was probably started on Iona in the late eighth century, and may have been transferred to Ireland for safety prior to its completion. It remained at Kells until the late seventeenth century, when it was brought to Trinity College in Dublin for safekeeping.

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The Book of Kells: Exploring an Irish Medieval Masterpiece

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