MINIATURIST, Irish
(active late 9th century in Armagh)

Mac Durnan Gospels

890s
Manuscript (Ms. 1370), 159 x 111 mm
Lambeth Palace Library, London

The Mac Durnan (Macdurnan) Gospels is the last great Irish Gospel Book. It is associated with Maelbrigt Macdurnan, abbot of Armagh (died 927). The manuscript passed into the possession of King Aethelstan of Wessex and Mercia (r. 924-939), who presented the book to Christ Church, Canterbury.

The Mac Durnan manuscript is a small book, in essence a pocket gospel, a type of book which was favoured in Ireland between the 7th and 9th centuries. It is written in Irish miniscule script, a style of writing characterised by the use of small lettering, which was popular in Ireland during the 8th and 9th centuries.

The text contains the four Gospels of the Latin Vulgate. The prefatory folio presents the animal symbols of the four Evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Three Gospels are introduced by Evangelist portraits at their opening pages.[

Folio 115v shows St. Luke with crozier and book.