skip to content

Christian Works : Book of Cerne

Christian Works

<p style='text-align: justify;'>The <i>Book of Cerne</i> is a composite manuscript. The central section, part II (fols 2-99), is a ninth-century prayerbook written in principally in Latin with some glosses in Old English. It contains a selection of extracts from the gospels, prayers and hymns probably assembled for private devotion. It is believed to have been composed in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia (which broadly corresponds to the modern West Midlands). At some later point, possibly as late as the sixteenth century, this ninth-century manuscript was bound together with two other collections of texts assembled at Cerne Abbey in Dorset (parts I (fols i-xxvi) and III (fols i-xxviii). It is from this that the manuscript takes its name, although there is no evidence to associate the Anglo-Saxon portion of the manuscript with Cerne.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The Book of Cerne is stylistically associated with a group of eighth- and ninth-century prayerbooks produced in southern England known as the Tiberius or Canterbury group. Surviving members of the group are London, British Library, MSS <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Harley 7653</a> (known as the <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Harley prayerbook</a>), <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Harley 2965</a> (known as the <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Book of Nunnaminster</a>) and <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Royal 2.A.xx</a>. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The <i>Book of Cerne</i> is on display in the British Library exhibition <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War</a> until 19 February 2019. </p>

Want to know more?

Under the 'View more options' menu you can find , any transcription and translation we have of the text and find out about sharing this image.

No Contents List Available
No Metadata Available


If you want to share this page with others you can send them a link to this individual page:
Alternatively please share this page on social media

You can also embed the viewer into your own website or blog using the code below: