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[The Book of Kells] is the most lavishly decorated of a series of gospel manuscripts produced between the seventh and ninth centuries, when Irish art and culture flourished at home and in centres of Irish missionary activity overseas. The artistic style of the period is commonly known as ŽinsularŪ. The Book is written in a bold and expert script of a type best described as Žinsular majusculeŪ. The text is based on the Vulgate (the version of the Bible completed by St. Jerome in 384 AD) intermixed with strong elements of the version that preceded it, known as the Old Latin translation. This text is decorated and at the same time elucidated with images of great iconographic subtlety. Important words and phrases are emphasized and the text is enlivened by an endlessly inventive range of decorated initials and interlinear drawings. (Meehan 9)

 

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