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About this Item


  • Purple Gospel.


  • This sumptuous manuscript, known as the Purple Gospel, is written almost entirely in gold and silver on purple-stained parchment. It dates from the first quarter of the ninth century. It contains architectural canon tables and decorated initials in gold and silver at the beginning of the texts of the four gospels and of the prologue to Mark. Four whole-page miniatures of scenes from the New Testament, on folios 24 and 197, were formerly thought to be Ottonian copies (early tenth to early 11th centuries) made from models from late antiquity; most scholars today, however, consider them contemporary with the rest of the manuscript and based on a sixth century exemplar. The manuscript bears monograms at the end of the codex; these were formerly ascribed to the abbot-bishop of Reichenau-Basel, Hatto (806-23). The scholar B. Bischoff, however, interpreted them as "HANTO EPISCOBVS", and related them to the holder of the episcopal see of Augsburg of the same name (807-16); this interpretation is today generally accepted. The manuscript was presented to Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria by Johann Georg Werdenstein in 1587; it was thus part of the earliest collections of the Munich court library, the predecessor of the Bavarian State Library.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [800 to 825]


  • -  Germany--Bavaria--Augsburg
  • -  800 to 825
  • -  Bible
  • -  Bible. New Testament
  • -  Illuminations
  • -  Miniatures (Illuminations)


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "BSB shelfmark: Clm 23631|This description of the work was written by Béatrice Hernad of the Bavarian State Library."--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: 245 leaves : parchment, illuminations ; 31 x 20 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: Bavarian State Library.
  • -  Content in Latin.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Illuminated Manuscripts from Europe

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667982

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Purple Gospel. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 800 to 825, 0800] Pdf.

APA citation style:

(0800) Purple Gospel. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 800 to 825] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Purple Gospel. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 800 to 825, 0800] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.