- s. vii2/s. viii (?)
Through a detailed exploration of decorated folios within the seventh-century Book of Durrow and a discussion of relevant liturgical literature and referential artistic material from the early medieval period, this article constructs a framework for conceptualizing how early Insular artist-scribes created and understood biblical manuscript illumination. The multifaceted nature of studying and copying liturgical texts directly reflected the popular concepts of memoria and meditatio, committing knowledge to the mind and gaining a spiritual transcendence from the transformative powers of the Word itself. The unification of text and image as exegetical literary device in the Book of Durrow reflected mnemonic and allegoric conventions that stemmed from British, Frankish, and Byzantine traditions proliferated in Ireland via the Columban monastic network. Far from being mere textual decorations, elaborately interlaced carpet pages, stylized initial lettering, and zoo-anthropomorphic motifs echoed emerging theological understanding of spiritual consciousness and demonstrated Irish monastic facility in adapting cross-cultural artistic influences.
- s. xviex