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Book of Durrow

The Book of Durrow is interesting as it presents the four Evangelists in a different way from how the Book of Kells would 100 years later. In the Book of Kells, the four Evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are represented by the symbols of man, lion, calf and eagle respectively, in accordance with the Latin Vulgate version of the gospels prepared by St Jerome in the late fourth century CE. The Book of Durrow, however, follows the pre-Vulgate version where the lion represents John and the eagle, Mark.

As with any book or object that is 1,300 years old, the Book of Durrow's survival is truly remarkable – and its fascination has not dimmed.

Shelfmark: TCD MS 57 folio 21v (image of Matthew)

Laura Shanahan

Laura Shanahan is Head of Research Collections, leading the Departments of Early Printed Books & Special Collections, Manuscripts & Archives, Music and Maps. Since joining Trinity in 2018, she has been focussed on increasing philanthropic support for collections-related activity, including the development of the Virtual Trinity Library, and has a particular interest in project-based working.