Vulgate Gospels

Northern Italy, sixth century. Gospel of St Mark 1

St Jerome’s Latin Vulgate (from the Latin vulgata, meaning ‘common’ or ‘popular’) was commissioned by Pope Damasus in 382. Based on translations then in use, it employs the everyday written Latin style of the fourth century, in contrast to the more formal, elegant Latin of Cicero. Jerome’s Vulgate became the standard version of the Bible in the West for over a thousand years.

Although this particular manuscript retains elements of the previous ‘Old Latin’ translation, it forms one of the earliest surviving copies of St Jerome’s Vulgate. It shows the continuing efforts of the Church to replace the many earlier Latin versions of the Bible with one authorised version.

British Library- Vulgate Gospels

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