Agnolo Bronzino

Agnolo Gaddi

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Andreadi di Bonaiuto

Andrea del Castagno

Andrea del Sarto

Andrea di Bartolo

Andrea Mantegna

Antonello da Messina

Antonio del Pollaiuolo

Bartolo di Fredi

Bartolomeo di Giovanni

Benozzo Gozzoli

Benvenuto di Giovanni

Bernard Berenson

Bernardo Daddi

Bianca Cappello

Bicci di Lorenzo

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Buonamico Buffalmacco

Byzantine art



Dietisalvi di Speme

Domenico Beccafumi

Domenico di Bartolo

Domenico di Michelino

Domenico veneziano


Duccio di Buoninsegna

Eleonora da Toledo

Federico Zuccari

Filippino Lippi

Filippo Lippi

Fra Angelico

Fra Carnevale

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco Pesellino

Francesco Rosselli

Francia Bigio

Gentile da Fabriano


Domenico Ghirlandaio


Giorgio Vasari

Giotto di bondone

Giovanni da Modena

Giovanni da San Giovanni

Giovanni di Francesco

Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni Toscani

Girolamo di Benvenuto

Guidoccio Cozzarelli

Guido da Siena

Il Sodoma

Jacopo del Sellaio

Jacopo Pontormo

Lippo Memmi

Lippo Vanni

Lorenzo Ghiberti

Lorenzo Monaco

Lo Scheggia

Lo Spagna

Luca Signorelli


masolino da panicale

master of monteoliveto

master of sain tfrancis

master of the osservanza

matteo di giovanni

memmo di filippuccio

neroccio di bartolomeo

niccolo di segna

paolo di giovanni fei

paolo ucello


piero della francesca

piero del pollaiolo

piero di cosimo

pietro aldi

pietro lorenzetti



sandro botticelli

sano di pietro


simone martini

spinello aretino

taddeo di bartolo

taddeo gaddi

ugolino di nerio



Codex Amiatinus

The illuminated manuscript Codex Amiatinus (ad 689–716) in Florence contains an illustration
of the prophet Ezra writing in front of a cupboard with open doors that reveal shelves holding books
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The Codex Amiatinus

The Codex Amiatinus is the earliest surviving manuscript of the complete Bible in the Latin Vulgate version, and is considered the most accurate copy of St. Jerome's text. It was used in the revision of the Vulgate by Pope Sixtus V in 1585-90.

Ceolfrith, abbot of the twin monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow in Northumbria, had three copies of the Bible made from a model coming from Cassiodorus' Vivarium. Of these only the Codex Amiatinus (ms. Laur. Amiat. 1) survives intact today. This manuscript, written between the end of the seventh and the beginning of the eighth centuries by at least seven or eight scribes, is exceptionally large. It is composed of 1029 parchment leaves, measures 540 x 345 mm and weighs around 50 kilos. Its extraordinary interest derives not only from these external characteristics, but also because it is the most ancient and complete witness to the Vulgate Latin Bible.

The Codex Amiatinus was carried to Rome by Ceolfrith as a gift to Pope Gregory II in 716. At an undeter-mined date, though certainly before the beginning of the eleventh century, the manuscript came to the Monastery of San Salvatore on Mount Amiata, where it remained for at least seven centuries, except for a brief period in Rome when it was collated by the commission in charge of the Sistine Bible (1590).
Kept in the reliquary cupboard of the Amiatine monastery, it fell victim to the Suppression of the Monasteries ordered by Grand Duke Leopold and was confiscated in 1782. Two years later it was assigned to the Laurentian Library where first the Medicis and then the House of Lorena hoarded the most important witnesses of Western culture in their possession.

The imposing structure of this manuscript, its venerable age and the value of its great miniatures (of which the most famous is that portraying Ezra copying the Holy Scriptures) have ensured it's strict conservation. Thus, the manuscript is still in excellent conditions. These same features have, however, made consulting or exhibiting the manu-script extremely difficult as well as carrying out its accurate reproduction.[1]
The symbol for it is written am or A (Wordsworth). It is preserved in an immense tome, measuring 19¼ inches high, 13⅜ inches in breadth, and 7 inches thick, and weighs over 75 pounds — so impressive, as Hort says, as to fill the beholder with a feeling akin to awe.[2] [3]
It contains Epistula Hieronymi ad Damasum, Prolegomena to the four Gospels.
Some consider it, with White, as perhaps "the finest book in the world"; still there are several manuscripts which are as beautifully written and have besides, like the Book of Kells or Lindisfarne Gospels, those exquisite ornaments of which Amiatinus is devoid. It qualifies as an illuminated manuscript as it has some decoration including two full-page miniatures, but these show little sign of the usual insular style of Northumbrian art and are clearly copied from Late Antique originals. It contains 1040 leaves of strong, smooth vellum, fresh-looking today despite their great antiquity, arranged in quires of four sheets, or quaternions. It is written in uncial characters, large, clear, regular, and beautiful, two columns to a page, and 43 or 44 lines to a column. A little space is often left between words, but the writing is in general continuous. The text is divided into sections, which in the Gospels correspond closely to the Ammonian Sections. There are no marks of punctuation, but the skilled reader was guided into the sense by stichometric, or verse-like, arrangement into cola and commata, which correspond roughly to the principal and dependent clauses of a sentence. From this manner of writing the script is believed to have been modeled upon the Codex Grandior of Cassiodorus,[4] but it may go back, perhaps, even to St. Jerome.

Page with dedication; "Ceolfrith of the English" was altered into "Peter of the Lombards"
Originally three copies of the Bible were commissioned by Ceolfrid in 692.[1] This date has been established as the double monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow secured a grant of additional land to raise the 2000 head of cattle needed to produce the vellum. Bede was most likely involved in the compilation. Ceolfrid accompanied one copy intended as a gift to Pope Gregory II, but he died en route to Rome.[1] The book later appears in the 9th century in Abbey of Saint Saviour in Abbadia San Salvatore, near the Monte Amiata (hence the description "Amiatinus"). The Benedictine Abbey of San Salvatore (or abbey of Saint Saviour) was, the most powerful abbey in Tuscany during the Middle Ages.There the Codex Amiatinus remained until 1786 when it passed to Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library in Florence. The dedication page had been altered and the librarian Angelo Maria Bandini suggested that the author was Servandus, a follower of St. Benedict, and was produced at Monte Cassino around the 540s. This claim was accepted for the next hundred years, establishing it as the oldest copy of the Vulgate, but scholars in Germany noted the similarity to 9th-century texts. In 1888 Giovanni Battista de Rossi established that the Codex was related to the Bibles mentioned by Bede. This also established that Amiatinus was related to the Greenleaf Bible fragment in the British Library. Although de Rossi's attribution removed 150 years from the age of the Codex, it remained the oldest version of the Vulgate.


Codex Amiatinus, f 796v, pred 716, Maiestas


Double page

    Maiestas Domini (Christ in Majesty) with the Four Evangelists and their symbols, at the start of the New Testament; page from Codex Amiatinus (fol. 796v), Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana.    

Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana
Piazza San Lorenzo n° 9 - 50123 Firenze

The Codex Amiatinus |

Further reading

Ferdinand Florens Fleck, Novum Testamentum Vulgatae editionis juxta textum Clementis VIII. Romanum ex Typogr. Apost. Vatic. A 1592 accurate expressum (Lipsiae 1840).

Constantinus Tischendorf (1854). Codex Amiatinus. Novum Testamentum Latine interprete Hieronymo. Lipsiae: Avenarius and Mendelssohn.

D. J. Chapman, Notes on the Early History of the Vulgate Gospels, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1908.

The City and the Book: International Conference Proceedings, Florence, 2001.

Alphabet and Bible: From the Margins to the Centre. Paper at Monte Amiata, 2009.

Makepeace, Maria. "The 1,300 year pilgrimage of the Codex Amiatinus". Umilta Website. Retrieved 2006-06-07. Contains link to facsimile project, as well.

H. J. White, The Codex Amiatinus and its Birthplace, in: Studia Biblica et Ecclesiasctica (Oxford 1890), Vol. II, pp. 273–308. reprint from 2007

[1] The Codex Amiatinus |
[2] H. J. White, The Codex Amiatinus and its Birthplace, in: Studia Biblica et Ecclesiasctica (Oxford 1890), Vol. II, p. 273.
[3] Richard Marsden, Amiatinus, Codex, in: Blackwell encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England, ed. Michael Lapidge,John Blair,Simon Keynes, Wiley-Blackwell, 2001, s. 31.
[4] Dom John Chapman, The Codex Amiatinus and the Codex grandior in: Notes on the early history of the Vulgate Gospels, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1908, pp. 2–8.

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This article incorporates text from Wikipedia article Codex Amiatinus published under the GNU Free Documentation License, and from Manuela Vestri, La Bibbia Amiatina | The Codex Amiatinus.

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