The Christianity of Carolingian classicism

Title: The Christianity of Carolingian classicism
Variant title:
  • Křesťanství v karolínském klasicismu
Source document: Convivium. 2016, vol. 3, iss. 1, pp. 22-39
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Summary language
License: Not specified license
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Manuscripts illuminated during the ninth century have long been understood primarily as faithful replicas of hypothetical lost Late Antique models. Whereas that scholarly paradigm might hold true for certain astronomical and other scientific texts, it is inadequate to account for the ambitious classicism applied to books of the Bible, including the Godescalc Evangelistary, First Bible of Charles the Bald, and Utrecht Psalter. This article argues that these are better understood as classical intensifications of "subantique" sources or confections all'antica rather than as simple copies. And it maintains that underlying the recreation of the appearance of Late Antique manuscripts in them is not only a notion of classical revival but also the idea of supersession, that is, of translating written sacred scripture into a visual language that opens it to gentiles.