Vekenega's Gospels ~ 11th Century

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     St Mary’s Benedictine nunnery in Zadar was founded in the 10th century, but acquired its present form in 1066 in the time of the prioress Čika, sister to the King Peter Krešimir IV and Mother Vekenega who succeed her as prioress. In their time the nunnery thrived and many liturgical books were published. These are: St. Mary’s cartulary, Zadar, and Čika’s breviary, now in the Hungarian Academy Library, Budapest, and Vekenega’s Book of Gospels, now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The Book of Gospels was written on parchment and contains 196 sheets (size 285 x 190 mm). The textual part of the sheets is 194 x 97 mm. Each page has 19 lines. The text is written in the Beneventan script, brought to Dalmatia from Beneventa, Italy, and was in use between the 10th and 13th centuries. A few sheets, written in Gothic script, were included later. The book contains gospels read on Sundays and holidays in the year, and also the Easter song “Exultet” written under neumes without staves. The present leather binding dates from the 18th century.

7 March 2002

     The stamp was issued in 1996 to celebrate 900 years of Vekenega’s Book of Gospels.

SCN 309