Scale In Inches
Engraved Step Ornament on piece of wood found at the Glastonbury Lake Village
Drawn by Arthur Bulleld, f.s.a.
CELTIC \RT OF THE CHRISTIAN PERIOD (a.d. 450 to 1066)
the introduction ok christianity into britain, and its ekkect on native art
IT must always be borne in mind that the conversion of the inhabitants of Britain from Paganism to Christianity was a gradual process, extending over a period of several hurdred years. Almost as soon as the new religion began to take deep root in England it was swept away by the Saxon conquest, and the converts who were not exterminated by the ruthless Pagan invaders fled for refuge to Wales and Cornwall. The archa;ologioaI evidence of the existence of Romano-British Christianity is so far very scanty. Out of the several hundreds of inscribed and sculptured monuments belonging to the period of the Roman occupation of Britain there are hardly any which bear Christian symbols or show traces of Christian art.1 There are only two "nstances of the occurrence of a Christian symbol on a Romano-British structure, namely, (1) at Chedworth,2 where the Chi-Rho monogram is carved twice upon a stone in the steps leading
1 A Romin sarcophagous discovered at Hart'.ip, Kent, was caned with two palm branches, believed to be Christian, as this symbol does not occur in connection with Pagan interments. See Collectanea Avthyna, vol. i., p. 173.
2 J'¡urn. Brit. Archcenl. Assoc., vol. xxiii., p. 228.
into the corridor of a Roman villa there ; and (2) at Frampton,1 Dorsetshire, where the same monogram forms part of the decoration of a mosaic pavement ffl one of the rooms of a Roman villa.2
Whilst England remained under the dominion of Saxon Pagandom for a century and a half in some parts, and for nearly two centuries in others, Christian ty spread rapidly from Gaul to Cornwall, Wales, and the south-west of Scotland, and thence to Ireland. There was also a return wave of Celtic Christianity from Ireland to Iona, and from Iona to Lindisfarne, in Nortiium-hria, which was founded a.d. 635. The localities where Christianity was first replanted in Britain are indicated archa;ologically by the geographical distribution of monuments bearing the Chi-Rho monogram, which is as follows :—
Cornwall.—St. Endellion, St. Just- in - I'enwith, St. Helen's Chapel, Lanteglos-by-Fowey, Phillack, South Hill.3
As the Chi Rho monogram does not occur on the early inscribed stones of Ireland, but in place of it the cross with equal arms expanded at the ends, enclosed
1 S. Lysons' Rtliqniir Brittanico Romance, No. 3, pi. 5.
For the latest information as to the arcihseology of the Romano-British Churth see Mr. John Ward's two volumes of this series, both issued in 1911 : The Roman Era in Britain, pp. m-13; Romano-British Buildings and Earthworks, pp. 250- 3. In addition to the undoubted Christian church at Silehester, Mr. Ward is of opinion that a small building discovered at Caerwent in 1901) has some claim to be regarded as a church.
3 Two more Cornish examples have been discovered since the first edition. See Vict. Co. /Hit. Cornwall, vol. i., p. 412.
in a circle, which is derived from the monogram,1 it naturally follows that Irish Christianity is later than that of Cornwall, Wales, and the south-west of Scotland.
The definite history cf the Christianizing of this country begins with the opening years of the fifth century; it followed directly from the foundation of the school of learning and centre of missionary enterprise by St. Martin at Tours, in France. In a.d. 397 St. Marti- died, and not long after, in a.i). 412, his disciple, St. Ninian, built a stone church dedicated to his master at Whithorn, Wigtownshire. In a.d. 429 Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus, Bishop of Troyes, visited Britain :n order to suppress, the Pelagian heresy. About the same time the conversion of Ireland is believed to have been commenced by either St. Patrick or by St. Palladius (circa a.d. 432;. The sixth ccntury witnessed the foundation of the great school of ecclesiastical learning at Llantwit Major, Glamorganshire, where St. David, St. Samson, and Gildas the historian were educated ; but an event of even greater importance was the landing of St. Columba at Iona in a.i). 563, and the subsequent conversion of the northern Picts. The sixth century ends with the conversion of Kent by St. Augustine in a.d. 597. It was eighty-four years more before the South Saxons accepted Christianity and the conversion of England became complete. In the meantime the differences between the Saxon and Celtic Churches had been settled in favour of the former at the Synod of Whitby in a.d. 664.
Reviewing the historical facts just mentioned, it
1 See J. R. Allen's Christian Symbolism, p. 04. The Chi-Rho monogram occurs on inscribed monuments in Gaul between a.d. 377 and 493.
appears that for about 200 years (from A.r>. 450 to 650) there was a separate Celtic Church i;i Britain, which may appropriately be called the pre-Augustinian Church. The question now naturally suggests itself, to what extent did the introduction of Christian ;ty influence the native art of Britain during the 200 years which followed the departure of the Romans from its shores? The answer supplied by archaeology is that before about a.i>. 650 there was no distinctively Christian art existing in this country.
The monuments belonging to the pre-Augustinian Church consist of rude pillar-stones with incised crosses of early form, or with Latin inscriptions i 1 debased Roman capitals, sometimes with Celtic inscription in Ogams in addition. The monuments of this class do not, as a rule, show any trace of ornament or sculpture beyond the crosses and inscriptions. The only recorded exceptions are—
An Ogam-inscribed stone from Per.tre Pocth,1 Brecknockshire, now : 1 the British Museum, having on one face a bishop with his crozier, St. Michael and the Dragon, and very rude zigzag ornament.
An Ogam-inscribed stone from Glenfahan,2 Co. Kerry, now in the Dublin Museum, with rude spiral ornament, a figure of a rran, a looped pattern, and several crosses.
An Ogam-inscr:bed stone at Killeen Cormac,3 Co. Kildare, lying prostrate near the entrance gate, with a bust of Christ carrying the cross over the right shoulder.
St. Gobnet's Stone at Ballyvourney,4 Co. Cork, with a cross enclosed in a circle, surmounted by the figure of a bishop hold:ng his crozier.
J Archceologia Camhrensis, ser. 6, vol. ¡., p. 240.
3 JourK. R. Hist, and .1. A. of Ireland, ser. 4, vol. ii., p. 546.
A stone, with a minuscule inscription, at Reask,1 Co. Kerry, having on the same face a cross in a circle, with incised spiral ornament at each side of the shaft.
The stones, with incised symbols of unknown meaning, which are so common in the north-east of Scotland,
possibly belong to the same early period. The ornament on some of them has a very marked Late-Celtic character.
There are no Celtic MSS. with illuminations or ornament of any kind to which a date earlier than A.l>. 650
1 Archccihgia Catnbrensis, ser. 5, vol. ix., p. 147
can he assigned, but there are a certain number of metal objects which illustrate the overlap of the Pagan and Christian styles of Celtic art. Amongst the most important of these are the bronze bowls with enamelled mountings and zoomorphic handles which have been
described at some length by the author in the Archceo-logia (vol. lvi., p. 43). The chief peculiarities of the bowls is the hollow moulding just below the rim and the three or four handles with rings for suspension. The upper part of each handle is like a hook, term: nating in a beast's head, which rests on the rim of the bowl and projects inwards over it. The lower part of each handle is circular, or in the shape of the body of a bird, and is fixed to the convex sides of the bowl. The circular form is most common in the examples found in England, and the disc is either ornamented with champleve enamel1 or with piercings, giving a cruciform appearance.2
Enameiled Handle of Bronze Bowl from Chesterton-on-Fossway, Warwickshire Now in tLe Warwick Museum. Scale 1 linear
Enameiled Handle of Bronze Bowl from Chesterton-on-Fossway, Warwickshire Now in tLe Warwick Museum. Scale 1 linear
The earliest of the series from Barlaston, Staffordshire, now n the possession of Miss Wedgwood, has three handles all a1 ike, ornamented with discs of enamel,
1 As in the specimens from Barlaston, Staffordshire; Chesterton-on the-Fossway, Warwickshire; Barring-ton, Cambridgeshire; Crosthwaite c'jmbcrland ; Middleton Moor, Derbyshire; Oxford; and Greenwich.
2 As in the specimens from Wilton, Wilts ; and Faversham, Kent.
the designs on which are distinctly Late-Celtic in style, and consist of small circles connected by C- and S-shaDed curves. In the case of the enamelled handles of the other specimens, closely coiled spirals of the Bronze Age type take the place of the circles, and by this trifling alteration the character of the design is so completely changed as to be almost identical with the spiral decoration of the Book of Durrow and other Irish MSS. of the same period. We see here exactly
when and how the flamboyant ornament of Pagan Celtic art became transformed into the spiralwork of the Christian illuminated MSS. which was afterwards applied to the decoration of the sculptured crosses and ecclesiastical metalwork. The circumstances under which the bowls have been found show that they belong to the Pagan Saxon period between a.d. 450 and 600.
In the museum of the Society of Antiquaries at Burlington House there is the cast of an object from the collection of Mr. Albert Way, the well-known antiquary, which exhibits a curious mixture of styles. Where the original is, or where it came from, is unfortunately not known, but it has every appearance of having been of metal. In the middle of the object is a square panel of triangular pierced work, exactly like that on the cover of the Stowe Missal1 (made a.d. 1023 to 1052); whilst at each of the rounded ends are curved designs with trumpet-shaped expansions of pronounced Late-Celtic type.
Plaitwork, which is, of course, one of the leading motives of Celtic art of the Christian period, occurs occasionally in association with Pagan flamboyant ornament, as on a brooch from the Ardaki'.len2 crannog, near Stokestown, Co. Roscommon (now in the Dublin Museum), and on a gold armlet from Rhayader,s Radnorshire (now in the British Museum).
Amongst objects belonging to the early Christian Celtic period before a.d. 600, may probably be classed the leaf-shaped silver plates engraved with symbols from Norrie's Law,4 Forfarshire, and the terminal link of a silver chain, also engraved with symbols, from Crawfordjohn,5 Lanarkshire (all in the Edinburgh Museum of Antiquities). The hammer-headed pins also, a list of which has already been given (p. 108), seem, from the enamelled designs upon them, to belong to the transitional period between Celtic Paganism and Christianity.
Although, as we have just seen, the introduction of
1 Miss M. Stokes' Early Christian Art in Ireland, p. 92. The Stowe Missal is in the Museum of the R.I.A. at Duhlin.
s Archceohcria Cambrensis, ser. 5, vol. xvi., p. 261.
4 I)r. J. Anderson's Scotland in Early Christian Times, 2nd ser., p. 38.
CAST OF IWICTAL OBJECT (LOCALITY UNKNOWN) FROM THE ALBERT' WAY COLLECTION; NOW IN THE MUSEUM OF THE SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES, BURLINGTON HOUSE, LONDON-
COVER OF THh STOWE MISSAL IN THE MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEM1 DUBLIN
COVER OF THh STOWE MISSAL IN THE MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEM1 DUBLIN
Christianity into Britain did not immediately affect the native Pagan art to any appreciable extent, yet as soon as the Saxons were converted and communication with the Continent became easier and therefore more frequent, an entirely new style of decoration came into existence with extraordinary rapidity. The flamboyant designs of the Late-Celtic period were modified by combining them with the closely coiled spiral of the Bronze Age, and several new motives, such as interlaced-work, key-patterns, zoomorphs. and foliage, were introduced from foreign sources. At the same time a complete revolution took place in the class of objects to the decoration of which the skill of the artificer was applied. The priest took the place of the warrior as the patron of the fine arts, and monopolised all the available time of the metalworker and enameller ir. making beautiful vessels for the service of the church. Then, too, with Christianity came the art of writing and illuminating ecclesiastical MSS., which was unknown to the Pagan Celt. The influence of the draughtsman upon other arts was now possible for the first time, and the introduction of MSS. soon worked far-reaching changes. Fresh motives could be more easily transferred from one art centre to another, and decorative designs could be combined and elaborated in a way that was impossible when working in such intractable materials as metal or stone ;nstead of drawing on parchment with a facile pen. The new Celtic style of the Christian period soon took a definite shape, and after the patterns had been ully developed in the illuminated MSS. they were afterwards applied to decorative work in stone and metal.
general nature of the materials availarle for the study of celtic art of the christian period in great britain
The materials available fur the study of Celtic Art of the Christian period may be divided into four classes, namely :—
(1) Illuminated MSS.
(2) Sculptured Stones.
(4) I.eatherwork, Woodwork, and Bonework.
The most important collections of Irish and Hiherno-Saxon MSS. in this country are in the libraries of Trinity College, Dublin ; of the Royal Irish Academy, DuMirt ; and the British Museum. London. There are other smaller collections, or in some cases single volumes only, in the University and College libraries of Oxford and Cambridge ; in the Cathedral libraries at Durham, Lichfield, and Hereford ; and in the Archiépiscopal library at Lambeth. The chief libraries on the Continent which are fortunate enough to possess specimens of Irish calligraphy and illumination (either acquired by purchase or still the property of monasteries originally founded by Irish missionaries) are at Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Paris, St. Gall and Basle in Switzerland, and at Nuremberg, Fulda, and Treves in Germany. The Irish MSS. from the monastery founded by St. Columbanus in a.d. 613 at Bobio, in Piedmont, are distributed over the libraries at Milan, Turin, and Naples. For descriptions and illustrations of these MSS. the reader may be referred to Prof. J. O. West wood's Pahcographia Pictoria Sacra and Miniatures of the Anglo-Saxon and Irish MSS. ; C. Purton Cooper's Report 011 Rymcr's Fader a, Appendix A,
Sir II. James' Facsimiles of the National MSS. of Ireland; Publications of the Palieographical Society; Miss Margaret Stokes' Early Christian Art in Ireland; I)r. J. Stuart's Book of Deer, published by the Spalding Club of Aberdeen ; J. A. Bruun's Illuminated Manuscripts of the Middle Ages; and Dr. W. Reeve's paper on "Early Irish Caligrapliv" in the Ulster Journal of Archicology, vol. v: i., p. 210.
The following is a list of Irish MSS. selected on account of the beauty of their illuminated pages :—
Vespasian A. British Museum.
Psalter of St. John's College Cambridge.
Psalter of Riremarohus Trinity College, Dublin.
Some of the above MSS. can be dated by means of entries giving the name of the scribe or other person, who can be identified by contemporary or nearly contemporary historical record. The oldest MS. with
Book of Lindisfarne . Book of Kells . Book of Dujtow . Book of Armagh Book of St. Chad Book of MarRegol Book of MacDurnan . Book of Deer Codex No. 51 Golden Gospels . Gospels .
Gospels of St. Arnoul, Metz
British Museum (Nero D. iv.). Trinity College, Dublin. Ibid.
Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. Lichfield. Bodleian, Oxford. Lambeth.
Public Library, Cambridge. St. Gall, Switzerland. Royal Library, Stockholm. Imperial Library, St. Peters-Nuremberg. [burg.
illuminations in the Iliberno-Saxon style which can be thus dated is the Lindisfarne Book. It contains two entries written in an English hand of the tenth century, which show that the volume was written by Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne; that .¿Ethilwold, Bishop of Lindisfarne, made the cover for it; that Billfrith, the anchorite, wrought the metalwork for it; and that Aldred, the priest, over-glossed it in English for the love of God and St. Cuthbert. Eadfrith held the see of Lindisfarne from a.n. 698 to 721, and was then succeeded by ^Ethilwold, who held the bishopric of the island until his death in a.n. 740. The Book of Lindisfarne, therefore, must have been written either during the last two years of the seventh century or the first twenty-one years of the eighth century. This may be looked upon as the starting-point of all Hiberno-Saxon art, and its origin may be fairly traced to Lindisfarne, where the Scotic and Anglo-Saxon schools were able to mingle, each reinvigorating the other to their mutual advantage.
The Book of Kells makes its first appearance in history in a.d. 1006, during which year it is recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters that the Great Gospels of Columkille was stolen. Although the name of the scribe who wrote and illuminated this book is unknown, it is probaDle, from the style of the decoration and lettering, that it belongs to about the same period as the Lindisfarne Book, but somewhat later, as the Book of Kells contains foliage amongst the ornament, and is altogether more elaborate.
The Book of Durrow was written by a scribe named Columba, who can hardly have been the celebrated Saint of that name, as his time is far too early foi it. Since the spiral patterns in the Book of Durrow approximate more nearly to the flamboyant designs of the Pagan-Celtic metalwork than those ir any other MS., it cannot be dated later than the eighth century.
The Bonk of St. Chad should more properly be called the Book of St. Teilo, as it contains an entry stating that the volume was purchased by Gelrr, son of Arihtuid, from Cingal for his best horse, and dedicated to God and St. Teilo. Before it was at Lichfield it lay on the altar of Teilo, at Llandaff. This MS. has also a good claim to be of the eighth century.
The Book of Armagh and the Golden Gospels of Stockholm are of the ninth century. The former was written by Ferdomnach, "a sage and choice scribe of Armagh," who died in a.d. 844. The Stockholm Gospels contains a deed of gift, which shows that the volume was bought by the Earl ^Elfred and Wetburg his wife from a Viking, and presented by them to the Cathedral of Canterbury. The deed is signed by ^Elfred, Wetburg, and their daughter Alhtryth, who have all been identified by the will of yElfred, which is attested by ^Eldered, Archbishop of Canterbury, from a.d. 871-9. The Gospels of MacRegol also belongs to the ninth century, if the identification of the scribe who wrote it with " MacRiagoil nepos Magleni, Scriba et Episcopus Abbas Biror" can be relied upon. His death is recorded 1 1 the Irish Annals under the year a.d. 820.
The Gospels of MacDurnan is of the tenth century. It has an inscription on one of the blank pages of the MS. showing that the book was either written for, or was in the possession of, Maelbrigid MacDurnan, and that it was given by King Athelstan to the citv of Canterbury. Maelbrigid MacDurnan was Abbot of Derry in the ninth century, and was afterwards promoted to the see of Armagh in a.d. 927. He died in a.d. 927. Athelstan reigned from a.d. 925 to 941.
The Psalter of Ricemarchus is of the eleventh century. It contains a Latin poem, from which we gather that the book was written by R'cemarch Sulgenson, with the assistance of Ithael, "whose name makes learning golden," and that the initial letters were illuminated by John. Ricemarch, or Rhyddmarch, succeeded his father Sulgen in the see of St. Davids in a.d. 1089, died in a.d. 1096.
The examples given afford a very good series arranged :n chronological order, showing the modifications which the style underwent in the course of the four centuries between a.d. 650 and 1050. We are somewhat sceptical as to there having been any fine illuminated Iliberno-Saxon MSS. before a.d. 700; but assuming that there may have been some which are no longer in existence, the best period is from a.d. 650 to 850 ; then from a.d. 850 to 950 there is a middle period of rather inferior excellence ; and, lastly, from a.d. 950 to 1050 a distinct period of decline which went on with increasing decadence for a century or two after the Norman Conquest.
The number of illuminated pages in the different MSS. varies considerably, sometimes because the volumes are imperfect, but also because they were less lavishly illustrated in the first instance. The ¡Laminated pages in the copies of the Gospels are of the following kinds :—
(1) Initial pages.
(2) Ornamental or Cross nages.
(3) Symbols of the Evangelists.
(4) Portraits of the Evangelists.
(5) Scenes from the Life of Christ.
Tables of Eusebian Canons.
As an instance of a very completely illustrated MS. of the Gospels we may take the LinOsfarne Book, which contains twenty-three, full pages of i lun nation as specified below :—
Four portraits of the Evangelists with their Symbols, one for each Gospel.
Five ornamental pages, one before St. Jerome's Epistle and one before each Gospel.
Six Initial pages, namely—
" Novum opus," commencing St. Jerome's Epistle. "Liber generations," commencing St. Matthew's Gospel.
" Xl'I autem generado," commencing the Genealogy of Christ in St. Matthew's GospeK " Initium Evangelii," commencing St. Mark's Gospel. " yuoniam quidem," commencing St. Luke's Gospel. " In principio erat," commencing St. John's Gospel.
Eight pages of tables of Eusebian Canons.
The Book of Durrow has sixteen illuminated pages, namely, four of the Symbols of the Evangelists ; six ornamental pages, one at the frontispiece, one before the Preface of St. Jerome, and one before each Gospel; and the usual six initial pages.
The Book of Kells is more profusely llustrated than any other Irish MS. in existence. Besides innumerable large and small 'nitials, it contains three portraits of the Evangelists, three comb'ned symbols of the Four Evangelists, three scenes from the Life of Christ— namely, the Virgin and Child, Christ seized by the Jews, and the Temptation of Christ, and eight pages of Eusebian Canons.
The St. Gall Gospels (Codex No. 51) has twelve full pages of illumination, namely, foui portraits of the Evangelists, five initial pages, one ornamental cross-
page, and two scenes from the Life of Christ—the Crucifixion and Christ in Glory.
As an "instance of the method of illustrating the Irish MSS. of the Psalter we may take the one in the library of St. John's College, Cambridge. This has six illuminated pages, namely—
(1) " Beatus vir," commencing the ist Psalm.
(4,1 Miniature of the Crucifixion.
The Vit. F. xi. Psalter in the British Museum has two initial pages and two n-'uiatures, namely, David and Goliath, and David playing the harp.
The Vesp. A. i. Psalter in the British Museum has only one miriature, namely, David playing the harp; but it has a great number of extremely beautiful 'nitial letters ornamented with spiralwork of the best quality. Figure subjects (one of David and the Lion) are introduced in the initials of the 26th, 52nd, 68th, 97th, and 109th Psalms.
The details of the ornamental patterns in the MSS. will be dealt with when we come to consider the leading characteristics of the style; all that we need do now, therefore, is to point out the manner n which the patterns are distributed. The treatment of the miniatures of the Evangelists and of the scenes from the Life of Christ and the Life of David is very simple; the picture is enclosed within a rectangular frame divided into panels, each filled n with a separate piece of ornament complete ;n itself. .Sometimes, as in the case of the miniatures of Christ seized by the Jews in the Book of Kclls, and David playing the harp in the
Vesp. A. i. Psalter, the figures are placed beneath an arch supported by columns at each side. The arcb:-tectura! origin of the design is entirely concealed by converting the columns and the arch <nto pieces of flat ornament arranged iti panels. The pages of Eusebian Canons are also treated architecturally, the tables being placed under arcading so disguised by the incrustations of ornament as to be almost unrecognisable. The initial pages of the Gospels are only partially surrounded by a rectangular frame, so as to allow the tops of the large capital letters to project beyond the frame into the margin. The incomplete portion of the frame on the *ight side of the page is coverted Into a zoomorph in a characteristically Celtic manner by-adding the head of a monster at the top and a fish-like tail at the bottom. The frame and the larger initials within it are covered with panels of ornament. The pages of ornament are generally arranged i 1 rectangular panels, so as to give the appearance of a cross ; or sometimes, as in the Book of Durrow, there is a small equal-armed cross within a circle in the middle of the page, the remainder of which is entirely filled up with ornament. In many cases where the miniatures, etc., are surrounded by a rectangular frame the outer margins are extended and formed into ornamental knots at each of the four corners.
After the Celtic, style of decorative art of the Christian period had been fully developed i 1 the Irish and Iliberno-Saxon illuminated MSS. of the eighth century, it was afterwards applied to sculptured stonework in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries. There are so few details of pre-Norman Celtic bui.dings1
1 The sculptured architectural details of the Round Towers and early churches in Ireland and Scotland consist chiefly of crosses or crucifixes over the doorways and terminal heads.
which afford examples of ornamental sculpture that they are hardly worth considering, so that we need only take cognisance of the sepulchral and other monuments. These are of the following different kinds :—
(1) Recumbent cross-slabs.
(2) Recumbent hog--barked and coped stones.
(3) Erect cross-slabs.
(4) Erect wheel-crosses.
(5) Erect free-standing- crosses.
(6) Erect pillar crosses, with shafts of round or square cross-section
The recumbent cross-slabs are confined almost exclusively to Ireland, although there are one or two in Cornwall, Wales, and Scotland. Much the largest collection is at Clonmacnois, King's Co., where there are not far short of 200 sepulchral cross-slabs with inscriptions in Irish minuscule letters, giving the name of the deceased and requesting a prayer for his or her soul. A considerable number of the names on the slabs have been identified on sufficiently satisfactory evidence, thus giving reliable dates for a series arranged in chronological order. Clonmacnois was founded by St. Ciaran in a.d. 554, but the greater part of the dated cross-slabs belong to the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries. The earliest of these inscribed cross-slabs which exhibits any decorative features is that of Tuathgal,1 who has been identified with the seventh abbot of Clonmacnois. The death of abbot Tuathgal took place in a.d. 806. There are, therefore, no ornamental cross-slabs at Clonmacnois older than the beginning of the ninth century. The best ex-
1 Pctrie's Christian Inscriptions in the Irish Language, vol. i., pi. u, No. 29.
amples of recumbent cross-slabs with Celtic ornament n Ireland to which reliable dates can be assigned are those of Suibine McMaikehumai1 at Clonmacnois amples of recumbent cross-slabs with Celtic ornament n Ireland to which reliable dates can be assigned are those of Suibine McMaikehumai1 at Clonmacnois
The latter is specially interesting as having upon it a combination of incerlaced-work, key-patterns, and spiral ornament.
1 Ibid., vol. i., pi. 31, No. «2. % Ibid., voL ii., pi. 30.
Outside the limits of Ireland there are slabs of the same type, but of unknown date, at Camborne,"1 Cornwall ; Pen Arthur2 (now in St. David's Cathedral), Pembrokeshire ; and Baglan,3 Glamorganshire.
The recumbent hog-backed or coped stones are more likely to be of x\nglian or Scandinavian origin than Celtic. They are most common in the north of England ; there are one or two in Wales, and none in Ireland. As instances of coped stones with Celtic ornament we have those at Meigle,4 Perthshire; and Lanivet,5 Cornwall.
The erect cross-slabs are, with a few unimportant exceptions, peculiar to Scotland and the Isle of Man. They are probably older than the free-standing crosses, because the erect cross-slabs are not treated architecturally (as the high crosses of Ireland are), but resemble more nearly than anything else ornamental pages from the Celtic illuminated MSS. directly transferred to stone with hardly any modification whatever to suit the requirements of the new material to which the decoration was applied. A particularly good instance of this is afforded by the erect cross-slab at Nigg,"1 Ross-shire. On one side of the monument is a cross with the ornament arranged 111 rectangular panels exactly as it is ir. the cross-pages of the Irish Gospels ; and on the other a figure subject (David and the Lion) surrounded by a frame, also divided into panels, as in those of the miniatures in the Book of Kells.
1 Archirnlogia Cambrensis, ser. 5, vol. vi., p. 357.
5 Prof. J. O. Westwood's Lopidarium U'aiiiie, pi. 60.
* I)r. J. Stuart's Sculptured Stones of Scotland, vol. ii., pi. 131.
6 Dr. J. Stuart's Sculptured Stones of Scotland, vol. i., p. 28. See also casts in the South Kensingtor and Edinburgh Museums.
Erect Cross-Slab at St. Madoes, Perthshire
Scale 11j linear
Erect Cross-Slab at St. Madoes, Perthshire
Scale 11j linear
The following is a list of some of the best specimens of erect cross-slabs in Scotland :—
NORTHERN PICT-LAND Papil (now at Edinburgh) Ulbster (now at Thurso) . Farr Golspie Hilton (now at Invergordon)
Nigg Rosemarkie Shandwick
Brodie Forres Aboyne Dyce The Maiden Stone . Migvie Fordoun
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