Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Hidden Gospels of Abba Garima: Treasures of the Ethiopian Highlands

Where: Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles', Oxford OX1 3LU
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9am to 5pm (pop in or phone 01865-288391 to check hours, due to teaching); 
The gospels of Abba Garima have remained hidden for centuries in the Ethiopian highlands in the Abba Garima Monastery – which no woman may enter. According to tradition, God miraculously stopped the sun in the sky to allow saint Abba Garima to complete them in a single day. Their production has remained an enigma. Translated from Greek into Ethiopic, these gospels are the earliest testament of the lost art of the Christian culture of the Aksumite kingdom of Ethiopia, which flourished around AD 350–650. Their vivid, finely painted illuminations are at once familiar but also entirely exotic. By presenting, for the first time in public, all of the illuminated pages together in full colour, this photo-exhibition aims to stimulate greater awareness and further study of these remarkable books, which are amongst the earliest and most important of the rare illustrated gospels books to have survived from Antiquity.

The exhibition accompanies the publication of The Garima Gospels: Early Illuminated Gospel Books from Ethiopia, by Judith McKenzie and Francis Watson, with Michael Gervers et al., which includes all of the photographs in the exhibition (if you can't visit it).

Organised by Judith McKenzie, Miranda Williams, and Foteini Spingou, with Michael Gervers’ photographs. 

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