Medieval Book Shrines

Medieval Fragments has a terrific, well-illustrated post on book shrines: shrines designed to look like books.

Called a cumdach, the book shrine was a kind of reliquary contains pages from books associated with saints, and occasionally first class relics:

Usually quite small, they served as a portable vessel meant for the preservation of a sacred text that represented a direct connection or association to a saint. They were often decorated in metalwork or ivory carvings, with precious stones to symbolize the valuable nature of the object inside, imitating a treasure binding. These ornamented boxes would be used for the swearing of oaths, protection or even healing purposes.

They’re beautiful and fascinating. Check them out.

About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • Manny

    Really cool, and that looks like a nice blog. I’m going to check them out from time to time.