The most ancient books. Ostromir Gospel

What is known about the oldest books on our lands?

The first books were hand-written. Wrote them on a parchment with a goose feather. For writing, dark brown or black ink was used, and for finishing – paints of vegetable or mineral origin. Making parchment is an extremely painstaking affair. First, the skins were thoroughly washed. After that, soaked in a calcareous solution. Then removed the nap, pulled on wooden frames, polished and carefully ironed with pumice stone. At the end, the chalk powder was rubbed into the parchment, which made the writing material whiter.

Ostromir Gospel is the oldest dated book monument of our land.

Created this book in Kiev for seven months, as evidenced by a special record. Ostromir Gospel was intended for church use, therefore it has a large format. In the book there are three miniatures of the authors of the Gospels – John, Luke and Mark, for the fourth, Matthew, left a free fifty-seventh leaf. In addition to miniatures,

the gospel is luxuriously decorated with a large headband, 17 small screensavers and 207 initials.

In monasteries, an individual minister was engaged in the storage of books. The monks gathered at a certain time in the library, where they were given books until the evening, and after they hit the bell, everyone had to return them to the book depository. Those who delayed the book awaited punishment. After all, the book was not only a spiritual treasure, but also a significant material value. To make a manuscript book, it took a lot of labor and materials – leather, gold, paints. So, for the production of 294 sheets of parchment for the Withered Gospel, 60 calves skins were used. Dissolved or sheet gold was decorated with a background in miniatures, headers and initials. Expensive were the colors dissolved on the egg yolk. The rim of the book was made of plates and covered with leather. Covers were also made from expensive materials.

During the reign of Yaroslav the Wise in Kiev, the state took care of the book business, because it was closely connected with the spread of Christianity. In the annals

we read: “This great prince Yaroslav, son of Vladimirov, sowed the books of the hearts of believing people with bookish words, and we reap, the teaching accepting the book, for the greatest benefit comes to man from the book’s teaching.” Books… there are sources of wisdom, because there are books immeasurable depth. ” The largest book depository was the St. Sophia Cathedral, in the library of which there were, according to scientists, up to 900 volumes of manuscript books.

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The most ancient books. Ostromir Gospel