- Oct 30, 2015
- Reaction score
- SWF, USA
What’s Silver, Purple, and Very Well-Traveled?
The Codex Argenteus—a beautiful and mysterious bible from the sixth century—is now safely stowed in Sweden.
BY ERIKA HARLITZ-KERNJULY 31, 2019
TUCKED INTO A FAR CORNER of the annex to Carolina Rediviva, the main library at Sweden’s Uppsala University, a book sits alone behind bulletproof glass. You might think its remote placement indicates its minor significance. But look closer and you’ll see a work of visual splendor—a uniform script in silver and gold ink, written on purple parchment, as bright and vibrant as if it were brand-new
This is the Codex Argenteus, or Silver Bible. Created more than 1,500 years ago in northern Italy, it was commissioned by the ruler of a people long since vanished. But their lost language is preserved on the pages of the book before you.
Fittingly, the story of how this bible ended up on display at a Swedish university is as mysterious as the book is beautiful.