Codex Aureus of Echternach

Hs. 156 142 - Germanisches Nationalmuseum (Nuremberg, Germany)

Alternate Titles:

Codex Aureus Epternacensis, Goldenes Evangelienbuch von Echternach, Golden Gospels of Echternach

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Alternate Titles

Codex Aureus Epternacensis
Goldenes Evangelienbuch von Echternach
Golden Gospels of Echternach

Extent / Format

272 pages / 44.5 x 31.0 cm


Probably Abbot Humbert von Echternach (1018-1051), cover commissioned by Emperor Otto III (980-1002) and his mother Theophanu (960-991)


64 decorative pages, 16 full-page miniatures (each with 3 scenes), 5 evangelist portraits, 10 canon tables, 9 full-page, 16 half-page and 503 smaller initials, entire text written with gold ink

Former owners

The codex remained in Echternach until the French Revolution. When the abbey was closed down in 1795/96, it passed via Mainz to Erfurt, where it was purchased in 1801 by Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg and Altenburg (1745-1804). It passed by inheritance to the House of Coburg-Gotha, which for financial reasons was obliged to sell it, in 1955, to the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg

Short description

The Codex Aureus Epternacensis (Golden Gospels of Echternach) is one of the most beautiful books which have survived to the present day. The Codex is completely written in gold ink and provided with 64 magnificent miniature and purple pages. De Luxe Edition: Cover with replica ivory plate showing the crucifixion, magnificent gemstones and enamel work.

Facsimile editions available

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