Artibus et Historiae no. 23 (XII)

1991, ISSN 0391-9064

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Buy article pdf

ROBERT D. STEVICK - The Harmonic Plan of the Harburg Gospels' Cross-Page

The one surviving cross-page in the eighth-century Harburg Gospels has, like many cross-pages and Evangelist-pages in other early Insular Gospel books, a clear mathematical basis. But unlike the others, its basis lies in ratios of 1, 2, and 3, and several of their powers. This is the same basis on which the Gregorian (and Pythagorean) musical scale is constructed and explained. All the structural lines of the frame, the cross, and the complementary panels fall at intervals relative to each other that are identical to the ratios among the tones of an eight-tone scale. This essay demonstrates the harmonic scheme of the cross-page, first by constructing a model with simple drafting techniques of constructive geometry, and then by deriving all the dimensions by a simple mathematical pattern of multiplying and dividing with the numbers 1, 2, and 3.

Editor-in-chief Advisory Committee
Latest issue
All issues
Bibliotheca Artibus et Historiae
Our authors
Advertising in Artibus et Historiae
How to buy
Buy articles in PDF