chi rho iota

“Chi Rho Iota” from the Book of Kells. UK. Hiberno-Saxon.

This page, the “Chi Rho Iota”, is a very famous page from the Book of Kells. It is the first time that the word “Christos” appears, and is fully of absolutely gorgeous details, pictures, and designs. It is highly complex, with many “celtic” style decorations. Furthermore, there are many animals and insects hidden within the artwork, including, apparently, a cat chasing a mouse (though good luck finding it!)

Where the Book of Kells itself was produced it generally debated, hence the catch-all location of “UK”. It is known that it was probably produced between the 6th and 9th centuries by Columban monks in association with the community of Iona. It is possible that Viking attacks dispersed the book to either  Scotland or Ireland ( like the rest of the relics would have had to have been moved). The book may have been made in Iona, then illuminated at Kells. Or, it could have been entirely made at Iona, or it could have been made entirely at Kells. Alternatively, it may have been produced at Lindisfarne, then brought to Iona, then to Kells. There are many different theories. The theory that It was started at Iona and finished at Kells, however, is the most accepted one.