7 Oldest Surviving Books Known in the World background img
June 20, 2016

7 Oldest Surviving Books Known in the World

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Old Books

Many of us love books and some of us even like to collect. I remember, just like photographs, my parents had kept books that were used by my grandfather and great-grandfather. We cherish such books not only we have a memory associated with it but also because they could be out of print now. Though we may feel books owned by our grandparents may be antique; they are not. There are many books that are considered to be the oldest books in the World and are still well-preserved.

#7 Madrid Codex

Estimated to be 494 years old, this book is also known as the Tro-Cortesianus Codex is the only surviving book of the pre-Columbian Maya culture of around 900-1521 AD. The book is written in Yucatecan which is one of the Mayan languages. Madrid Codex is currently held in the Museo de América in Madrid, Spain.

#6 Celtic Psalter

The 938 years old book is a pocket-sized book of psalms. It is described as the Scotland’s Book of Kells. This book is kept at the University of Edinburgh and was put on public display for the first time in the year 2009. Celtic Psalter is Scotland’s oldest surviving book till date.

#5 Diamond Sūtra

This book is considered to be one of the oldest surviving printed book in the world. It is a Buddhist holy text and is approximately 1145 years old. The book has Chinese characters printed on a scroll of grey printed papers.

Diamond Sutra

#4 Siddur, Jewish Prayer Book

This book discovered in 2013, dates back to 840 AD. The book is its original binding and contains Babylonian vowel pointing, which is similar to the Old or Middle English for the English language. The language has helped experts to find out that the book dates back to the time of Geonim – Babylonian and Talmudic leaders of the middle ages. This is a 1173 years old book preserved till date.

#3 Book of Kells

The 1213 years old book is kept in the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland. The book written in Latin is an incredible ornate illuminated manuscript. It contains the 4 gospels from the New Testament. It is thought to have been written around 800 AD by the Celtic monks.

#2 St Cuthbert Gospel

Europe’s most established known surviving in place book is the St Cuthbert Gospel, purchased by the British Library in 2012 for £9 million pounds as a component of a raising money crusade. The book was covered with St Cuthbert, an early British Christian pioneer, on the island of Lindisfarne off Northumberland, in around 698 AD. Just barely surviving the Vikings victories, the book was moved to Durham to stop from Viking raiders, barely getting away pulverization. The book was again rediscovered in 1104 AD, with an engraving added to within spread. This is a 1315 years old book.

#1 Pyrgi Gold Tablets

These 2513 years old gold plates are now displayed at the National Etruscan Museum in Rome, Italy. The holes around the edges are thought to be a sign of their being bound together at a time. They are found from an excavation in 1964 of a sanctuary in ancient Pygri, Italy. The three gold plates date back to 500 BC.

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