Translation is an act of decoding that can be highly politicised. This book contains the Gospels with parallel text in Anglo-Saxon and English. In his foreword, John Foxe describes the translation of the Bible from Latin to English as a return to the 'pristine state of olde conformitie'. He offers this book as proof that revered Christians of antiquity read the Bible in the vernacular.
A Renaissance reader appears to have used the book to create a cipher where Anglo-Saxon characters, medieval number forms and invented symbols replace letters. Words that appear similar to 'Saxon' and 'gloss' can be made out.
Title: The Gospels of the fower Evangelistes translated in the olde Saxons tyme out of Latin into the vulgare toung of the Saxons (London, 1571)
Shelfmark: D.19.2 (catalogue record)
16th centuryAngloSaxonD.19.2John Dayeannotationscipherstitle pageswoodcuts