Free online course about the ancient Book of Kells

Book of Kells online course

Trinity College Dublin is running a free online course about one of Ireland’s true treasures, The Book of Kells.

One of the course tutors commented that the Book of Kells is to Dublin, what the Mona Lisa is to Paris, and the Sistine Chapel ceiling is to Rome, before adding: “You haven’t been to Ireland until you’ve seen the Book of Kells.”

Book of Kells online course

Here is some of the course information.

The Book of Kells: Exploring an Irish Medieval Masterpiece

Discover medieval Ireland using the Book of Kells, a ninth-century manuscript featuring the four gospels of the new testament.

Explore the history of Ireland using the remarkable Book of Kells.

The Book of Kells manuscript, housed at Trinity College Dublin is world famous – it attracts almost one million visitors a year. But what can this book tell us about Irish history? And what significance is the manuscript in today’s world?

On this course you will use the Book of Kells as a window through which to explore the landscape, history, faith, theology, and politics of early medieval Ireland. You will also consider how the manuscript was made, its extended biography and how it has affected different areas of the contemporary world.

What topics will you cover?

  • Where and how the manuscript was made.
  • The social context from which the manuscript emerged, including early medieval faith and politics.
  • The artistic context of the manuscript, reflecting local and international styles.
  • The theology and interpretations of the text.
  • How and why the manuscript survived.
  • The Book of Kells and contemporary culture.

It is recommended that learners spend around four hours per week on their studies.

The course will start on 8th October 2018, and lasts four weeks, although all the materials will be available online if you wish to begin later.

If you want more information, or wish to enrol then visit

Beautiful sterling silver pendants with Illuminated Letters based on the writings in the Book of Kells – perfect gift ideas

Illuminated letter pendants

Did you know?

‘The Irish Robin Hood’ - Redmond O’Hanlon is a legendary figure in Ireland. His ancestors had been a powerful family up until the 17th century, when their land was taken during the Catholic uprising and the Cromwellian invasion. So he became a highwayman. Find out more.

10 thoughts on “Free online course about the ancient Book of Kells”

    1. I have been to see them. They are certainly something to muse over. Brilliant in their art but amazing in their age. I would love to learn more about them.

  1. Is this something that I can do any time, or do I have to sign up for specific time? When we were over there about 4 years ago, The Book of Kells was not available for viewing, so I’m anxious to see/learn more about it.

  2. Looking forward to learning more about the Book of Kells.
    Was blessed to be in Ireland a year ago and seeing the Book was a highlight of the trip.

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