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"L'Estoire de l'Evangile"

  The Anglo-Norman Gospel Harmony
(L'Estoire de l'Evangile)

Translated by Brent A. Pitts

The Estoire de l'Evangile, which may date from the mid-thirteenth century, is the only gospel harmony extant in Anglo-Norman.  Like the earliest Diatesserons which it echoes, the Estoire aims to merge (or harmonize) the four canonical gospels into a single account, in spite of the difficulties raised by discrepancies among them.  The Estoire, an important and heretofore overlooked witness in the medieval gospel harmony tradition, is arguably the long-sought "Old French" exemplar of the well known Pepysian Gospel Harmony (c.1400).  Today's readers may not know the term "gospel harmony"; a modern example may be found in the narrative idea of so-called Jesus films, including Mel Gibson's controversial The Passion of the Christ.  The Estoire survives in a single manuscript, Dublin's Liber niger.

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