There's no shortage of medieval-ish costumes, like knights, monks, peasants and royalty. But, if you're a hardcore historian and you want to flaunt your credentials, nothing quite says "medievalist" like dressing as an illuminated manuscript.

Blogger and graduate student Amanda King describes how she designed a costume based on the Book of Kells, the famous illuminated book of Gospels that is on display at Trinity College in Dublin. The college also has the complete manuscript available online, allowing King to piece together screenshots and make temporary tattoos:

There were several concerns with making this costume. The first was showing respect for the Book of Kells. When plastering my body with pictures from a copy of the Gospels, I should treat them respectfully. This costume is "personification of the Book of Kells," not "sexy Book of Kells." For this reason, I have generally avoided illuminations containing human figures, God or Christ's names, and complete sentences (though there are some humans on the right arm). This is also the reason for the long skirt

I picked beige fabric to be reminiscent of parchment or vellum. The original plan was to put large stitches in the fabric to reflect where the pages of the original have been torn and stitched back together, but I ran out of time. The text on my skirt is the beginning of the Vulgate Gospel of Mark in a Book of Kells font with random letters filled in.


You can visit Amanda King's blog for more details and images. Also, if you want to go for a more explicit Halloween theme, I'd personally recommend a bestiary or even the medieval manuscript equivalent of the Walking Dead.


[H/T Medieval News]