World

4 surviving Magna Cartas brought together for first time to mark 800th anniversary

  • A detail of the Salisbury Magna Carta one of the four original surviving Magna Carta manuscripts that have been brought together by the British Library for the first time, on display at the library during a media preview in London, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. The event marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    A detail of the Salisbury Magna Carta one of the four original surviving Magna Carta manuscripts that have been brought together by the British Library for the first time, on display at the library during a media preview in London, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. The event marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)  (The Associated Press)

  • Members of the media film four of the original surviving Magna Carta manuscripts that have been brought together by the British Library for the first time, during a media preview in London, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. The event marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law. The original Magna Carta manuscripts were written and sealed in late June and early July 1215, and sent individually throughout the country. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    Members of the media film four of the original surviving Magna Carta manuscripts that have been brought together by the British Library for the first time, during a media preview in London, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. The event marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law. The original Magna Carta manuscripts were written and sealed in late June and early July 1215, and sent individually throughout the country. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)  (The Associated Press)

  • The seal of King John is seen on one of the four original surviving Magna Carta manuscripts that have been brought together by the British Library for the first time,  during a media preview in London, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. King John agreed the terms of the charter known originally as the Charter of Runnymede, now known as the Magna Carta, on June, 15, 1015, they were authenticated by John's great seal, not his signature, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    The seal of King John is seen on one of the four original surviving Magna Carta manuscripts that have been brought together by the British Library for the first time, during a media preview in London, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. King John agreed the terms of the charter known originally as the Charter of Runnymede, now known as the Magna Carta, on June, 15, 1015, they were authenticated by John's great seal, not his signature, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)  (The Associated Press)

You can't exactly call it a reunion — the four surviving Magna Cartas had never before been in the same place.

So the British Library called it a "unification event" Monday when the priceless documents seen by many as providing the foundation for democratic governance were put on display together for the first time.

The event marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law.

The original Magna Carta manuscripts were written and sealed in late June and early July 1215, and sent individually throughout the country.

Officials said the three-day unification will give some lucky members of the public as well as constitutional scholars and medieval manuscript experts a chance to compare the documents.