THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Medieval manuscripts blog

03 September 2013

The Bounty of Byzantium

The British Library is delighted to announce the digitisation of eleven new Greek manuscripts, all of which are now available on our Digitised Manuscripts site.  This project was generously funded by Sam Fogg.  The manuscripts range in date from the tenth century to the sixteenth century, and include a number of Gospels and related texts as well as two works of Byzantine poetry.

We are very excited to make these newly-digitised manuscripts widely available; they contain many stunning images, and several have original or near-contemporary bindings.  Keep an eye out for future blog posts which will describe some of the  individual manuscripts in more detail, but for now, enjoy exploring some of the treasures of our Greek collections!

The eleven manuscripts now on Digitised Manuscripts are:

Burney MS 19:  Gospels, second half of the 10th century, with illuminated headpieces and initials. Illuminated portraits of the four evangelists were added in the twelfth century.

Burney MS 20:  Gospels, 1285, with illuminated headpieces and portraits of the evanglists.

Burney_ms_20_f142v
Evangelist portrait of Luke, Burney MS 20, f. 142v

Burney MS 97:  Manuel Philes, De animalium proprietate, a series of poems on different animals, with accompanying illustrations. Written by the noted Cretan scribe Angelos Vergekios in the second quarter of the sixteenth century.

Additional MS 26103:  Gospels, probably 12th century, containing illuminated headpieces and initials, and a portrait of St John the Evangelist and his scribe Prochoros.

Additional MS 28819:  Psalter, 16th century, with an illuminated portrait of David and illuminated headpieces.

Add_ms_28819_f002r
Decorated headpiece at the beginning of Psalms, Add MS 28819, f. 2r

Additional MS 28820:  Divine Liturgies, 1695-1709, with illuminated portraits of John Chrysostom, Basil, and Gregory.

Add_ms_28820_f002v
Portrait of John Chrysostom and angels, Add MS 28820, f. 2v

Additional MS 35030:  Gospels, 13th century, with illuminated headpieces and portraits of the evangelists, and decorated canon tables.

Additional MS 37002:  Gospels, 1314-1315, with illuminated headpieces and portraits of the evangelists, and decorated canon tables.

Additional MS 39591:  formerly Parham MS 9):  Gospels, mid-12th century, with illuminated headpieces and portraits of the evangelists (one of which is a nineteenth-century addition).

Additional MS 39603 (formerly Parham MS 21):  a cruciform Lectionary, 12th century, with illuminated initials and finial ornaments. In a binding of wooden boards covered with blue velvet.

Add_ms_39603_fblefr
Front binding, Add MS 39603

Additional MS 40724:  Georgios Choumnos, Metrical Paraphrase of Genesis and Exodus, 15th-16th centuries, with coloured illustrations throughout.

Add_ms_40724_f066r
Add MS 40724, f. 66r

-  Cillian O'Hogan

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