September marks the beginning of the wine-making season in the northern hemisphere, and this is as true today as it was on the pages of our medieval calendar. In the opening folio, the process is beginning in earnest, as three women are busy picking grapes in a vineyard, loading them into the basket of a waiting man. Behind them are several grand buildings, while the oenophilic theme of the month is mirrored by the acanthus vines circling round the page. The labour continues on the facing folio. Below the saints’ days for September and a woman holding a balance (for the zodiac sign Libra), a man is bringing a full basket of grapes into a barn. He is greeted by a fellow worker, who stands in a tub full of grapes, crushing them beneath his feet.
Calendar page for September, with a roundel miniature of people harvesting grapes, from the Huth Hours, Netherlands (Bruges or Ghent?), c. 1480, Add MS 38126, f. 9v
Calendar page for September, with a roundel miniature of a men making wine, with the zodiac sign Libra, from the Huth Hours, Netherlands (Bruges or Ghent?), c. 1480, Add MS 38126, f. 10r
As I am preparing to head off for a year’s maternity leave, I thought I would take the opportunity to thank you all for the wonderful opportunity it has been to work on this blog. It has been a great pleasure to be able to share so many of the glories of the British Library over the past 3 or so years, and very gratifying to have such fabulous responses to our work.
Detail of Nature at a furnace, forging a baby, from the Roman de la Rose, Netherlands (Bruges), c. 1490 – c. 1500, Harley MS 4425, f. 140r
Detail of a marginal painting of a monkey with a swaddled infant, from the Maastricht Hours, Netherlands (Liège), 1st quarter of the 14th century, Stowe MS 17, f. 189v
Of course my leave-taking isn’t a permanent one; I’ll be returning to the British Library – and to the Medieval Manuscripts blog – in September of 2015. There will still be a number of posts coming up that I’ve written, and I’m leaving you in the very capable hands of Julian Harrison, Cillian O’Hogan, James Freeman, and the rest of the Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts team. Until we meet again!
Even the most cursory glance over the pages of medieval manuscripts will reveal a plethora of insects. Bugs are everywhere – although we hasten to add that we are extremely vigilant about avoiding the presence of any actual living insects within the pages of our books. But there has been little comprehensive scholarship about the appearance of such creatures in medieval manuscripts. Insects usually live literally in the margins, often not even appearing in catalogue entries despite their profusion.
Detail of a border including flowers, moths, and flies, from the Hours of Joanna I of Castile, Netherlands (Ghent?), c. 1500, Additional MS 35313, f. 64v
Whilst undertaking this very short exploration of the subject, therefore, we would do well to remember the words of one of the earliest writers about these minute creatures. As Pliny the Elder reminds us in the introduction to his book about insects: ‘Nature is nowhere to be seen in greater perfection than in the very smallest of her works. For this reason then, I must beg of my readers, notwithstanding the contempt they feel for many of these objects, not to feel a similar disdain for the information I am about to give relative thereto, seeing that, in the study of Nature, there are none of her works that are unworthy of our consideration.’
Detail of a folio from a prose treatise on the Seven Vices, with marginal spiders and a praying mantis, Italy (Genoa), c. 1330 – c. 1340, Additional MS 28841, f. 6r
We’ll begin, as we almost always do, with the bestiary, that essential book of medieval beasts. The early medieval bestiary includes amongst its pages only two species of what we would consider insects today – ants and bees.
Detail of a miniature of ants in their anthill, from a bestiary, England (Salisbury?), 2nd quarter of the 13th century, Harley MS 4751, f. 32r
The humble ant is given quite extensive treatment in the bestiary. Echoing Isidore of Seville’s somewhat fanciful etymology, the text tells us that the ant is called ‘formica’ because it carries pieces of grain (‘ferat micas’). It goes on to describe much recognisable ant behaviour, detailing how ants walk in lines to gather food, store it for the winter, carry loads far in excess of their own size, and work together for the good of the group.
Detail of a miniature of ants on their anthill, from a theological miscellany including a bestiary, England, 1236 – c. 1250, Harley MS 3244, f. 50r
A parallel tradition to that of the bestiary is the Physiologus, one of the precursors to the Marvels of the East. In the Physiologus, a subspecies of ant, as large as dogs, is said to live in Ethiopia and to be adept at digging up gold. Such skill can be exploited by human beings, but only very carefully, as these ants will try to chase down and kill anyone who attempts to steal from them.
Detail of a miniature of dog-like gold-digging ants attacking a camel, while a man loads another camel with gold and escapes, from the Marvels of the East, England, 4th quarter of the 10th century, Cotton MS Vitellius A XV, f. 101r
Detail of a miniature of dog-like gold-digging ants attacking a group of men who have come to steal their gold, from the Queen Mary Psalter, England, 1310 – 1320, Royal MS 2 B VII, f. 96r
The concept of insects as a distinct class of animals was one that didn’t exist in this period. Bees, for example, are characterised as the ‘smallest of birds’, and accordingly, often come at the end of the bestiary's section on winged animals. They are described as industrious creatures, living in community under a chosen king. Born in the decaying bodies of oxen or slaughtered calves, it is said, bees build their homes with ‘indescribable skill’, make honey, and then guard it fiercely against all potential invaders. Much like ants, bees were praised over the centuries by various authors who considered them humble and loyal animals, ‘wonderfully noble', and worthy of emulation by human beings.
Detail of a miniature of bees guarding their hives against a marauding bear, from Flore de virtu e de costumi (Flowers of Virtue and of Custom), Italy (Padua?), 2nd quarter of the 15th century, Harley MS 3448, f. 10v
Detail of a miniature of bees collecting nectar and returning to their hive, from a bestiary with theological texts, England, c. 1200 – c. 1210, Royal MS 12 C XIX, f. 45v
That said, bees could sometimes be used as weapons. A mid-13th century copy of William of Tyre’s Histoire d’Outremer contains a miniature of the Patriarch of Antioch who was bound to a tower and smeared with honey in a gruesome attempt to end his life.
Miniature of the Patriarch of Antioch being attacked by bees, from William of Tyre’s Histoire d’Outremer, France (Picardy?), 1232-1261, Yates Thompson MS 12, f. 120r
It is not clear why the early bestiaries omitted so many of the species of insects that people must surely have been familiar with – in many cases, perhaps, far too familiar. Flies, spiders, moths, and butterflies do not put in appearances in texts until later. The British Library is lucky enough, however, to possess a mid-16th century Greek copy of Manuel Philes’ De animalium proprietate which includes a cicada (f. 13r), a locust-like insect (f. 19r), and three species of spider – two of which are poisonous (and one of which is apparently six-legged).
Detail of a painting of three spiders, including a malmignatte, from a Greek copy of Manuel Philes’ De animalium proprietate, 2nd – 3rd quarter of the 16th century, Burney MS 97, f. 29r
Six-legged spiders are not unusual to find in medieval art, and neither are their ten-legged cousins, as the examples below will show:
Detail of a six-legged spider in its web, from an herbal, Italy (Lombardy), c. 1440, Sloane MS 4016, f. 6r
Detail of a marginal ten-legged spider, from Gerald of Wales’ Topographic Hiberniae, England (Lincoln?), c. 1196 – 1223, Royal MS 13 B VIII, f. 11r
Most insects in medieval art, however, were not designed to illustrate any accompanying text, or at least, not literally. This is particularly the case for manuscripts from the later medieval era. The vast majority of insect examples we have found are decorative ones, taking their place amongst the flowers, fruit, and jewels that adorn these pages. Some are occasionally used for humorous purposes, or may have been intended to underscore the message of the text. An extremely small selection of these sorts of images is below; if we have omitted any gems, please do let us know in the comments or on Twitter: @BLMedieval. Happy bug hunting!
Detail of a marginal painting of flies surrounding a dog, from the Maastricht Hours, Netherlands (Liège), 1st quarter of the 14th century, Stowe MS 17, f. 48r
Detail of a marginal dragonfly and dragon, from the Lovell Lectionary, England (probably Glastonbury), c. 1400 – c. 1410, Harley MS 7026, f. 13r
Selection of cuttings of border illuminations, featuring flowers, birds, moths, butterflies, and other insects, Italy (Rome), c. 1572 – c. 1585, Additional MS 35254, f. N
Detail of a folio from a prose treatise on the Seven Vices, with a caterpillar and a spider catching a fly, Additional MS 28841, f. 7v
Detail of a grasshopper, from the Breviary of Queen Isabella of Castile, Netherlands (Bruges), c. 1497, Additional MS 18851, f. 30r
A cartulary or chartulary (derived from the Latin chartularium) is a collection of charters, title-deeds and other documents relating to a specific, most often religious, institution. They survive in the form of books and, less commonly, rolls. Some are finely copied and decorated, but the majority are plain productions. This reflects their functional purpose as repositories of records that were essential then – and highly useful now – for understanding the administration of the land, property and finances of a cathedral, monastery, parish church, hospital, or fraternity. The British Library possesses around five hundred cartularies or similar gatherings of documents, including the earliest example from a religious house: Cotton MS Tiberius A XIII, from Worcester Cathedral Priory, made in the first half of the eleventh century. A large proportion of these were part of the ‘foundation’ collections of Robert Cotton and Robert Harley and his son Edward that were brought together with the creation of the British Museum in 1753.
The front binding of the ‘older’ cartulary, wooden boards covered with white-tawed skin with a single clasp (now gone), England (Lacock), mid-13th century, Add MS 88973
The newest addition to our collection of cartularies was in 2011, with the accession of those of Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire. In two volumes that each retain a medieval binding, these are now Add MS 88973 and Add MS 88974. They have been fully digitised and have recently been loaded to our Digitised Manuscripts site.
Copy of a charter recording the grant by Ela of the manor of Lacock for the foundation of a nunnery, Add MS 88973, f. 7v
The first, ‘older’ cartulary contains copies of some of the earliest charters relating to the Abbey and its foundress and first abbess, Ela, countess of Salisbury (b. in or after 1190, d. 1261). Possessed of royal connections of a sort through her marriage to William Longespée, an illegitimate son of Henry II, Ela was also the sole heiress of William Fitzpatrick, 2nd earl of Salisbury. She thus commanded considerable wealth, which she used to found and endow a new abbey over several months in 1229/30. Her original plan was for a house of Cistercian nuns, but the decision in 1228 by the General Chapter at Cîteaux not to accept responsibility for any further female houses left Ela little choice but to accept the Bishop of Salisbury’s recommendation in April 1230 that the house follow the rule of St Augustine.
Detail of a list of the acquisitions made by Lacock Abbey during the abbacies of Ela and Beatrice, Add MS 88973, f. 57v
The manor and village of Lacock formed the nucleus of the Abbey’s possessions, which were augmented in stages by further benefactions not just from Ela, but from her son William Longespée (II).
Documents and notes in Latin and French, copied by several hands, Add MS 88973, f. 76v
The charters in the first volume are arranged in a very rough chronological order. The core part of the manuscript was copied in stages between the mid-13th and mid-14th centuries. The involvement of numerous scribal hands of different periods indicates that the volume was produced in fits and starts, an impression confirmed by the insertion or stitching in of loose sheets of parchment, or copying of additional charters in blank spaces at later junctures.
Detail of the opening of the section containing charters relating to Calne in the ‘Newer’ Cartulary, Add MS 88974, f. 91r
The second volume, ‘newer’ cartulary, by contrast, appears to have been copied by a single hand and is arranged in such a way as to suggest a concerted attempt to impose order on the abbey’s documents. They are sorted topographically into eighteen sections, providing a convenient geographical overview of the extent of the Abbey’s holdings: from Calne and Heddington to the east, Sherrington and Chitterne to the south, Winterbourne to the west and Chippenham to the north.
Detail of a confirmation of William (II) Longespée of a charter relating to Lacock Abbey originally issued by Ela in the ‘Old’ Cartulary, with a marginal cross-reference to the third charter in the Lacock section of the ‘New’ Cartulary, Add MS 88973, f. 8v
The second volume, though later and containing duplicate copies of many charters, was by no means intended to replace the first. That they were intended to function as a pair is suggested by their very similar binding – they may have been bound around same time, probably no later than the mid-fourteenth century – and confirmed by their contents. The first volume contains marginal cross-references to documents in the second, allowing the reader to gain a chronological and geographical overview of the abbey’s holdings.
Detail of the same confirmation, copied into the ‘New’ Cartulary, Add MS 88974, f. 2r
The Lacock cartularies join another manuscript relating to the history of the Abbey: Cotton MS Vitellius A VIII, which combines the Annals and the Book of Lacock. Unfortunately, it was badly burned in the fire in 1731 at the Ashburnham House, where the Cotton collection was kept prior to its deposit at the British Museum. Much of the Book of Lacock is entirely illegible, though luckily a copy made in the late 16th century survives as Harley MS 5019. The two cartularies acquired by the British Library are thus especially important for the study of the history of this Abbey, its endowments and administration.
The British Library has an incredible collection of close to 400 Books of Hours of various styles, dates, origins and sizes, including some of the most celebrated and beautifully illustrated ones ever made. Over the next few weeks we will be featuring the new Books of Hours added to our collection in recent years.
The most beautiful of these recent acquisitions is the Wardington Hours, purchased in 2007 with the help of the Art Fund, the Friends of the British Library and other generous donors. It would otherwise have been taken out of the UK by an overseas purchaser. It has recently been digitised and is available on our website at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/
The Betrayal of Christ at the beginning of the office of Matins, from the Wardington Hours, Paris, c.1410-c.1440, Add MS 82945, f. 1r
The Wardington Hours is part of a Book of Hours containing only the Hours of the Passion, a less common cycle of devotions than the Hours of the Virgin. There are eight exquisitely painted miniatures illustrating the Passion of Christ with intricate detail and rich, colourful imagery. Illuminated borders with sparkling gold ivy leaves feature on every page, and include painted dragons with different animal heads in one part of the volume.
The Way to the Cross at the beginning of the office of Terce, from the Wardington Hours, Paris, c.1410-c.1440, Add MS 82945, f. 18v
The miniatures are attributed to the group of illuminators associated with the Bedford Master, one of the most prominent artists working in Paris in the early fifteenth century, and whose name derives from the Bedford Psalter. This most celebrated work was made for John of Lancaster (b. 1389, d. 1435), Duke of Bedford, who was the brother of King Henry V and Regent of France for Henry VI and is now in the British Library (Add MS 18850). Both manuscripts contain an unusual miniature of the Crucifixion including the seven last words of Christ. Here is the one from the Wardington Hours:
The Crucifixion at the beginning of the office of None, from the Wardington Hours, Paris, c.1410-c.1440, Add MS 82945, f. 26v
The Bedford Hours is a complete volume, and the Hours of the Passion is only one of the devotional texts it contains. But again the image of the Crucifixion accompanies the office of Nones and the miniatures have the same colourful palette and lively style as the Wardington manuscript. The last words of Christ are contained in seven banners in a similar arrangement, with an eighth banner held by a centurion, which reads ‘Vete filius dey erat iste’ (Behold this was the son of God).
The Crucifixion at the beginning of the office of None, from the Bedford Hours, Paris, c.1410-c.1430, Add MS 18850, f. 240r
The Dunois Hours, also in the library’s collections, was made in the same prominent Paris workshop by the Dunois master for an enemy of the Duke of Bedford and companion of Joan of Arc, John Dunois, Bastard of Orleans. The latter is portrayed in the margin of the miniature of the Last Judgment, led by Saint John the Evangelist, a patron saint he shared with his English opponent.
Though there are similarities in style, the borders of the Wardington manuscript are finer and more exquisite than the ones in the Bedford and Dunois Hours. The text is framed in gold, surrounded by delicate networks of gold ivy leaves and swirling stems.
A text page with border including dragons, from the Wardington Hours, Paris, c.1410-c.1440, Additional MS 82945, f. 9r
The medieval owner of the Wardington Hours is not known, but it comes from a larger volume, another part of which has been identified by Catherine Reynolds as Huntington Library, MS HM 1100 (see Catherine Reynolds, ‘The Workshop of the Master of the Duke of Bedford: Definitions and Identities’, in Patrons, Authors and Workshops: Books and Book Production in Paris around 1400, ed. by G. Croenen and P. Ainsworth (Leuven, 2006), pp. 437-72 (p. 451)).
The Wardington Hours was owned by the Courgy family of Paris in the 18th century and recently by the leading English bibliophile, Lord Wardington (b.1924, d.2005). In 2004 it was dramatically rescued from a fire in his manor in Oxfordshire when his daughter Helen and a human chain of local people managed to save all his valuable books by passing them out onto the lawn, while the fire brigade held off from spraying water into the part of the house holding the library.
One of the most exciting aspects of working with manuscripts is finding signs of former owners, and learning about how they used their manuscripts. Today’s manuscript, a copy of the Gospels in Greek, can only be linked to one certain owner, but there is quite a bit to say about its earlier history nonetheless.
Additional MS 24376, a fine copy of the Four Gospels in Greek (only lacking the last few words of John), can be dated to the fourteenth century on palaeographical grounds. As is often the case, however, the scribe simply wrote the text, and left gaps for illuminated headpieces and initials at the beginning of each Gospel, and for full-page miniatures of each of the Evangelists. For whatever reason, however, this was not done immediately, and even today the manuscript does not have any illuminated headpieces.
Beginning of Gospel of Matthew, from Four Gospels (Gregory-Aland 696; Scrivener evan. 600; von Soden ε 328), 14th century, Eastern Mediterranean (Constantinople), Add MS 24376, f. 6r
On f 6r, the gap for the headpiece is clear, and a later illuminator would have been expected to add the “B” of βἰβλος, the first word of the Gospel of Matthew.
A number of inscriptions which would doubtless help us to say more about the manuscript’s history on f 1r have sadly been erased. However, one inscription on f 1v remains, which states that the manuscript was purchased in Constantinople in 1528:
It is clear that shortly after this the manuscript moved north, as full-page miniatures were added some time in the late sixteenth century. These were created by a South Slavonic artist, and the figures in the miniatures are named in Slavonic. However, the text of the Gospels being written by the Evangelists remains Greek, as here in this illumination of Mark:
It’s worth noting that this full-page illumination lacks the traditional border that is more common in Byzantine Gospel manuscripts, and extending the decoration across the entire page is quite unusual. The manuscript likely stayed in the region of Northern Greece and the Southern Balkans after its illumination, as it was acquired by the British Museum along with a number of other manuscripts at the sale of Henry Stanhope Freeman, who had been Vice-Consul at Janina – now in Greece, then in Albania.
Yet there’s one more twist to the tale of this manuscript. At the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, there is a miniature not of Matthew, but of the Annunciation:
At some point, an owner must have noticed this and inserted a picture of Matthew to make up the loss, as f 292r consists of a woodcut on paper, inserted at a late stage. Where, when, and why this happened, however, remains unknown.
Today is the feast day of St Lawrence of Rome, an early Christian martyr who suffered a grisly death (we are aware that we highlight these types of saints quite frequently here on the blog; see here for St Apollonia, St Catherine, St Margaret, and St George). The church which was built on the site of St Lawrence’s tomb became one of the principal churches in Rome, and a popular site of pilgrimage. He features extensively in medieval art, and is often shown carrying his attribute, the gridiron on which he was martyred.
Detail of a miniature of St Lawrence holding a book and a gridiron, from the Breviary of Queen Isabella of Castile, Netherlands (Bruges), c. 1497, Add MS 18851, f. 431r
Not much is known of St Lawrence’s early life, but he was believed to have been born in Spain, and to have studied under future pontiff Sixtus in Zaragoza, which was then a renowned centre of learning in the Roman empire. When Sixtus became pope, he appointed Lawrence as a deacon despite his young age. Lawrence’s responsibilities included the maintenance of the treasuries of the church as well as the giving of alms to the poor, and he took the latter charge in particular very seriously, as we will soon see.
Detail of a miniature of St Lawrence holding a book and standing near a gridiron, cutting from a choirbook, Italy (Lombardy) 3rd quarter of the 15th century, Add MS 18197, f. H
In 258 the Roman Emperor Valerian commenced a persecution of the church, and ordered that all bishops, priests, and deacons should be put to death. Pope Sixtus was seized while celebrating the liturgy and was immediately executed. Seeing that his death was also imminent, Lawrence, according to his legend, worked as quickly as he could to distribute all the wealth of the church to the poor, crippled, and suffering people of Rome. When he was ordered by the prefect of Rome to turn over the riches in his care, Lawrence gathered up these unfortunates and presented them to the prefect, telling him that these were the true treasures of the church.
Detail of a bas-de-page scene of St Lawrence being brought before the Roman prefect, from the Queen Mary Psalter, England (London?), 1310 – 1320, Royal MS 2 B VII, f. 260v
The prefect was enraged by this act of holy defiance and ordered that Lawrence should die a horrible death; the future saint was sentenced to be burnt alive on a gridiron. Lawrence did not lose his faith (or his sense of humour) even while in the midst of this torture, however; after several hours he is said to have quipped to his executioners, ‘Turn me over; I’m done on this side!’.
Detail of a bas-de-page scene of St Lawrence being martyred on the gridiron, watched by a sympathetic marginal character, from the Dunois Hours, France (Paris), c. 1339 – c. 1450, Yates Thompson MS 3, f. 273v
St Lawrence is one of the most beloved saints in the calendar – perhaps owing in some small sense to this humour in the face of adversity, but also because of his love of the suffering and downtrodden of society. He is the patron saint of the poor, and, rather insensitively, of cooks. We hope you have a very happy St Lawrence’s Day!
Miniature of St Lawrence at the beginning of his suffrage, from the Hours of Joanna I of Castile, Netherlands (Bruges), c. 1500, Add MS 35313, f. 217v
Detail of an historiated initial of St Lawrence being martyred on the gridiron, from the Stowe Breviary, England (Norwich), 1322 – 1325 and c. 1350 – 1380, Stowe MS 12, f. 292r
Detail of an unfinished miniature of St Lawrence being martyred on the gridiron, from Jacobus de Voragine’s La légende dorée, France (Paris and Rouen), c. 1470, Yates Thompson MS 49, vol. 2, f. 39v
Detail of a young St Lawrence with his gridiron, at the bottom of a calendar page for August, which contains his feast day, from the Hours of Bonaparte Ghislieri, Italy (Bologna), c. 1500, Yates Thompson MS 29, f. 8r
Detail of a bas-de-page scene of St Lawrence being martyred on the gridiron, from the Taymouth Hours, England, 2nd quarter of the 14th century, Yates Thompson MS 13, f. 85r [for more on this fabulous manuscript, please see our post The Taymouth Hours. And the sharp-eyed among you may have noticed here certain odd similarities to the work of the artist of the Unicorn Cookbook!).
Work continues on the Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project, generously funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and others. In July we uploaded 24 new manuscripts, adding to our previous totals. We hope you enjoy paging through our newest manuscripts! Details are of course below:
Add MS 26115, Philostratus, Imagines (TLG 1600.001), imperfect; Constantine Harmenopoulos, Lexicon arranged alphabetically, and some treatises on grammar. 1417? – 1426?.
Decorated headpiece from a Lectionary of the Acts and the Epistles, Add MS 29714, f. 4r
Add MS 29714, Lectionary of the Acts and the Epistles (Gregory-Aland l 257, Scrivener apost. 69). 1306.
Add MS 31949, Gospel Lectionary, imperfect (Gregory-Aland l 337; Scrivener evst 285). Mid 13th century.
Add MS 34107, Four Gospels (Gregory-Aland 1279; Scrivener evan. 321; von Soden ε 1178). 11th or 12th century.
Fragment of a Gospel lectionary, 12th century, Add MS 36822, f. 3r
Add MS 36822, Fragments of two Gospel Lectionaries (Gregory-Aland l 237, l 2310; Scrivener evst. 237), and an extract from a service-book. 12th-13th century, the last leaf being added in the 17th century.
Add MS 37001, Four Gospels (Gregory-Aland 2277 [=816]), with canon tables. 11th century, the last leaf having been replaced in the 14th century.
Add MS 37003, New Testament, Acts and Epistles (Gregory-Aland 2279), with Euthalian apparatus and prefaces attributed to Theodoret (printed in von Soden 1902-1910, vol. 1, pp. 350-354), though the text is not that of the printed commentary in PG 82. 14th century, probably created in Constantinople.
Add MS 37004, Gospel Lectionary with ekphonetic neumes (Gregory-Aland l 1492), imperfect. Late 11th century.
Evangelist miniature, from a Gospel Lectionary, Add MS 37007, f. 3r
Add MS 37007, Gospel Lectionary with ekphonetic neumes (Gregory-Aland l 1495=[l 459]=[l 1205]), with illuminations of the four Evangelists. 13th century, owned by and likely created at the Monastery of St Nicholas in Pentrochonte, north of Berat, Albania.
Portrait of St John the Evangelist, from a Gospel Lectionary, Add MS 37008, f. 1v
Add MS 37008, Gospel Lectionary (Gregory-Aland l 1496 =[l 461]=[ l 1206], with a coloured portrait of St John. Created at the Monastery of St Marina in Berat, Albania, in 1413.
Add MS 37009, Nomocanon of Manuel Malaxos, compiled for Joasaph, Metropolitan of Boeotia, in 1562.
Add MS 37485, Four Gospels (Gregory-Aland 2291), volume 1, containing Matthew and Mark. Early 13th century.
Evangelist miniature, from a Gospel Lectionary, Add MS 37486, f. 97v
Add MS 37486, Four Gospels (Gregory-Aland 2291), volume 2, containing Luke and John, and additional texts. Early 14th century.
Add MS 39587, Psalter (Rahlfs 1091). According to Rahlfs (1914), pp. 108-109, this manuscript and Add MS 39588 (Parham MS VI) were originally a single manuscript. 12th century.
Add MS 39592, Four Gospels (Gregory-Aland 549; Scrivener evan. 536; von Soden A 136), with marginal commentary. 11th century.
Add MS 39595, Four Gospels (Gregory-Aland 552, Scrivener evan. 539, von Soden ε 252). 2nd half of the 12th century.
Decorated headpiece and text from a New Testament, Acts and Epistles, Add MS 39599, f. 2r
Add MS 39599, New Testament, Acts and Epistles (Gregory-Aland 911 [formerly 227ac., 282p.]; Scrivener act. 217 and Paul. 235; von Soden ο29), with ekphonetic neums, lection notes, and a marginal commentary. The volume also contained Revelation, which was cut out by the Hegoumenos of the Karakallou Monastery, and which is now bound separately as Add MS 39601. The missing portion of the Catholic Epistles, now lost, may have been cut out at the same time. 11th century.
Add MS 39600, New Testament, Acts and Epistles (Gregory-Aland 912 [formerly Gregory 228ac. and 283p.]; Scrivener act. 218, Paul. 236; von Soden α 366, with the prefaces of Euthalius and Theodoret. 13th century, probably created at Mount Athos.
Add MS 40656, Psalter with Canticles (Rahlfs 1650, Gregory-Aland l 932, Scrivener evan. 612). 13th century.
Add MS 40754, Gospel Lectionary (Gregory-Aland l 1743). Written in 1256.
Opening of the Psalter with parallel Latin text, Add MS 47674, f. 2r
Add MS 47674, Psalter and Canticles (Rahlfs 1062), with parallel Latin text, and 8 pairs of illuminated initials (historiated at the beginning of the Latin text). 1220s, Paris.
Portrait of the Evangelist John and his eagle, at the beginning of a Gospel lectionary, Add MS 47774, f. 1v
Add MS 47774, Gospel lectionary in Modern Greek in the translation of Maximos Kallioupolites (d.1633), whose New Testament was printed posthumously in 1638. Pen drawings of the four Evangelists, in its original binding. 17th century, possibly created in the Balkans.