THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Medieval manuscripts blog

Bringing our medieval manuscripts to life

Introduction

What do Magna Carta, Beowulf and the world's oldest Bibles have in common? They are all cared for by the British Library's Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Section. This blog publicises our digitisation projects and other activities. Follow us on Twitter: @blmedieval. Read more

29 March 2015

The Anglo-Saxon Origins of Medieval Justice

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Our major Magna Carta exhibition is now open in London, but for those of you who can't come to the British Library in person, over the coming months we're going to showcase some of the exhibits on this blog. You may imagine that our story starts in the years immediately before the Great Charter was granted in 1215; but in fact the earliest items in our exhibition pre-date the Norman Conquest of England ...

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Miniature of a king dictating the law (London, British Library, Royal MS 11 D IX, f. 6r)

‘No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.’

So reads the most famous clause of Magna Carta, still valid in English law. But what do we know about the concept of justice before the 13th century?

The earliest surviving Anglo-Saxon law code was actually issued around the year 600 by King Æthelberht of Kent (r. 560–616), and was written in Old English. Meanwhile, the Bible provided models for good Christian kingship, as demonstrated in this 11th-century manuscript of the Hexateuch (the first 6 books of the Bible), on show in Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy.

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The Old English Hexateuch (London, British Library, Cotton MS Claudius B IV, f. 59r)

Here is the biblical story of Pharaoh sentencing his chief baker to be hanged (Genesis 40:21-22). However, the 11th-century artist has dressed the figures in costumes of his own day: the king in the centre, holding a sword and a sceptre or rod, is surrounded by his counsellors; the condemned man, on the right, is being strung from the gallows. According to a 14th-century catalogue, this beautifully illustrated manuscript was kept in the monastery library at St Augustine’s Canterbury on the first shelf of its first bookcase. You can see this page in our Magna Carta exhibition, and the whole manuscript can be viewed on our Digital Manuscripts website.

The Ten Commandments were a particularly important model for the drafting of Anglo-Saxon law codes. They are referenced in the laws of Alfred the Great (r. 871–899) and formed part of the preface to his law book, grounding the secular laws in biblical precedents. God’s law is also specifically referenced in the longest Anglo-Saxon law code, which begins with the line, ‘I desire that justice be promoted and every injustice suppressed, that every illegality be eradicated from this land with the utmost diligence, and the law of God promoted’. This was issued by King Cnut (r. 1016–1035) with the advice of his counsellors. The text was drafted by Archbishop Wulfstan of York (d. 1023), and one of the eight surviving medieval manuscripts containing the text was produced in either York or Worcester in the 11th century. It was probably owned by the archbishop himself, and may contain his own annotations.

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The Law Code II Cnut (London, British Library, Cotton MS Nero A I, f. 33r)

This item is also on display in our Magna Carta exhibition. When you see it in person, you realise that this pocket-sized book was deliberately made to be easily portable, perhaps by Archbishop Wulfstan himself.

It's quickly apparent that the concept of justice in medieval England was firmly established before King John came to the throne. We'll review why Magna Carta came to be granted in some of our later blogposts (look out for them on Twitter, @BLMedieval with the hashtag #MagnaCarta).

You can view the Old English Hexateuch and King Cnut's lawcode alongside other items relating to the history and legacy of Magna Carta in Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy, on at the British Library until 1 September 2015. They are also featured on our new Magna Carta website (Old English Hexateuch and lawcode of King Cnut).

28 March 2015

The Greek Manuscripts of Robert Curzon, Part II

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(For Part I, see this post).

Today we continue our journey through the Greek manuscripts acquired by the 19th-century bibliophile and traveller Robert Curzon.

Add MS 39604. Gospel Lectionary (Gregory-Aland l 344), with notes of lessons and names of months in Arabic. 12th century, ff 1-24 being added in the 14th century. Illuminated headpieces and initials. 16th-17th century binding of wooden boards covered with black leather, St. Andrew's cross in panel, blind-tooled, with a leather clasp. An image of the fore-edge, including the clasp, can be seen on Digitised Manuscripts as f v recto. Acquired at the Monastery of St Sabba near Jerusalem for 20 pieces of gold, and used by Curzon “for a pillow during 3 nights, when I was wandering on the banks of the Jordan” (f i recto).

Add MS 39605. Sermons on the Gospels of John and Matthew, by the author of the Theognosia (formerly attributed to Gregory of Nyssa), possibly Metrophanes of Smyrna. Early 10th century. Ornamental pen-and-ink head-piece on f 1 recto. 19th century binding of red velvet. Acquired at the Karakallou Monastery on Mount Athos (f ii recto).

 

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Add MS 39606, f 1v. Miniature of Gregory of Nazianzus seated on Christ’s right, each with a book.

Add MS 39606. Gregory of Nazianzus, Orationes, followed by extracts from Pseudo-Nonnus, Scholia mythologica. 11th century. Illuminated head-pieces and initials, paragraph initials in gold. On f 1v is a full-page miniature, much-rubbed, of Gregory seated on Christ's right, each with a book. 19th century red velvet binding by J. Clarke. Acquired at the Karakallou Monastery on Mount Athos (f i recto).

Add MS 39607. John Chrysostom, In epistulam I ad Corinthios homiliae (TLG 2062.156), imperfect, lacking the end of hom. 26 (expl. ὄνειδος πολλῷ μᾶλ[λον, PG 61.222) and the beginning of hom. 27 (inc. μετὰ ταῦτα κατέβη, PG 61.223), due to the loss of two leaves after f 214. Preceded by a table of contents, ff 1r-v, imperfect at the beginning, and a summary, ff 2r-3v. Hom. 24 (ff 193r-200r) differs from the version in PG. 12th century. Head-pieces tinted yellow, initials slightly tinted. 19th century binding of blue velvet. Acquired at the Karakallou Monastery on Mount Athos (f i recto).

Add MS 39608. John Chrysostom, In Genesim homiliae 1-33 (TLG 2062.112). 13th century. 19th century binding of blue velvet. Acquired at the Karakallou Monastery on Mount Athos (f i recto).

Add MS 39609. Isaiah of Scetis (Isaiah of Gaza), Asceticon (CPG 5555). 11th century, with some 18th-century additions on paper. Illuminated head-pieces and initials, other initials and titles in gold. Hybrid full leather Greek/western binding of goatskin over wooden boards, with blind-tooled central stamp and corner pieces. Two pins on the front board fore-edge, and two pairs of three holes through the back board for straps. Writing on the upper edge, which can be seen on Digitised Manuscripts as f iii recto. Acquired at the Karakallou Monastery on Mount Athos (f i recto).

Add MS 39610. John Climacus, Scala paradisi (TLG 2907.001) and Liber ad Pastorem (CPG 7853). 11th century. Illuminated head-pieces and initials. Drawing of the Ladder of Ascent on f 206r. Binding of blind-tooled leather over birch boards. Writing on the upper edge, which can be seen on Digitised Manuscripts as f iii recto. Acquired at the Simonopetra Monastery on Mount Athos (f i recto).

Add MS 39611. Heirmologion, with musical notation, arranged according to ἤχοι or modes. 17th century. Modern western binding of brown leather. Presented to Curzon by the Vice-Consul at Suez in 1834 (f i recto).

Add MS 39612. Revelation (Gregory-Aland 2041), with brief marginal notes and kephalaia, probably by the original scribe, but less formally written. The quire-numbers on ff 1v and 10v show the manuscript formed part of a larger volume, possibly Athos, Karakallou 121 (268) (Gregory-Aland 1040). 14th century. Modern western binding of dark morocco. Acquired at the Karakallou Monastery on Mount Athos (f ii recto).

 

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Add MS 39613, f 30r. Illuminated initial at the beginning of the Greek text of the Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom.

Add MS 39613. John Chrysostom, Divine Liturgy, in a Latin translation, ff 2r-29v, followed by the Greek original, ff 30r-59r. The Latin text differs from that in printed editions. Likely created in France, probably Paris, between 1502-1506. Illuminated initials (ff 2r, 30r) and border (f 2r) of late French style. 16th century binding of light brown leather, blind-tooled, the panel formed by fillets alternating with four rows of impressions of a stamp of interlaced arcs of lattice work, five dots within the interlacement. The border is formed of lozenges enclosing roses. Brass clasps (one broken). Gilt and gauffred edges. The boards are from 16th century printed books: a Latin grammar with examples in French, a Latin servicebook, and another book in French. No indication is given of where Curzon acquired the item (either in the MS or in Curzon’s Catalogue), but the manuscript was in Rheims in the 16th and 17th centuries, and was quite possibly acquired there.

Add MS 39614. Xenophon, Hellenica (TLG 0032.001). Early 16th century, written by Damianus Guidotus at Venice, who was also the scribe of the following two manuscripts. Add MSS 39614-39616 were acquired from a priest of the Church of San Francesco della Vigna in Venice (f i recto). Five more volumes of the same set as in the possession of the Rev. Walter Sneyd of Denton, Oxford (afterwards of Keele Hall), whose library was sold at Sotheby's in December 1903: see lots 48, 52, 379, 380.

Add MS 39615. Hermogenes, De constitutionibus (Περὶ στάσεων) (TLG 0592.002). Early 16th century, of the same origin and provenance as the previous item.

Add MS 39616. [Plutarch], De liberis educandis (TLG 0007.067). Early 16th century, of the same origin and provenance as Add MSS 39614-39615.

Add MS 39617. Demosthenes, Orationes, with the hypotheses of Libanius, and occasional scholia and interlinear glosses. 15th century. Acquired at the Karakallou Monastery on Mount Athos (f i recto).

Add MS 39618. Theological and religious works. 16th century. Acquired at the Great Monastery at Meteora in Thessaly (ff i recto-ii verso).

Add MS 39619 (not digitised). Rhetorical and other works in Greek. Written in 1712 (f 3r). Acquired in Therapia (f i recto). Add MS 39619-39622 bear the 18th-century ownership marks of one Paisius of Amapeia.

Add MS 39620 (not digitised). Theological works of George Koressios. Late 17th century. Acquired in Therapia (f i recto).

Add MS 39621 (not digitised). Commentary on the 4th book of Theodorus Gaza's Introduction to Greek Grammar, based on the commentary of Elias Andreas of Bordeaux. Late 17th century. Decorated headpieces and initials. Acquired in Therapia (f i recto).

Add MS 39622 (not digitised). Rhetorical treatises in Greek by Alexander Mavrocordatos and Anastasios Papavassilopoulos, with interlinear and marginal notes. Early 18th century. Acquired in Therapia (f i recto).

Add MS 39623. Fragments from a Gospel Lectionary (Gregory-Aland l 1742). Late 14th century. Acquired at the Karakallou Monastery on Mount Athos (f i recto).

Add MS 39624 (not digitised) Collection of classical and Christian Greek poems for school use, with interlinear glosses in Modern Greek, possibly a Mathematarion. This manuscript is not listed in Curzon's 1849 Catalogue. Written in 1739 (f 206r). Original binding of brown leather, blind-tooled diagonally. On the front cover is a faded stamp of the Crucifixion, on the back a mitred saint with scroll (possibly Prophet David). Acquired at the Monastery of St Sabba near Jerusalem (f ii recto).

This overview of Curzon’s Greek manuscripts can only go so far in outlining the range of fascinating material to be found within them – not least in Curzon’s own notes on their acquisition, which occasionally extend to several pages. While Curzon himself has been the subject of a number of studies, his manuscripts as a collection have not received as much attention as they deserve – some key items are listed below in the bibliography, but there is much work to be done, particularly on the insights they provide us with into Byzantine and post-Byzantine binding practices.

Bibliography:

Robert Curzon, Catalogue of Materials for Writing, Early Writings on Tablets and Stones, Rolled and Other Manuscripts and Oriental Manuscript Books in the Library of the Honourable Robert Curzon, at Parham in the County of Sussex (London: Nicol, 1849) [Only 50 copies printed. Curzon’s personal annotated copy is now Add MS 64098)].

Robert Curzon, Visits to Monasteries in the Levant (London: John Murray, 1849)

Holland, M., ‘Robert Curzon, Traveller and Book Collector’, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 65 (1983), 123–57

Fraser, Ian H. C., The Heir of Parham: Robert Curzon 14th Baron Zouche (Harleston: Paradigm, 1986)

Cormack, Robin, ‘“A Gentleman”s Book’: Attitudes of Robert Curzon’, in Through the Looking Glass: Byzantium through British Eyes, ed. by Robin Cormack and Elizabeth Jeffreys, Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies Publication, 7 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000), pp. 147–62

- Cillian O’Hogan

26 March 2015

Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project: The final seventy-five manuscripts go online

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The third phase of the Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project has now drawn to a close. In this update, we give details of the last manuscripts to be digitised in this phase. In the coming weeks, a number of additional posts will provide guides to specific themes and topics within the collection, and further outreach projects relating to the Greek manuscripts will be developed over the next year. We are most grateful to the generous benefactors who have supported the project, especially the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and also many others, including the A. G. Leventis Foundation, Sam Fogg, the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, the Thriplow Charitable Trust, and the Friends of the British Library.

We would also like to thank the many colleagues in the Library who contributed to this phase, especially Ann Tomalak, from Conservation; Neil McCowlen, Kristin Phelps, and Alex White, from Imaging Services; and Sarah J. Biggs and James Freeman, from Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Manuscripts. Their hard work (outlined in blogs here, here, and here) was essential to the timely completion of the project.

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Add MS 39613, f 30r. Opening of John Chrysostom, Divine Liturgy. France, probably Paris, between 1502 and 1506.

Add MS 34060, Collections of canons, with theological, liturgical, and historical pieces, and a few letters bearing on the relations between the Eastern and Western Churches. 12th and 15th centuries.

Add MS 39584, Parchment roll containing Ἀκολουθία τῶν Ἐγκαινίων: Office for the dedication of a church, with connected or similar offices. 14th century.

Add MS 39613, John Chrysostom, Divine Liturgy, in a Latin translation, ff 2r-29v, followed by the Greek original, ff 30r-59r. The Latin text differs from that in printed editions. France, probably Paris, between 1502 and 1506. Illuminated initials (ff 2r, 30r) and border (f 2r) of late French style. 16th century binding of light brown leather, blind-tooled, the panel formed by fillets alternating with four rows of impressions of a stamp of interlaced arcs of lattice work, five dots within the interlacement. The border is formed of lozenges enclosing roses. Brass clasps (one broken). Gilt and gauffred edges. The boards are from 16th century printed books: a Latin grammar with examples in French, a Latin servicebook, and another book in French.

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Add MS 40755, f 21r. Miniature of St Basil the Great. Eastern Mediterranean (Demitrash, near Brusa, Anatolia), 1600.

Add MS 40755, The Divine Liturgies. Illuminated headpieces on ff 2r, 21r, and 46r, containing figures of Saints John Chrysostom, Basil the Great, and Gregory, standing under arches surrounded by a decorative border. An unfinished miniature of St Basil occurs on f 61r. Historiated initials on ff 9v, 14v, 19r, 27v, 28r, 31r, 44r, and numerous initials in gold and colours throughout. Written by the scribe Michael at the request of the patriarch Macarius  in 1600, at the monastery of the Virgin at Demitrash, near Brusa. The former (17th-century) binding of crimson velvet over millboard with striped linen beneath, is kept separately.

Add MS 41660, Works by Ephraem the Syrian. 11th-12th century. A former 17th-18th century binding of yellow-brown blind-stamped leather over wooden boards is preserved separately under Add MS 41660/1.

Add MS 82951, Justin Martyr, Opera. Created in Venice in 1541, probably at the request of Guillaume Pelicier.

Add MS 82952, Maximus the Confessor, Preface to Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite; Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, De caelesti hierarchia and De divinis nominibus; David the Invincible, Prolegomena Philosophiae. Italy, 16th century.

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Add MS 82953, f 1r. Opening of Pseudo-Gregentius, Dialexis. Eastern Mediterranean, 16th century.

Add MS 82953, Pseudo-Gregentius, Dialexis, and a collection of extracts from the Old Testament. 16th century.

Arundel MS 529, Theological extracts and letters, many relating to the Ecumenical Councils. Palimpsest, re-using at least five older manuscripts. Italy, S. (Salento, perhaps Otranto or Gallipoli). Dated 7 June 1111.

Arundel MS 539, Eusebius of Caesarea, Historia Ecclesiastica. Decorated headpieces in red and black ink (ff 2r, 164r). Small simple black initials highlighted in red. 1st half of the 16th century.

Arundel MS 542, Works of St John Chrysostom (some now attributed to Severianus Gabalensis). 10th century. Large foliate, geometric, or decorated headpieces in colours and gold with enclosed titles in red majuscules, and large coloured initials below at the beginning of texts. Simple headpiece with titles in red uncials, and large decorated initials in colour. Simple endpieces. Small initials in brown. Marginal drawing of a cross (f 223r). The old Arundel binding is kept separately as Arundel MS 542/1.

Arundel MS 543, St John Chrysostom, In Matthaeum homiliae. 11th century. 3 pink foliate headpieces and large decorated pink initials (ff 138v, 180v, and 187v) added in the 13th century as replacement folios. Original simple brown headpieces, and small simple pink or brown initials.

Arundel MS 550, Notebook of Johannes Cuno, containing a number of extracts from Greek and Latin authors, notes on grammar and metre, and other items. Italy, N. (Padua), c. 1506-1508.

Burney MS 34, Catena on the Octateuch (Rahlfs 424), and additional theological texts. Italy, N. E. (Veneto?), mid-16th century.

Burney MS 35, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Interpretatio in Psalmos. Italy, Central. Written during Lent 1548.

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Burney MS 44/1, f 1r. Foliage headpiece at the beginning of the life of St Barbara. Eastern Mediterranean, 2nd half of the 11th century-1st half of the 12th century.

Burney MS 44, Lives of martyrs celebrated from 4 to 31 Dec, in two volumes, Burney MS 44/1 and Burney MS 44/2. All except that for St John of Damascus are in the versions attributed to Symeon Metaphrastes. Completed in July 1184. Foliage headpiece, in red and brown (volume I, f 1r). Other simple headpieces. Large red initials, some decorated with foliate shapes. Small red or gold initials.

Burney MS 46, Works of Athanasius of Alexandria, in two volumes, Burney MS 46/1 and Burney MS 46/2. 2nd half of the 11th century-1st half of the 12th century.

Burney MS 47, St John Chrysostom, In Joannem (homiliae 1-45). Illuminated headpieces at the beginning of homilies 1-17. 11th century.

Burney MS 48, Commentaries of St John Chrysostom on the Pauline letters, followed by the Catholic Epistles (Gregory-Aland 643; Scrivener act 225; von Soden α 1402, X40), in two volumes, Burney MS 48/1 and Burney MS 48/2. 11th-12th century.

Burney MS 49, Homilies of St John Chrysostom on selected Pauline Epistles. Eastern Mediterranean (Corfu), 1430.

Burney MS 50, Apophthegmata Patrum (Collectio alphabetica), in two volumes, Burney MS 50/1 and Burney MS 50/2. Eastern Mediterranean (Crete) 1361-1362.

Burney MS 51, Two fragments of the works of St Gregory of Nazianzus, the first dating from the late 10th or 11th century, the second dating from the 14th century. Fragment I possibly from Constantinople.

Burney MS 52, Homilies and sermons of St Gregory of Nyssa. 12th-13th century.

Burney MS 53, Patristic miscellany, containing texts by Origen, Eustathius, Gregory of Nyssa, and the emperor Zeno. Italy, S. (Naples) or Central (Rome), c. 1580.

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Burney MS 54, f 4r. Diagram of the palms of hands relating to the cycles of the sun. Eastern Mediterranean (Ephesus?) 1573.

Burney MS 54, Collection of liturgical readings, prayers, verses, and tables. Includes the Liturgies of John Chrysostom and Basil of Caesarea. Eastern Mediterranean (Ephesus?) 1573. 7 diagrams, including the palms of hands relating to the cycles of the sun and the moon, stylised crosses, and geometric shapes (ff 2v, 4r, 5v, 6r, 49r, 49v, 51r). 6 architectural frames of a rounded arch framing a blank space (ff 16v, 18v, 20v, 24v (unfinished), 29v, 36v). Foliate headpieces in colours with birds and plants on gold grounds (ff 54r, 80r). Other foliate, woven, or geometric headpieces (ff 12r, 16r, 18r, 20r, 24r, 117v, 119r, 133v, 148r) in colours. Large zoomorphic initials, usually of birds in blue and red, or blue, red, and green. Large red or brown initials, many of or with foliate forms, some with other colours. Small red or brown initials. Knotted decorative forms.

Burney MS 73, Demetrius Cydones, Homily on St Lawrence (BHG3 978), followed by notes on the history of Jerusalem in Latin. Italy, N.?, 4th quarter of the 15th century.

Burney MS 76, Theodore Gaza, Introductio grammatica, Book I. Paris, 2nd half of the 15th century.

Burney MS 80, Heraclides Lembus' extracts from Aristotle, Politeia, extracts from Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, and Aelian, De natura animalium, and Epictetus, Enchiridion. 2nd half of the 16th century.

Burney MS 81, Heron of Alexandria, Pneumatica, with extensive Latin marginal annotations and many pen diagrams. Italy, mid-16th century.

Burney MS 87, Isocrates, Ad Nicoclem (TLG 0010.013), imperfect, with interlinear Latin translation. Italy, Central (Rome), 4th quarter of the 16th century-1st quarter of the 17th century.

Burney MS 94, Grammatical and medical treatises, including works by Manuel Moschopoulos, Thomas Magister, Rufus of Ephesus, and Oribasius of Pergamon. Italy, N. E. (Venice), 2nd half of the 15th century.

Burney MS 99, Greek compositions by Sir Ralph Winwood (b. 1562/3, d. 1617). England (Oxford), written between 1578 and 1589.

Burney MS 104. Commentary on and introduction to Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos. Written in 1543, possibly in Paris.

Burney MS 105, Pappas of Alexandria, Synagoge, imperfect, including extracts from the Mechanica of Heron of Alexandria. Italy, 2nd half of the 16th century.

Burney MS 112, 113, and 114, Religious texts copied by Matthew, Metropolites of Ephesus, in three volumes. Eastern Mediterranean (Ephesus), 2nd quarter of the 14th century.

Burney MS 127, Nicolas Floyd of Winchester College, Ραψῳδία βιβλικὰ. Passages from the Bible converted into Greek and Latin parallel verses. Winchester, 1652.

Burney MS 402, Collection of Greek and Latin inscriptions copied by Anthony Askew, M.D., in the Levant and Greece, with notes on their situation, size, state of preservation, etc. Completed on 24 January 1748.

Burney MS 408, Palimpsest, the upper (14th-century) text being homilies of St John Chrysostom on Matthew and John, and the lower fragments of a 10th century Gospel lectionary (Gregory-Aland l 338).

Egerton MS 265, Collection of novellae and other legal texts by Emperors Leo VI the Wise, Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, Nicephorus II Phocas, Cosmas Magister and Eustathius Romaeus. 15th century.

Egerton MS 266, Michael Attaliates, Πόνημα νομικὸν ἤτοι σύνοψις πραγματική (TLG 3079.002). The text from f 45r onwards differs from that in the TLG. The copyist writes on f 56r that the prototype was imperfect: 'τοῦτο περισσὸν ἦν, ἔλιπε δὲ τὸ τέλος'. Marginal comments (mainly in Greek, and a few in Latin) have been added throughout the text by at least two later hands. 15th century.

Egerton MS 622, Poems by Gregory of Nazianzus with interlinear glosses in the form of a mathematarion, and a dictionary copied and compiled by Basileios Μοσκοβόρρωτος. 16th century, incorporating parts of book printed in 1727.

Egerton MS 2339, Patristic florilegium; Thekaras, Horologion and hymns; prayers, imperfect. 16th century.

Egerton MS 2474, Collection of various texts from Pseudo-Plutarch, Synesius of Cyrene, Amphilochius of Iconium, Gregory of Nazianzus, Nicetas David and John Zonaras, with interlinear glosses and marginal scholia. Italy?, 17th century.

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Egerton MS 2610, f 4r. Canon tables. Eastern Mediterranean, 11th century.

Egerton MS 2610, Four Gospels (Gregory-Aland 700). Canon tables in architectural frames in gold and colours (ff 3v-4r, 5v-6r, 7v-8r, 9v-10r). 4 miniatures of Evangelist portraits in colours on gold grounds (ff 12v, 91v, 144v, 230v). Large headpieces in colours and gold, with foliate patterns and birds (f 13r), and 4 large initials in colours and gold, at the beginning of the Gospels (ff 13r, 92r, 145r, 231r). Initials in gold. Simple head- and tailpieces in gold. Chrysography. 11th century.

Egerton MS 2626, Sozomen, Historia ecclesiastica (TLG 2048.001); Evagrius Scholasticus, Historia ecclesiastica (TLG 2733.001). Italy, Central (Rome), 1524.

Egerton MS 2707, Collection of ecclesiastical canons and other related texts. 13th century.

Egerton MS 2783, Four Gospels, imperfect (Gregory-Aland 714). 12th-13th century. 7 full-page miniatures in colours on gold grounds of the symbols of the Evangelists and Evangelist portraits (lacking a portrait of Luke) (ff 13r, 13v, 106r, 106v, 166v, 264r, 264v). Canon tables in red in frames, with foliate decoration (ff 5r-9v). Large headpieces in red with foliate patterns. Large initials in red with penwork decoration. Small initials in red. Simple headpieces in red. Text and rubrics in red. 18th century binding of brown stamped leather, with blind tooling and gold edges. On the inside of each cover there is a portion of a 13th-century manuscript of the Sententiæ of Peter Lombard.

Egerton MS 3155, Leitourgikon, containing the Liturgies of St John Chrysostom (ff 3r-21r), St Basil the Great (ff 22r-48r), and the Presanctified (ff 49r-58v). Eastern Mediterranean (Constantinople), 1644.

Egerton MS 3157, Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopulus, Synaxaria; Ephraem the Syrian, Sermo in pulcherrimum Ioseph, imperfect. 4th quarter of the 14th century. 33 drawings in ink and watercolours. Headpieces in brown and red, some with braided decoration. Headpiece and large decorated initial in watercolours (f 96r). Simple endpieces in red or brown. Initials in red, some with penwork decoration. Rubrics in red. The former contemporary binding of wooden boards and tooled leather, with metal bosses on each side kept separately as Egerton MS 3157/1.

Harley MS 5785, Gospel Lectionary (Gregory-Aland l 151), with ecphonetic notation.  12th century. 3 evangelist portraits in colours and gold of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (ff 66v, 143v, 187v). 18 headpieces in colours and gold with animals, birds, and/or floral and foliate motifs (ff 1r, 67r, 104r, 144r, 202v, 234r, 246r, 274r, 281r, 298v, 313r, 320v, 325v, 328v, 332r, 340r, 344r, 353r). 1 very large initial in colours and gold (f 289v). Major initials in colours and gold, some with anthropomorphic designs (e.g. 3v). Titles in gold capitals written over red. Marginal notations in red.

Harley MS 5796, New Testament (Gregory-Aland 444; Scrivener evan. 444, Act. 153, Paul 240; von Soden δ 551). 1st half of the 15th century. Headpieces with geometric and foliate decoration and initials with foliate decoration in gold and/or colours (ff 2r, 44r, 73r, 121r, 163r). Titles in display capitals in gold or red (ff 2r, 44r, 73r, 121r, 163r). Rubrics, decorated initials and scholia in red.

Harley MS 7509, Collection of copies of Greek inscriptions made in Asia Minor by William Sherard (1659-1728), Consul for the Turkey Company at Smyrna. 1st quarter of the 18th century.

Lansdowne MS 355, Miscellaneous letters of Greek patriarchs, metropolitans, etc., together with letters to John Covel, D.D. and his copies and drafts. 1652-1701.

Royal MS 1 B II, Old Testament: Major and Minor Prophets of the Septuagint version (Rahlfs 22). 1st quarter of the 12th century. Headpieces, initials and titles in carmine ink.

Royal_ms_2_a_vi_f154r
Royal MS 2 A VI, f 154r. Illuminated headpiece at the start of Psalm 77. Eastern Mediterranean, 12th century.

Royal MS 2 A VI, Psalter (Rahlfs 175). 12th century. Illuminated headpieces at the start of Psalms 1 and 77 (ff 22r, 154r).

Royal MS 16 C XI, Galen, De diebus decretoriis libri III. Italy, 1st quarter of the 16th century.

Royal MS 16 C XII,Astronomical works. 1544-3rd quarter of the 16th century.

Royal MS 16 C XIII, Photius, Bibliotheca Codex 239, and [Andronicus], De Passionibus. 2nd half of the 16th century.

Royal MS 16 C XV,  Two works attributed to Gregory of Nyssa, with marginal notes by Isaac Casaubon and Patrick Young. 3rd quarter of the 16th century. Also digitised is the old Royal binding of this manuscript, now held as Royal MS 16 C XV/1.

Royal MS 16 C XVI, Artemidorus Capito, De urinis, and Hippocrates, Prognosticon, preceded by medical notes, mostly in Latin. 1st quarter of the 16th century, Germany?

Royal MS 16 D I, Works by or attributed to St Gregory of Nyssa. 13th century.

Royal MS 16 D III A and B, John Tzetzes, Antehomerica, with an imperfect Latin translation by Petrus Morellus. 4th quarter of the 16th century, France (Loches). Formerly owned by Isaac Casaubon.

Royal MS 16 D IV, Indices to the scholia of Tzetzes on Lycophron. Italy, 4th quarter of the 16th century.

Royal MS 16 D V, St Gregory of Nazianzus, Contra Julianum imperatorem 1-2 (Orationes 4-5). Italy, Central (Rome), 2nd half of the 16th century.

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Royal MS 16 D VI, f 170r. Opening of St Gregory of Nazianzus, In Aegyptiorum adventum. Italy, Central (Rome), 2nd half of the 16th century.

Royal MS 16 D VI, St Gregory of Nazianzus, Orationes 7, 8, 18, and 34, with the commentary of Elias of Crete. Italy, Central (Rome), 2nd half of the 16th century.

Royal MS 16 D VIII, Acts of the First Council of Nicaea, compiled by Gelasius of Cyzicus, followed by two works by Athanasius. Italy, 4th quarter of the 16th century.

Royal MS 16 D XI, St Gregory of Nyssa, selected works. Italy, N. (Venice or Trento), 2nd half of the 16th century.

Royal MS 16 D XV, Acts of the Second Council of Nicaea. Italy, N. (Venice or Trento), 3rd quarter of the 16th century.

Royal MS 16 D XVII, Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus, Hymnus Christi servatoris, and an anonymous iambic hymn. 1st half of the 16th century.

Royal MS 16 D XVIII, Eustathius Macrembolites, Hysmene et Hysmenias; Achilles Tatius, Leucippe et Clitophon; and [Eustathius Antiochenus], Commentarius in hexaemeron. The works are from three separate manuscripts, bound together at some point after 1697. 1st half of the 16th century.

Sloane MS 324, Michael Apostolis, Oratio ad Discipulos Suos, autograph copy. Eastern Mediterranean (Crete), 1460?

Sloane MS 745, Hippiatrica or Horse Medicine. 13th century.

Sloane MS 1835, Extracts from Evagrius Scholasticus, Historia Ecclesiastica (TLG 2733.001; CPG 7500), with Latin translations by Petrus Joannes Olivarius, preceded by his dedication to Henry VIII. England?, 2nd quarter of the 16th century.

 

- Cillian O’Hogan