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Detailed record for Harley 5538

Title Gospels
Origin Eastern Mediterranean
Date 12th century
Language Greek
Script Greek minuscule
Artists Decorated by two artists
Decoration Headpieces with geometric and foliate decoration, titles in display capitals and initials in colours (ff. 1, 65, 105, 174). Decorated initials in red
Dimensions in mm 125 x 90 (90 x 65)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 226 (+ 3 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning, and one early modern and 3 modern at the end).
Collation Gatherings mostly of 10, with quire signature in the lower margin of first recto and last verso of each gathering.
Form Parchment codex.
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1962.
Provenance Erased inscription in Latin '1449 Ultimo septembris' (f. 1*), similar to another found in Harley 5613 (f. 1v).
Fra Antonio [of Genoa ?]: the beginning of his inscription (f. 64v) as found in complete form and dated 1648 in Harley 5613, f. 213.
John Gibson (fl. 1720-1726), dealer: sold to Edward Harley in August 1733 (see Wright 1972).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts: Edward's inscription ‘Bought of Mr Gibson aug. 1733’ (f. 1*).
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes The first artist decorated f. 1; a second artist decorated ff. 65, 105 and 174.
The text has no sections or liturgical signs.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts, in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5538.

Frederick Wisse, The profile method for the classification and evaluation of manuscript evidence, as applied to the continuous Greek text of the Gospel of Luke, Studies and Documents, 44 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1982), pp. 61, 94-96.

Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des neuen Testaments, ed. by Kurt Aland, Arbeiten zur neutestamentlichen Textforschung, 1 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1994), p. 505.

Summary Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts (London: British Library, 1999- ), I, p. 103 [with further bibliography].

* * *
Decorated headpiece

f. 174
Decorated headpiece

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