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Detailed record for Harley 5731

Author Eusebius of Caesarea
Title Four Gospels and Apostolos, including Eusebius's 'Letter to Carpianus' with canon tables (ff. 2-6v, imperfect), and extracts from Acts and Epistles (ff. 183-202v, imperfect at the end).
Origin Eastern Mediterranean
Date First half of the 16th century
Language Greek
Script Greek minuscule
Decoration Evangelist portraits in colours (ff. 1v, 57v, 88v, 135v). Pen drawing of the Virgin and Child (f. 1). Headpieces with geometric decoration in colours, titles in display capitals and decorated initials in red (ff. 58, 89, 136, 183). Canon tables with geometric decoration in red (ff. 2v-6v). Decorated lines (ff. 170-181 and 183-202v). Initials, rubrics and scholia in red. Pen sketch of a saint (f. 56).
Dimensions in mm 205 x 145 (150 x 90)
Official foliation ff. 202 (+ single unfoliated blank leaves after ff. 87, 134, and four early modern flyleaves at the beginning and the end).
Form Paper codex
Binding Post-1600. 18th-century binding of gilt-tooled blue-green morocco, possibly made for the Harleian collection; rebacked in 1950.
Provenance Richard Bentley (b. 1662, d. 1742), philologist and classical scholar: possibly owned, his signature 'Ri: Bentley' and pressmark 'xxxvi.36' (first upper flyleaf, on recto; 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 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 A table of capitula in red ink precedes each Gospel (ff. 7-7v, 55-55v, 86v-87, 134v).
Matthew's Gospels is imperfect at the beginning.
Acts and Epistles (Apostolos) are arranged according to the ecclesiastical year (ff. 183-202v).
The manuscript also includes a table of lessons from the Gospels for the ecclesiastical year (ff. 170-182)
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5731.

Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Ilustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 2.

William H. P. Hatch, Facsimiles and Descriptions of Minuscule Manuscripts of the New Testament (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1951), pl. xcii.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 70, 461.

Kurt Aland, Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des neuen Testaments, Arbeiten zur neutestamentlichen Textforschung, 1 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1994), no.117 (for ff.1-182) and l 1357 (for ff.183-202).

Summary Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts (London: British Library, 1999- ), I, pp. 181-82.

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Evangelist portrait

f. 1v
Evangelist portrait

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