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Detailed record for Harley 5796

Title New Testament
Origin Eastern Mediterranean
Date 1st half of the 15th century
Language Greek
Script Greek minuscule
Decoration Headpieces with geometric and foliate decoration and initials with foliate decoration in gold and/or colours (ff. 2, 44, 73, 121, 163). Titles in display capitals in gold or red (ff. 2, 44, 73, 121, 163). Rubrics, decorated initials and scholia in red.
Dimensions in mm 265 X 190 (190 X 120)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 324 (f. 1* is an early modern paper upper flyleaf; + 2 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 and the end).
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of brown morocco with Harley arms gilt at centre of boards; marbled endpapers; edges mottled in red; rebacked with additional gilt tooling by the Museum.
Provenance Philippos Litarchos, a priest: sold to his cousin Ioannes for 500 aspers on 17 June 1587: inscription (f. 323).
Ioannes Markos Protosynkellos : purchased from his cousin Philippos Litarchos.
Iacovos hieromonk: purchased in November 1705: inscriptions (ff. 1*, 324v).
? Mount Athos: owned and brought from there to be bound at Thessalonica (see Wright and Wright 1966).
Bernard Mould (b. c. 1683; d. 1744), chaplain at Smyrna: acquired in Smyrna in 1722, his inscription 'Bernard Mould Smyrna 1722' (f. 1; see Summary Catalogue 1999); sold to Edward Harley on 28 July 1725 (see Wright and Wright 1966; 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, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley, 'n. 2. 28 die Julij, A.D. 1725' (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 manuscript includes:
Four Gospels (ff. 1-154), each preceded by a table of contents;
Table of lessons from the Gospels for the ecclesiastical year (ff. 155-162);
Acts, Catholic Epistles and Epistles of St Paul (ff. 163-313v);
Tables of lessons (ff. 314-322v).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5796.

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

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, p. 368 n. 1.

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. 246, 462.

Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des neuen Testaments, ed. by Kurt Aland, Arbeiten zur neutestamentlichen Textforschung, 1 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1994), p. 444.

Summary Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts (London: British Library, 1999- ), I, p. 196.

* * *
Illuminated headpiece and initial

f. 44
Illuminated headpiece and initial

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