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Detailed record for Harley 5598

Title Gospel lectionary with Menologion and Gospels for special services (Covel Gospel)
Origin Eastern Mediterranean (Constantinople?)
Date 995
Language Greek
Script Greek uncial
Scribe Constantine
Decoration Headpieces with geometric and foliate decoration in gold and colours and inscribed with titles in display capitals (ff. 3, 56, 142, 249, 293, 334). Single-column headpieces with geometric decoration in red (ff. 339v-376). Text in gold letters (f. 3); first two lines of text in gold (ff. 56, 142, 249, 293). Decorated initials in gold and colours. Initials, rubrics and running titles in gold. Text block in a cruciform shape (f. 248v).
Dimensions in mm 345 x 245/260 (250 x 165) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 382 (+ 2 unfoliated paper leaves after ff. 378 and 380, and 3 modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and the end).
Collation Gatherings mostly of 8, with quire signature in the lower margin of the first recto of each gathering.
Form Parchment and paper codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1893 re-using old wooden boards.
Provenance Written by presbyter Constantine: his colophon dated 27 May 995 (f. 376v).
Manolakes Kastorianos of Constantinople: presented by him to John Covel (see Additional 22911, f. 180).
John Covel (b. 1638, d. 1722), chaplain of the Levant Company in Constantinople, 1670-1676, and later Master of Christ's College, Cambridge: his Greek manuscript XIV (f. 1); his inscriptions (ff. 2, 376v), foliation, identification of lections, and notes (ff. 377-82); possibly borrowed in 1699 to Robert Harley (Heyworth 1989); sold, together with Covel's other manuscripts, to Edward Harley for £300 on 27 Feb. 1715/6 (Diary 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.
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 One of four extant Greek lectionaries with explicit dates from before 1000: see Lowden 2009.
f. 248v previously believed to be represented in the portrait of Humfrey Wanley by Thomas Hill in the Society of Antiquaries, London (see Heyworth 1989, frontispiece).
Additional leaves on paper added by Covel probably in the late 17th century (ff. 1, 2, 377-38w).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5598.

Frederick H. A. Scrivener, An Exact Transcription of the Codex Augiensis (Cambridge: Deighton Bell, 1859), pp. lxxvi-lxxvii.

The Palaeographic Society: Facsimiles of Manuscripts and Inscriptions, Series I, ed. by Edward Augustus Bond, Edward Maunde Thompson and George Frederic Warner (London: Cloves and Sons, 1873-1901), vol. 1 (1873-1883), pls 26, 27.

Henri Omont, 'Notes sur les manuscrits grecs du British Museum', Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes, 45 (1884), 314-50 (p. 337).

Frederick H. A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament for the Use of Biblical Students, 2 vols, 4th edn (London: Bell & Sons, 1894), evst. 250.

M. Alison Frantz,'Byzantine Illuminated Ornament', The Art Bulletin, 16 (1934), 43-76 (p. 71, pl. VII, 9).

Kurt Weitzmann, Die byzantinische Buchmalerei des 9. und 10. Jahrunderts (Berlin: Gebrüder Mann, 1935), pp. 27-29, 35, 70, figs. 200-03.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, pp. xxxiv-xxxvi; II: 1723-1726, p. 211 n. 1.

Guglielmo Cavallo, Ricerche sulla maiuscola biblica, Studi e testi di papirologia, 2 (Florence: Le Monnier, 1967), pp. 122-23.

Cyril E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani. A study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts preserved in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Library (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 113-17, 459.

G. Cavallo, 'Funzione e strutture della maiuscola greca tra i secoli VIII-XI', in La paléographie grecque et byzantine: Paris, 21-25 octobre 1974, Actes du Colloque international sur la paléographie grecque et byzantine, Paris, 21-25 October 1974, Colloques internationaux du Centre national de la recherche scientifique, 559 (Paris: Centre national de la recherche scientifique, 1977), 95-137 (pp. 103-04, 108 n. 85, pl. 18).

Ruth Barbour, Greek Literary Hands A.D. 400-1600 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1981), p. 1, no. 3.

Repertorium der griechischen Kopisten 800-1600, ed. by Ernst Gamillscheg and Dieter Harlfinger, Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Byzantinistik, 3.1, ed. by Herbert Hunger, 3 vols (Vienna: Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1981-), I: Handschriften aus Bibliotheken Grossbritanniens, 3 vols, no. 230.

Ioannis Spatharakis, Corpus of Dated Illuminated Manuscripts to the Year 1453, Byzantina neerlandica, 8, 2 vols (Leiden: Brill, 1981), no. 31.

Letters of Humfrey Wanley: Palaeographer, Anglo-Saxonist, Librarian, 1672-1726 ed. by Peter L. Heyworth (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), p. 138.

Jeffrey C. Anderson, The New York Cruciform Lectionary (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992), p. 25 n. 20.

Kurt Aland, Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des neuen Testaments, Arbeiten zur neutestamentlichen Textforschung, 1 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1994), l 150.

Summary Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts (London: British Library, 1999- ), I, p. 125 [with further bibliography].

John Lowden, The Jaharis Gospel Lectionary: The Story of a Byzantine Book (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009), p. 122 n. 5.

* * *
Illuminated headpiece and initial

f. 56
Illuminated headpiece and initial
Illuminated headpiece and initial

f. 142
Illuminated headpiece and initial
Cruciform text

f. 248v
Cruciform text

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