The Greek manuscript collections at the British Library range from the 3rd century BCE to the early 20th century CE. Written on papyrus, parchment and paper, and produced in regions as diverse as Greece, Egypt, Asia Minor, Italy, France, and England, they reveal the enduring significance of Greek culture and learning over the centuries.

Explore some of the highlights of the British Library's collection items, read articles by leading experts on Greek manuscripts, discover themes running through the collections, and watch videos on key topics. 

Can’t find the manuscript you’re looking for? Consult our full list of digitised Greek items.

Articles

Golden Canon Tables (Add MS 5111 f010v)

Greek illuminated Gospels

Kathleen Maxwell describes some of the remarkable illuminated copies of the Gospels to be found in the British Library’s collections.

Read more
The Harley Trilingual Psalter (Harley MS 5786 f012v)

Multilingualism in Greek manuscripts

Byzantium’s interactions with other cultures – both East and West – is made clear from the multilingual nature of many Greek manuscripts. Peter Toth explores this aspect of Byzantine book culture.

Read more
John Mauromates’ copy of Hero’s mechanical texts (Harley MS 5605 f010v)

The transmission of Greek philosophy and medicine

Ancient Greek philosophy and medical writing were extremely influential on later thought, both in the West and in the East. Aileen Das traces some of the strands of this remarkable journey, from Greek to Syriac, Arabic, and Latin.

Read more
The Bristol Psalter (Add MS 40731 f007v)

Manuscripts of the Greek Old Testament

Translated into Greek in Hellenistic Egypt, the Greek Old Testament was copied widely in Byzantium. Peter Toth surveys the history of this important text.

Read more
The Histories of Zonaras and Akropolites (Add MS 28828 f137r)

Byzantine historiography from the end of antiquity to 1453

Dimitris Krallis surveys the many written sources for Byzantine history.

Read more

Themes

The makers of Greek manuscripts

Learn more about book production in antiquity. What was more popular: parchment or paper?

Read more
Theodore Psalter (Add MS 19352 f189v)

Art

Learn more about Byzantine art from the illuminations and decorations found on Greek manuscripts.

Read more
Illuminated Manuscript of the Divine Liturgies (Add MS 40755 f002r)

Religion

Discover more about what our rich collection of surviving religious manuscripts tells us about Byzantine life.

Read more
Sermons of Gregory of Nazianzus (Add MS 18231 f105v)

Scholarship

Explore the intellectual traditions of the Graeco-Roman world that continued throughout the Byzantine era and into the Early Modern world.

Read more

Over 500 collection items from the British Library and institutions across Europe