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Detailed record for Harley 5787

Title Gospel Lectionary, imperfect
Origin Eastern Mediterranean
Date Last quarter of the 9th or 1st quarter of the 10th century
Language Greek
Script Greek uncial
Decoration Headpieces with geometric and foliate decoration in gold or silver and colours and inscribed with titles in coloured display capitals (ff. 41, 95). Single-column headpieces with geometric and foliate decoration in colours and inscribed with titles in display capitals, occasionally in colours (ff. 41v, 66, 89v, 92, 109v, 119v, 147v, 153v, 173v, 177v, 187, 189v, 193). Decorated initials in gold or silver and colours, often including the motif of a right hand stretching out (see ff. 27 and 34v), occasionally decorated with birds (ff. 119, 190v), or trilobe or multilobe motifs (ff. 53, 103v, 214). Rubrics and running title in gold or silver.
Dimensions in mm 315 x 220 (230 x 140) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 224 (+ 5 unfoliated modern flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end).
Collation Gatherings mostly of 8, with quire signature in the lower margin of the first recto and the last verso of each gathering.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of gilt-tooled red morocco over original thick wooden boards by Christopher Chapman, circa 1720; marbled endpapers; rebacked in 1878.
Provenance ? The monastery of Saints Cosmas and Damian, Brusa (Bursa) in Bithynia, Turkey: inscription 'Codex Prusensis' (f. 1: see Wright 1972; another manuscript from the same monastery is Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, MS gr. I, 10 (Nanianus 3), see Summary Catalogue 1999).
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 XV; his notes, foliation and identification of lections; sold to Robert Harley on 27 Feb. 1715/16 (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.
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 Missing leaves at the beginning and after ff. 1, 23, 36, 135, 197, 219.
Pericopes arranged according to the ecclesiastical calendar.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5787.

[E. Maunde Thompson and G. F. Warner], Catalogue of Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum, 2 vols (London: British Museum, 1881-1884), Part I Greek (1881), p. 23, pl. 17.

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. 152.

Kurt Weitzmann, Die byzantinische Buchmalerei des 9. und 10. Jahrunderts (Berlin: Gebrüder Mann, 1935), pp. 39, 43, 56, figs. 287-89.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), pp. xxxiv-xxxvi.

Christine Paschou, 'Les peintures dans un tétraévangile de la Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris: le Grec 115 (Xe siècle)', Cahiers Archéologiques, 22 (1972), 61-86 (p. 72 and n. 24).

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. 279, 462.

Leslie Brubaker, 'The Introduction of Painted Initials in Byzantium', Scriptorium, 45 (1991), 22-46 (pp. 33, 35-6 and n. 66).

Kurt Aland, Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des neuen Testaments, Arbeiten zur neutestamentlichen Textforschung, 1 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1994), l 152.

Summary Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts (London: British Library, 1999- ), I, p. 192 [with further bibliography].

* * *
Decorated initial

f. 10v
Decorated initial
Decorated initial

f. 21
Decorated initial
Decorated headpiece and initial

f. 95
Decorated headpiece and initial

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