Most Greek manuscripts of the Bible tend only to include a small sub-section of biblical books, for instance, the four Gospels, or the Psalms. This manuscript, however, contains almost the entire New Testament (only the Book of Revelation is missing). It was written on parchment in the 14th century.
Unlike the more elaborate biblical manuscripts in the British Library, this volume contains only minimal decoration. Headpieces are found at the beginning of each Gospel and Acts, and there are no illuminations.
The script in the manuscript is very neat, and has been identified as being in the hand of George Galesiotes, who worked as a clerk for the Patriarch of Constantinople in the 1st half of the 14th century.
A number of later owners signed their names and details of the manuscript’s acquisition, and it seems to have been at a monastery on Mount Athos by the early 18th century. Bernard Mould (c. 1683-1744) acquired it at Smyrna and sold it to Edward Harley in 1725. Harley's collection forms one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
- Article by:
- Georgi Parpulov
- Scholarship, The makers of Greek manuscripts
Byzantine manuscripts were created by and for educated men both in Constantinople and further afield. Georgi Parpulov explores the lives and works of some of these figures.