The liturgy, or religious service, of the Greek Orthodox Church was often recorded on a parchment roll, rather than in codex form, during the Byzantine era. Unlike papyrus bookrolls from antiquity, which were unrolled horizontally, liturgical rolls are unrolled vertically. This linear format ensures that the liturgy is recited by the officiant in the correct order. Additional 22749 is an incomplete roll containing the Divine Liturgy of St Basil of Caesarea, one of the three Eucharistic Liturgies in the Byzantine church.
Little is known about the history of the roll between the time it was made in the 12th century and its arrival in the British Museum in the 19th century, but it shows clear signs of extensive use. It was acquired by the Museum in 1859 from one P. Lambros.
- Article by:
- Peter Toth
In addition to the many surviving copies of Greek biblical texts, a wide range of manuscripts dealing with church services survive from the Byzantine era. Here, Peter Toth gives a brief overview of this material.