The bishop Stephanos commissioned this Gospel lectionary. It was written in 980 at Ciscissa in Cappadocia.
It is laid out in two columns and contains decorated head-pieces and initials in red and blue. Some of the initials take zoomorphic or anthropomorphic forms, such as an “O” in the shape of a fish. It is bound in red velvet.
The manuscript remained in Cappadocia for at least the first century after its creation. This is attested by inscriptions added by later owners, and the Georgian word for “Gospel” inscribed on the first folio.
It eventually made its way to the Monastery of Caracalla on Mount Athos, where Robert Curzon acquired it in 1837 to form part of his substantial collection of manuscripts. The collection was loaned to the British Museum by his daughter Darea in 1876, and bequeathed to the Museum on her death in 1917.
- Article by:
- Elisabeth Yota
- Art, Religion, The makers of Greek manuscripts
In this article, Elisabeth Yota surveys some of the evidence for the production of illuminated manuscripts outside of the imperial capital of Constantinople.
- Article by:
- Peter Toth
- The Greek World
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.