While most works of history in the Byzantine world were composed in prose, Constantine Manasses (c. 1130-c. 1187) wrote his Chronicle in verse. This allowed Manasses to draw on Homeric imagery, amongst other things. His Chronicle traces history from the Creation down to the year 1081.
The manuscript, written in 1312 or 1313, is written on Arabic paper (bombycine). It is housed in a 15th-century Cretan-style binding.
It once belonged to the library of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity on the island of Chalce in the Aegean. It came into the collection of Henry Howard (1628-1684), 6th Duke of Norfolk, who presented it to the Royal Society in 1667. The British Museum purchased it from the Royal Society together with 549 other Arundel manuscripts in 1831.