Octateuch with catena


This oversize volume was created in the 12th or 13th century and contains the first eight books of the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament). The text is accompanied by a catena, an extensive marginal commentary drawn from various texts written by the Church Fathers.

A few leaves at the beginning and end of the manuscript are taken from a synaxarion (a compilation of saints’ lives).

The manuscript gives an indication of why complete Bibles were so rare in Byzantium. The thick parchment leaves, combined with the characteristically thick wooden boards used to bind the manuscript, mean it is very unwieldy to handle and to use.

In the 13th century, it was owned by Theodosius of Prinkipos, the largest of the Prince Islands near Constantinople. It was acquired in 1897.

Full title:
Octateuch with catena
12th-13th century
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Additional MS 35123

Full catalogue details

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