Old Testament Lectionary


While the majority of Byzantine lectionaries in the British Library collections consist of readings from the Gospels, lections from the Old Testament also featured in the Byzantine liturgy, and this manuscript is an example of a volume used in such services.

The text is laid out in two columns and contains ekphonetic notation. This notation, which can be seen written in red ink throughout the manuscript, served as a memory aid for the melody to which the text would be chanted. Illuminated headpieces mark the beginnings of major sections of the lectionary, and illuminated initials can be found on many leaves.

The British Museum acquired the manuscript in 1902.

Full title:
Old Testament Lectionary
12th century
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Add MS 36660

Full catalogue details

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The Old Testament in Greek

Article by:
Peter Toth
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Translated into Greek in Hellenistic Egypt, the Greek Old Testament was copied widely in Byzantium. Peter Toth surveys the history of this important text.