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