The Prophetologion is a lectionary containing readings from the Old Testament, arranged according to the liturgical calendar. This particular volume, likely produced in Italy in the 12th century, is now missing both its beginning and its end. It contains a very simple early musical notation, which does not outline the specific notes to be sung, but rather instructs the reader to sing the reading according to a chant he already knows.
The manuscript previously belonged to Samuel Butler (1774–1839), Bishop of Lichfield. It was purchased by the British Museum along with the rest of Butler’s manuscript collection, which included 25 other Greek manuscripts, in 1841.
- Article by:
- Nicolas Bell
- Religion, The makers of Greek manuscripts
Music has played a central role in Greek Orthodox services for centuries. Nicolas Bell describes the manuscript evidence for this music in the Byzantine and post-Byzantine eras.