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The Codex Alexandrinus and the Alexandrian Greek Types

J. H. Bowman


THE Codex Alexandrinus is one of the three great Greek manuscripts of the Bible, and was probably written during the first half of the fifth century. Apart from some minor imperfections where damage or loss has occurred, it contains the complete text of the Greek Bible, including the Apocrypha, and the New Testament concludes with the two extra-canonical works, the First and Second Epistles of Clement to the Corinthians. In 1621 it was given to Sir Thomas Roe, the English ambassador at Constantinople, by the Greek Patriarch, Cyril Lucar, in return for Roe's support against the claims of the Latin church, and it was intended for King James I. Its name derives from the fact that Lucar had previously been Patriarch of Alexandria; he had taken the manuscript with him on being translated to Constantinople.^ King James died in 1625, while the manuscript was still at Constantinople, and it was not until 1627 that it finally reached England, by which time Charles I was on the throne. It was then deposited in the Royal Library. The whole collection was transferred to the British Museum by George II on 6 August 1757, and the Codex is consequently now one of the treasures of the British Library.

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