How were Byzantine manuscripts decorated? What materials were used in the production of Greek manuscripts? How did Greek scholarship influence Western Europe and the Middle East? What do papyri tell us about life in Egypt after the Age of the Pharoahs? Explore the themes below to find answers to all these questions and more.

A marginal illustration from the Theodore Psalter, depicting an angel calling the shepherd David from his flocks.


Learn more about Byzantine art from the illuminations and decorations found on Greek manuscripts.

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A drawing of a snake biting its tail, from a 3rd-century papyrus roll featuring the text of a Greek magical handbook.


Explore what Greek papyri reveal about the lives, troubles, and joys of people who lived over a thousand years ago.

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An illuminated portrait of St John Chrysostom, from a manuscript of the Divine Liturgies made in 1600.


Discover more about what our rich collection of surviving religious manuscripts tells us about Byzantine life.

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A detail from a 10th-century collection of the works of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Pseudo-Nonnus.


Explore the intellectual traditions of the Graeco-Roman world that continued throughout the Byzantine era and into the Early Modern world.

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A detail from Codex Sinaiticus, featuring the Greek text of the New Testament.

The Greek World

Explore the influence of the Greek world on Western Europe and the Middle East.

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A detail from the Askew Gospel-book showing the writing hand of the Evangelist St Luke.

The makers of Greek manuscripts

Learn more about book production in antiquity. What was more popular: parchment or paper?

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