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PARHAM MS XXI. Cruciform Gospel Lectionary (Greg.-Aland l 233; Scrivener evst. 235)

Add MS 39603 : 12th century

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  • Title:
    PARHAM MS XXI. Cruciform Gospel Lectionary (Greg.-Aland l 233; Scrivener evst. 235)
  • Collection Area: Western Manuscripts
  • Reference: Add MS 39603
  • Creation Date: 12th century
  • Extent and Access:

    196 folios

    Access Conditions: Restrictions to access apply please consult British Library staff:
    Conditions of Use: Letter of introduction required to view this manuscript
  • Language: Greek, Ancient
  • Contents and Scope:

    PARHAM MS XXI. Cruciform Gospel Lectionary (Greg.-Aland l 233; Scrivener evst. 235), possibly made for an emperor, with ekphonetic neumes.

    Physical characteristics:

    Material: Parchment.

    Foliation: ff x + 196.

    Dimensions: 370 x 280 mm.

    Ruling: 240 x 190 mm, written in cruciform, 26 lines per page.

    Binding: Modern but not recent binding of wooden boards covered with blue velvet, much worn. On both covers is a cross with a patterned border, between corner-ornaments, all gilt. The cross on the front cover has the inscription "IC XC NIKA".

    Decoration: Illuminated initials and finial ornaments at each angle of the cruciform text. Fully illuminated cruciform borders enclose the text on ff 1r, 42r, 112r. Tail-piece on f 196v. Neums in red, headings and rubrics in gold over red. The first two pages of text are also in gold over red.

  • History:
    Eastern Mediterranean.
    Custodial History:

    Origin: Eastern Mediterranean.


    Owned by Methodios, Bishop of Herakleia (1646-1668), later Patriarch of Constantinople (1668-1671; died 1679): note in a late hand, f 1r (ἀφιερώται παρὰ τοῦ σεβασμίου γέροντος ἁγίου Ἡρακλείας κυρίου Μεθοδίου ὡς δὲ δι’ ἱστορίας ἐχομεν βασιλικῶν χειρῶν ἐργον ἐστί, Ἀλεξίου ἢ Ἐμμανοήλου τῶν Κομνηνῶν, and below in a monocondylium, Ὁ Ἡρακλείας Μεθόδιος).

    Belonged to the monastery of Pantocrator on Mount Athos, where it was shown on feast days along with relics of the saints: note by Curzon, ff ix recto-verso.

    Transferred to the monastery of Xenophon during the War of Independence: note by Curzon, ff ix recto-verso.

    Purchased from the monastery of Xenophon by the Hon. Robert Curzon in 1837.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition:

    Add MSS 39583-39671, along with Oriental MSS 8729-8855, were bequeathed to the British Museum by Darea Curzon, Baroness Zouche (d. 1917), having been part of the collection formed at Parham, Co. Sussex, by the Hon. Robert Curzon, afterwards 14th Baron Zouche, as the result of his travels in the Levant, etc., in 1833 and later. A copy of Robert Curzon's Catalogue of Materials for Writing, ... Rolls and other Manuscripts and Oriental Manuscript Books (1849), with manuscript additions, accompanied the gift, and is now Add MS 64098.

  • Copies: Complete digital coverage available for this item, see Digitised Manuscripts [].
  • Digital Version:
  • Exhibitions: Greek Manuscripts, (online), 18 September 2016-
  • Publications:

    R. Curzon, Catalogue of Materials for Writing, Early Writings on Tablets and Stones, Rolled and other Manuscripts and Oriental Manuscript Books, in the library of the Honourable Robert Curzon, at Parham in the county of Sussex, London 1849, pp. 24-25, no. 19.

    R. Curzon, Visits to Monasteries in the Levant, London 1849, pp. 408-412.

    F. H. A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, vol. 1 , London 1894, p. 344.

    C. R. Gregory, Textkritik des Neuen Testaments , 3 vols, Leipzig 1900-1909, p. 406.

    H. von Soden, Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments, in ihrer ältesten erreichbaren Textgestalt hergestellt auf Grund ihrer Textgeschichte , 4 vols, Berlin 1902-1910.

    Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum, 1916-1920 , London 1933, pp. 84-85.

    M. Richard, Inventaire des manuscrits grecs du British Museum I, Fonds Sloane, Additional, Egerton, Cottonian et Stowe , Paris 1952, pp. 76-77.

    The Christian Orient , British Library exhibition catalogue, London 1978, no. 6.

    J.C. Anderson, The New York Cruciform Lectionary , Pennsylvania 1992, pp. 76-80, 87-89.

    Byzantium. Treasures of Byzantine Art and Culture , British Museum exhibition catalogue, ed. D. Buckton, London 1994, pp. 163-164.

    K. Aland, Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des neuen Testaments (Arbeiten zur neutestamentlichen Textforschung 1), Berlin 1994, p. 232.

    N. Kavrus-Hoffmann, 'Greek Manuscripts at Dumbarton Oaks: Codicological and Paleographic Description and Analysis', Dumbarton Oaks Papers 50 (1996) pp. 289-312.

    G. Speake, Mount Athos: Renewal In Paradise , Yale 2004, p. 75.

    Byzantium: 330-1453 , Royal Academy of Arts exhibition catalogue, ed. R. Cormack and M. Vassilaki, London 2008, pp. 120-121, no. 61.

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