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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Prophetologion

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This fragment is composed of four folios from a Prophetologion, or Old Testament lectionary, in majuscule script, probably copied in the 11th century. Although by this time the majority of Greek manuscripts were written in minuscule script, some continued to be produced in the majuscule form, mainly liturgical manuscripts and especially lectionaries.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In this instance, the main text was copied in the ogival style, which was commonly used in medieval manuscripts written wholly in majuscule script, while headings for lections were added in the Alexandrine majuscule style. Before the introduction of minuscule script for the copying of books in the 9th century, the Alexandrine style had been little used outside of Egypt. In minuscule manuscripts, headings and marginal rubric were typically written in majuscule to present a visual contrast, and Alexandrine majuscule became the style most commonly used for this purpose. Its use here is thus a manifestation of a norm drawn from minuscule copying practice employed in a majuscule manuscript.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The bulk of the manuscript from which this fragment came is Sinai, Monastery of St Catherine, MS gr. 8. The original Quires 1 and 19 are missing from this, and fragmented, but all portions of these have been identified. This fragment is composed of the two outer bifolios of the nineteenth quire; the two inner bifolios are now St Petersburg, Rossijskaja Nacional'naja biblioteka, MS gr. 52, the whole quire having been taken from Sinai by Constantin von Tischendorf. The parts of the first quire are now <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, MS graec. fol. 30</a> and St Petersburg, Rossijskaja Nacional'naja biblioteka, MS gr. 324, acquired by the egyptologist Heinrich Brugsch (1827-1894).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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