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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Christian liturgical palimpsest

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This fragment consists of eight unbound folios of a <i>Christian liturgical palimpsest</i> manuscript, whose original text dates to the 10th or 11th century, and the upper text which replaced it to the 13th or 14th century. The upper text is part of a hymn-book, accompanied by musical notation. Three of the present bifolios were made from single folios of one or more previous manuscripts, rotated at right-angles; the other bears text in the same orientation as the upper text, in a different hand and probably taken from a different original manuscript.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The bulk of the manuscript from which this folio comes is now St Petersburg, Rossijskaja Nacional'naja biblioteka, MS gr. 82, which is made up of palimpsest leaves from at least five different manuscripts. It is a compilation of multiple liturgical books, and this fragment straddles the junction between two of them, containing the end of a <i>triodion</i> (containing hymns for Lent and Easter) and the beginning of an <i>oktoechos</i> (containing weekly hymns organised according to eight musical modes). The original placement of this fragment in that manuscript can be established from the survival of a quire signature with the number 34, indicating that it comes last among the surviving portions of the palimpsest, as the last quire of the St Petersburg manuscript is numbered 33 (Tchernetska, 'Membra disiecta', pp. 120-124). Another fragment of the same manuscript is now MS Add. 1879.15. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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