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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Sticherarion

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This fragment is a single folio of a palimpsest manuscript, whose original text dates to the 10th or 11th century, and the upper text which replaced it, written at right-angles, to the 13th or 14th century. Both upper and lower text belong to hymn-books, the lower being of unknown type and the upper being part of a <i>Sticherarion</i>, a book of hymns for each morning and evening service through the year. The upper text is accompanied by musical notation in the Round or Hagiopolitan style, which emerged in the 12th century.</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. The original placement of this folio in that manuscript can be established from the survival of foliation dating from earlier than its removal as well as from the text (Tchernetska, 'Membra disiecta', pp. 120-124). Another fragment of the same manuscript is now MS Add. 1879.14.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The hymns which can be identified from the legible parts of the lower text are rare. Natalie Tchernetska has hypothesised that the original manuscript from which it came may have been another <i>sticherarion</i> or a <i>heirmologion</i>, dating from before the emergence of standardised, abridged forms of these books after 1050, of which the palimpsest in which this folio was reused is one example (Tchernetska, 'Membra disiecta', pp. 125-126).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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