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Christ's College : Miscellany of Greek ascetic texts

Christ's College

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, probably copied in the late 16th century, contains a <i>Miscellany of Greek ascetic texts</i>, including Lives of Saints, other narratives about early ascetics and brief texts and excerpts giving spiritual guidance. Most are anonymous or of patristic origin, while others are by Byzantine or post-Byzantine authors.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript was copied by several different scribes, whose work was greatly interspersed, the more prolific scribes' hands appearing at several points through the manuscript. One copyist often took over from another in the middle of a page of text. Their styles vary greatly, some being compact and informal, while others wrote in a flamboyant, calligraphic hand derived from the late Byzantine Hodegon style, sometimes with ornate flourished tails often decorated with red ornament. Given the nature of the content, the manuscript can be supposed to have been produced for monastic use.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript was bought by the classicist and teacher W. H. D. Rouse on the island of Kalymnos in 1898. Another manuscript bought by Rouse on the same island that year, now MS Rouse 255, containing two hagiographic texts, was copied by two hands, both of which appear in this manuscript. This raises the possibility that they came from the same source and had a history of common ownership extending back to the time of production. Unfortunately, Rouse's note in the other manuscript recording this acquisition is vague about the purchase, saying only that the manuscript came from one of the numerous islands of the Sporades, while the equivalent note in this manuscript (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(4);return false;'>f. [i] verso</a>) gives no information on its provenance beyond the date and place of purchase.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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