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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Maximos the Confessor, treatises and letters

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, probably copied in the 14th or 15th century, contains a selection of works of <i>Maximos the Confessor, treatises and letters</i> by the 7th-century Byzantine theologian. It also includes a series of theological dialogues of unknown authorship, traditionally attributed to the 4th-century Patriarch Athanasios of Alexandria. Among the works by Maximos is a text on astronomical and calendrical calculations for religious purposes, accompanied by diagrams and tables (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(276);return false;'>ff. 134v-142r, line 5</a>), which is followed by an anonymous text of astronomical and astrological content, similarly illustrated (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(291);return false;'>ff. 142r-148v</a>).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>It was written on parchment, a relatively unusual material by this time, given the ready availability and lower cost of paper, though the parchment used here is of somewhat poor quality. This is also not an especially grand production. There is minimal ornament and the script is unusually small, perhaps due to the cost of the parchment, as this reduced the amount of material needed to accommodate the text.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The provenance of the manuscript is unknown, but at some point after its arrival in western Europe it received a binding incorporating endleaves and pastedowns of parchment waste from a late medieval Latin manuscript containing biblical commentaries by St Jerome, together with a parchment strip from a different Latin manuscript used in the attachment of one of the endleaves.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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