Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Liturgical texts for the Greek rite

Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, Flavius Josephus, Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopulus (ca. 1256-ca. 1335)

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> Emmanuel College MS 109 is a service book containing various <i> Liturgical texts for the Greek rite</i>. Among the texts there are <i> Heirmoi</i> (opening stanzas of the Byzantine chant), Vespers (evening liturgical service), <i> Procheimena</i> (pre-Gospel chants), <i> Apolytichia</i> (dismissal hymns), and a song with musical notation. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The manuscript is very small and portable. It was copied by several hands. Two, hands A and B, copied the majority of the texts; in the leaves where hand A was at work the text is surrounded by a rectangular decorative frame, while the leaves where hand B copied the texts are more simply set, and the decoration is more simple and quite roughly done. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Throughout the manuscript there are several leaves written by a scribe here indicated as hand D. It does not seem that this scribe copied the text at the same time as hands A, B, and C. It seems rather that hand D added small texts, prayers, poems, medical recipes, on leaves probably left blank by the main scribes, A and B. For instance, he started to write the Creed on ff. [100]r-[100]v, and he completed the copy of it on f. 118r. Medical recipes, a type of text which is frequently randomly added in blank spaces in manuscripts, have been written by him on f. 118v and ff. 131r-[132]v. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> In the catalogue by M. R. James, Emmanuel MS 109 is dated to 1694. This date was taken from a note written on the present last leaf of the manuscript, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(272);return false;'> f. 133v</a>. The note is written in a hand which is different from the ones of the scribes who copied the text, and mentions the birth of a relative on a certain date. The script is difficult to read: the letters were retraced in red ink by another hand, someone who probably could not read or understand well what was written, and who made some changes, making it hard to read the original note now. The date contained in the note, on closer inspection, appears to be 1594, rather than 1694: besides the form of the second number, this is confirmed by the fact that the date is also given in the Era of the World (curiously in Arabic numerals) as 7102, corresponding to 1594 CE. In any case, having been added to the manuscript by a hand which is not one of the scribes, and also given the nature of the note, this indication cannot be used as the date of composition for the manuscript but as a <i> terminus ante quem</i>. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Dr Erika Elia</p>


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