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Western Medieval Manuscripts : John Chrysostom

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, probably copied in the 14th century, contains a selection of homilies by the Patriarch of Constantinople and patristic theologian <i>John Chrysostom</i> (d. 407): the six homilies on King Uzziah, six of the seven homilies on Lazarus and the homily on the kalends of January.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>It was originally the last part of a larger manuscript which, at some point, was split into three distinct entities. That division happened after the production of the manuscript but before it came into the possession of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1564. The first part of the original volume is Oxford, Corpus Christi College, MS 21, which comprises its first 18 quires, whereas the Cambridge manuscript, in which the foliation added by the scribe is still present, starts with the last leaf of quire 29 and ends with quire 47. However, the second part of the original volume is yet to be identified. The Oxford manuscript contains the <i>logoi</i> 1 to 10, and the Cambridge manuscript the <i>logoi</i> 20 to 32. The English scholar Henry Savile used MS Ii.3.25 for his eight-volume edition of the complete works of John Chrysostom (see: H. Savile, <i>Sancti Ioannis Chrysostomi opera Graece</i>, Eton, 1612-1613).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The previous owner, the Archbishop of Canterbury Matthew Parker (1504-1575), speculated on its origin, affirming in the note present on the <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(2);return false;'>front pastedown</a> that it used to belong to the library of one of his remote predecessors, Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury in the 7th century. That hypothesis was however rejected by palaeographers because the evolved Greek minuscule, known as "mixed-minuscule", in which our manuscript was written could not have been used at a time when even the fully formed 9th century minuscule book-hand had not yet emerged.</p>

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