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Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Gospel fragments

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This item includes three <i>Gospel fragments</i> from different manuscripts. Two of these belong to Gospel books in majuscule script, one of which is now <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>London, British Library, Harley MS 5684</a>, dating to the 9th or 10th century; the other is Hamburg, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, MS In Scrin. 91, of the 10th century. During the 9th century, Greek book production largely shifted from the use of majuscule script to the more compact minuscule, but many religious texts, particularly those for liturgical use, long continued to be copied in the more traditional mode. Both manuscripts were provided with notes identifying the lections to be read from them through the liturgical calendar, and the Hamburg manuscript was also provided with ekphonetic musical notation to guide the chanting of the text. The Hamburg manuscript, to which Fragment B (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(6);return false;'>f. 173r-173v</a>) belongs, is particularly important for its variant readings and has been used in many editions.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In the 18th century these two books were mutilated while both were in the possession of the German collector Johann Christoph Wolf, who sent them to the English scholar Richard Bentley. Bentley intended to produce a new edition of the Greek text of the New Testament, a project which never came to fruition. These two Gospel fragments came to be inserted into a collection of papers relating to this project, <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>MS B.17.20</a>, and foliated as part of its sequence, as <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(4);return false;'>ff. 172-173</a>. They have since been rehoused separately, but continue to be kept with it under the same classmark.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>A third fragment, a bifolio of a Gospel lectionary probably dating to the 11th century, remains bound as part of MS B.17.20, foliated as <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(1);return false;'>ff. 170-171</a>. Both folios of this sheet are folded over, perhaps reflecting past reuse as a wrapper.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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