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Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Gospel lectionary (Saturday-Sunday)

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This richly ornamented Greek Gospel lectionary, probably produced in the 11th century, belongs to the briefer of the two main types, the "Saturday-Sunday" lectionary, which normally gives the lections for Saturdays and Sundays only, except for Holy Week and the period from Easter to Pentecost, for which weekdays are also included. It is provided with gilt lettering for all headings and with painted and gilded headpieces for all sections, usually quite small but including a large and ornate one at the beginning, and similarly ornamented initial letters.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>At the end of the text it has been annotated by an early user, perhaps an owner, the <i>anagnostes</i> (reader) Ioannes, a junior cleric whose duties would have included the recitation of the Gospel lections from this manuscript. The note is a salutation of an individual described as his teacher and arch-priest, but also as his <i>exadelphos</i> (cousin or nephew). This person's name is not given, but text in capital letters follows which appears to have been encoded using a numerical cryptographic system and which may be surmised to include the name of the dedicatee. This text is not, however, decipherable by any of the more common Greek cryptographic systems, and remains to be resolved.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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