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Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Greek antirrhetical texts

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, copied in London in 1634, contains a series of <i>Greek antirrhetical texts</i>, including catalogues of heresies, treatises refuting particular doctrines, excerpts from the decrees of Ecumenical Councils and procedures for receiving former heretics and converts from other religions into the Church.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Most of the contents were copied by a deacon of Macedonian origin named Leontios Vyssios. They were selected from a manuscript which had been acquired a few years earlier, in 1629, by the London theological institution Sion College, which is now London, Lambeth Palace Library, MS Sion L40.2/G6. The latter is a composite manuscript assembled from parts of a number of earlier books, whose contents, besides those copied here, included chronographical, catechetical and legal texts. Evidently the patron responsible for the copying of this manuscript was interested only in the content relating to doctrinal disputes and conversion.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Within less than two decades of its creation, this manuscript was in the possession of the scholar and royal librarian Patrick Young, who extensively annotated it, including collating the longest text with two other manuscripts. This work was the compendious work on heresies compiled by John of Damascus, which combined earlier texts on the subject, principally that of Epiphanios of Constantia, and added some original material. The component texts appear here under separate headings. The copies with which this one was collated were a manuscript belonging to James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, now in Trinity College, Dublin, and another from the Barocci collection of the Bodleian Library. Young also added a small amount of content which he copied himself from Ussher's manuscript, and a series of lists of heresies gleaned from a variety of different antirrhetical texts. The early date at which he was using the manuscript and his intensive engagement with its contents suggests that Young may have been the patron who arranged for it to be copied.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>

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