Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Theodore Balsamon's commentary on Orthodox canon law

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, completed in 1616, contains <i>Theodore Balsamon's commentary on Orthodox canon law</i>. The author served in 1178-1183 as <i>nomophylax</i> to the Patriarch of Constantinople, the chief judicial official of the patriarchate, and in 1193 was himself appointed Patriarch. His commentary discusses a standard set of canonical authorities including the so-called Apostolic Canons, the decrees of the Ecumenical Councils and other important early synods, and canonical letters by various Church Fathers.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>This copy explicitly excludes two portions of the commentary, the canons of Patriarch Germanos I of Constantinople and the large collection of those of Basil of Caesarea. In the case of many of the patristic canons, the commentary alternates with the text of the canons themselves, but in some other cases only the first few lines of the canon are given, while for the Apostolic and conciliar canons, only the commentary itself appears.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Much of the manuscript was copied by the Scottish scholar and long-serving royal librarian Patrick Young (1584-1652), while the remainder was copied by several other hands, presumably on his behalf. It falls into two distinct physical parts, of different dimensions and on different papers, but these were evidently part of the same project of production. There appears to have been some confusion at the transition between the two parts, whose copying was perhaps underway at the same time, since text from the end of the first part (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(178);return false;'>f. 84r-84v</a> is duplicated at the beginning of the second (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(180);return false;'>ff. 85r-88r</a>). Young acquired, commissioned, copied and annotated numerous other Greek manuscripts, part of a large collection purchased after his death by the antiquarian Thomas Gale (1635-1702) and donated to Trinity College in 1744 by his son Roger Gale (1672-1744).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>


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