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GOSPEL LECTIONARY, in Greek, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
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GOSPEL LECTIONARY, in Greek, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

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GOSPEL LECTIONARY, in Greek, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

[eastern Mediterranean, 12th century]
332 x 254mm. 161 leaves: 1-38, 44(of 8, lacking iii-v & viii), 5-68, 77(of 8, lacking vi), 87(of 8, lacking ii), 98, 106, 116(of 8, lacking iv-v), 128, 136, 14-158, 167(of 8, lacking v), 17-188, [lacking quires 19-20], 21-228, 238(iii & vi singletons), 246(of 8, lacking i & viii), likely lacking a further gathering at end, gatherings numbered in Greek at lower right corner, two columns of 29 lines written in black ink in Greek minuscule, on 25 lines ruled in hard point, justification: 240 x 75-11-79mm, prickings visible, rubrics, headings, four decorated penwork headpieces and decorated penwork initials in dark pink (some staining to outer edges of first 10 leaves, occasional spots or small stains, small splits at lower edge of first two leaves, tear in lower margin of final folio). 15th-century blind-stamped red leather over thick wooden boards with grooved edges, bordered with a repeated tool of interlace tendrils, diaper- and checker-ruled and semé with tools of a peacock, Agnus Dei, vase, rampant lion, displayed eagles and two fleurons (boards recovered and original leather remounted, rebacked without spine-tabs, lacking metal bosses on lower cover).

PROVENANCE:

The manuscript was in Beirut by 1886 when it was purchased there by Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes (1867-1944). Stokes, of the great Massachusetts family of philanthropists, was celebrated as an architect -- particularly for his university buildings at Yale (Woodbridge Hall), Harvard (Paint Hall) and Columbia (St Paul's Chapel) -- and as the subject, with his wife, of the splendid double-portrait by John Singer Sargent in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1936 the manuscript went to his brother, the Reverend Anson Phelps Stokes (1874-1958), then a canon at the National Cathedral (Episcopal), Washington, D.C., who guided the philanthropy of the Phelps Stokes Fund; it was listed among his manuscripts by De Ricci and Wilson, Census, II, Addenda for p.492. The Lectionary passed to his son, the Reverend Anson Phelps Stokes II (1905-1986) of Brookline, Massachusetts, who was Bishop of Massachusetts from 1956-1970. Both father and son had studied at the Episcopal Theological School; in 1974 the ETS became part of the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass., the present owners of the manuscript.

CONTENT:

Gospel Lectionary with daily lessons for the ecclesiastical year: readings from the Gospel of St John ff.1-26v, from Easter Day to 6th Sunday after Easter (misnumbered as 7th), lacking 3 leaves after f.26; readings from Gospel of St Matthew ff.27-60, from 1st Sunday after Easter to 17th after Easter, lacking 3 leaves (after f.28, f.49 and f.52); readings from the Gospel of St Luke ff.60-113v, from 1st week after Easter to Vigil of Lent, lacking 2 leaves (after f.75) and 1 leaf (after f.112); Gospel readings for Lent ff.113v-120v; Gospel readings for Holy Week ff.120v-131v, lacking 16 leaves after f.131; 12 Gospel readings of the Passion ff.132-133, containing only lessons 9-12 and lacking 1-8 and beginning of 9; Night watches of Vigil of Good Friday ff.133-136v; Good Friday ff.136v-139v; Easter Saturday ff.139v-140; Gospels for the Menologion f.140-161v, 1 September - 20 May 20, lacking one folio after f.155 and readings for 21 May to 31 August.

The manuscript was included in 'An Exhibition of Bibles of Ancient and Modern Times' (New York Public Library Bulletin, Jan. 1923, p.7), and has been published by H.P. Smith, JBL, 1923 & 1925, K.W. Clark, A Descriptive Catalogue of Greek New Testament Manuscripts in America, 1937, pp.214-215 and is listed in K. Aland, Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments, 1994, p.318 as l 1643.
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