Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
SYMEON METAPHRASTES, Menologion: Passio of Sts Gourias and Samonas, in Greek, manuscript on vellum [eastern Mediterranean, possibly Constantinople, 11th century]
SYMEON METAPHRASTES, Menologion: Passio of Sts Gourias and Samonas, in Greek, manuscript on vellum [eastern Mediterranean, possibly Constantinople, 11th century]
SYMEON METAPHRASTES, Menologion: Passio of Sts Gourias and Samonas, in Greek, manuscript on vellum [eastern Mediterranean, possibly Constantinople, 11th century]
SYMEON METAPHRASTES, Menologion: Passio of Sts Gourias and Samonas, in Greek, manuscript on vellum [eastern Mediterranean, possibly Constantinople, 11th century]
3 More
No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium.
SYMEON METAPHRASTES, Menologion: Passio of Sts Gourias and Samonas, in Greek, manuscript on vellum [eastern Mediterranean, possibly Constantinople, 11th century]

Details
SYMEON METAPHRASTES, Menologion: Passio of Sts Gourias and Samonas, in Greek, manuscript on vellum [eastern Mediterranean, possibly Constantinople, 11th century]

An early witness to the work of the great Byzantine hagiographer Symeon Metaphrastes, with excerpts from the martyrdoms of the Edessan saints Gourias and Samonas.

A bifolium, each leaf c.285 x 225mm, blind-ruled for two columns of 30 lines written in brown ink in a regular Greek minuscule, ruled space 250 x 160mm, small initials in red, later (perhaps 15th- and 18th-century) annotations in the margins (some staining and darkening, especially to margins, light fading to a few letters, top right corner of second leaf clipped but not affecting text). Bound in grey buckram by Bøthuns Bokverksted, Tønsberg, Norway, 2018.


Provenance:
(1) Sotheby’s, 5 December 1994, part of lot 50.

(2) Schøyen Collection, MS 1979/2.


Text:
Symeon Metaphrastes (fl. c.960), the most renowned of the Byzantine hagiographers, wrote various devotional works but his reworking of the lives of the saints was his greatest success. Starting with September and running the course of the year, they were copied in sets of six or twelve volumes, not all of which survive. Sts Gourias, Samonas (and Abibas) were martyred on 15 November. The text comprises the Passion of Sts Gourias and Samonas (cf. Migne, PG, 116, the first leaf 132C-133C, beginning ‘[…] τέλος. Την Έ̛δεσσαν […]’ and ending ‘[…]αίματι μέυ […]’; the second leaf 136B-138A, beginning ‘καὶ τοὺς πόδας […]’ and ending ‘[…] καί νῦν Κύριε τὸν καθ’ ἡμῶν […]’)


Script:
The Greek minuscule is associable with the conservative liturgical script of the so-called codices vetustissimi and codices vetusti of the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries: the lettering is well formed and exact. At the same time, there is a tendency in the present manuscript to slope the writing, and the letters are more spaced than in earlier centuries. The introduction of enlarged letters and uncial forms among the minuscules is a habit that is also evident in a book of Canons of 1042, now Bodleian Library, MS Barocci 196 (see Thompson, An Introduction to Greek and Latin Paleography, Oxford, 1912, no 65). Similarities can also be found with another 11th-century leaf from a Metaphrastic Menologion, written at the monastery of the Studion in Constantinople, and later in the Library of William Foyle, sold at Christie’s, 11-13 July 2000, lot 1.
Special Notice

No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium.

Brought to you by

Eugenio Donadoni
Eugenio Donadoni Specialist

More from The History of Western Script: Important Antiquities and Manuscripts from the Schøyen Collection

View All
View All