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Gospels in Greek with Canon Tables and Prologues

Middle Byzantine, early 12th century. Dumbarton Oaks MS 5, BZ.2009.033.

Four Gospels in Greek preceded by Eusebian Canon Tables and Eusebios of Caesarea’s Epistula ad Carpianum, each Gospel preceded by chapter headings. Probably written in Constantinople between 1100 and 1150. Three hundred twenty-seven leaves: parchment, color illustrations, 27 cm, written in a single column, 20 lines, blind-ruled, Greek minuscule script. Greek medieval binding: wooden boards flush with edges of text block; outer edges grooved; sewn gathering to gathering and spine raised at top and bottom “alla greca,” covered with dark red silk with traces of silver metalwork threads; metal fittings in corners of the upper cover with symbols of four evangelists, central metal fitting of a cross enclosing seven scenes of the Passion of Christ. Two clasps (one defective).

Collation: 1(6), 1(4+1), 3–4(4), 5–15(8), 16(8+1), 17–22(8), 23(4+3), 24(8), 25(6), 26(8), 27(6), 28–35(8), 36–37(4), 38–39(8), 40(6), 41–46(8)

Illumination: Ten full-page canon tables within richly illuminated pediments and columns, with flowers and birds; full-page miniature of Christ enthroned; full-page miniatures of the four evangelists on gold ground (illuminations rubbed, sometimes affecting the faces); nine illuminated headpieces, usually with large initials and lines of script in gold, subject headings in upper margins in red or gold, chapter initials and numbers throughout in gold, liturgical directions added in red.

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