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Berlin, Staatsbibliothek – Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Gr. 56 (Phillipps 1460)


Additional Information

  • Appr. Date: 16th c. (16th c.)
  • Genres: Theological
  • Illustrations: No


Berolinus Græcus 56 (aliter Codex Phillippicus [sic, from Sir Thomas Phillipps], olim Meermann 114), part 3 of 3.  See Studemund & Cohn’s Verzeichniß no. 56 (p. 18) in bibliography and online resources.

Iter Psellianum no. 1108.

The three parts of Berol. gr. 56, no two of which have the same size and dating, seem to have been grouped together simply on the basis of their acquisition.  This, the third part, appears to be simply two loose, adespote folios, orphaned from their parental codex and sold into a life of adventure. The work they contain, however, seems to be complete in itself, headed by a title and followed by a blank space to the end of the last page, with a cross at each end of the text.

Title:  Studemund & Cohn (loc. cit.) call this «Λόγος σύντομος περὶ τῆς θείας μυσταγωγίας», while Westerink (see microfilm description of WEST.BERL.1.2) calls it “Versūs de Liturgia”.  The manuscript scribe, apparently after writing the work itself out, begins to call it the one and then the other, as though changing his mind about a word while still writing it: «Τοῦ ὑπερτιμίου κυρίου Ψελλοῦ λόγος σύντομος περὶ τῆς [stricken out: λειτουργ] μυσταγωγίας».  The contents however support Westerink’s appellation. It begins, «ἀναγκαῖον καθέστηκε τοῖς ἱερεῦσι πᾶσι, τοῦ γνῶναι τὰ μυστήρια τῆς θείας λειτουργείας...» and there follows a discussion of the rite of holy communion, highlighted by marginal notes.

A useful, if not entirely satisfactory, free version of the Patrologia edition begins on p. 127 of Psellus PG 122 Poëmata in the online resources (opens as pdf).  Westerink himself produced the Teubner edition (see bibliography).