BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 139 Byzantium, s. XV, 1606
Divine Office (in Greek)
1. ff. 1r-225v [Hymns and Prayers for the Office:] [Greek].
[Greek]...[explicit, in hand of Scribe 2:] [Greek].
2. ff. 226r-315v [Canons and Laments for Vespers for each day of the
week; title, in black and red:] [Greek]. [in margin:] [Greek] [text
3. ff. 315r-318v [Prayer for Saturday Vespers; text begins, after
rubric stating occasion for use:] [Greek] [colophon of Scribe 2:]
[Greek] [remainder illegible] [Greek]
Paper (watermarks similar to Harlfinger Ancre 67), ff. iii (paper)
+ 318 + i (paper), 210 x 145 (145 x 88) mm. Written in 19 long lines;
single horizontal bounding lines at top, double at bottom; triple
vertical at sides; ruled in hard point.
I-VIII^^8, IX^^8 (-5), X-XL^^8. Signatures at top of first folio of
each quire, recto: a cross in the center, a letter of the Greek
alphabet at right.
Written in angular Greek minuscule mainly by one copyist. A second
scribe, Sophronius, wrote ff. 315v-318v and made additions elsewhere;
he dated the manuscript on f. 318 to 1606 (see art. 3 for colophon).
Marginal notes in several hands.
Headpieces in red and black. 2-line capitals with floral motifs
above and below, in orange-tinted red. Same color for 1-line capitals
and to mark headings and sections of the text; many spaces for rubrics
were not filled in. Punctuation added in red over the original black.
Discoloration from mold on ff. 303-318.
Binding: s. xvi. Wound sewing on three round, vegetable fiber
cords laced into beech boards and frayed out on the inside of them.
Beaded, colored endbands are sewn on what is probably the spine lining
but are not tied down through the quires. The spine is square, with a
coarse, hand-woven cloth lining extending on the inside across more
than one third of the boards. Covered in dark, red-brown goatskin with
the turn-ins pasted over the paste-downs. A central medallion of the
crucifixion very heavily impressed in the center of the upper board
within concentric borders, all blind-tooled. A barely visible different
design using the same border tool on the lower board. Two strap and pin
fastenings, the pins in the edge of the upper board, the triple strands
of the clasps laced through the lower board to the inside of the
pastedown. One strand broken.
Written in Byzantium in the 15th century and supplemented in 1606
by Sophronius. Brought by Archbishop (Kurios) Manasses from Moscow in
February 1668 (note on f. i recto; various other marginal notes of the
17th century also refer to Moscow). Sold by Maggs (Catalogue 542: The
Art of Writing [London, 1930] no. 158, pp. 278-79, with plate).
Acquired by Stonehill's in 1936. Purchased 18 January 1937 as a gift of
the Yale Library Associates.
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 34, no. 139.
Barbara A. Shailor