BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 150 (2 vol.) Byzantium, s. XI^^1
Seymour Gospels (in Greek)
Vol. 1: 1. ff. 1r-67v [Text begins in the middle of Matthew 5. 17]
[[Greek]]//[Greek] f. 68r blank; portrait of Mark on f. 68v
2. ff. 69r-115v [In gold uncials:] [Greek]. [text begins:] [Greek].
3. ff. 116r-117r [Table of chapter headings for Mark, written in red
Vol. 2: 1. ff. 1r-3r [Table of chapter headings for Luke, written in
red uncials:] [Greek]. [portrait of Luke on f. 3v]
2. ff. 4r-86r [Heading in gold uncials, badly rubbed:] [Greek] [text
begins:] [Greek]. f. 86v blank
3. f. 87r [Table of chapter headings for John, written in red
uncials:] [Greek]. [portrait of John on f. 87v]
4. ff. 88r-147v [Heading in gold uncials, badly rubbed:] [Greek]
[text begins:] [Greek]. f. 148r-v ruled, but blank
C. R. Gregory, Textkritik des neuen Testamentes (Leipzig, 1900-
1909) v. 3, p. 1173, no. 1701; K. W. Clark, A Descriptive Catalogue of
Greek New Testament Manuscripts in America (Chicago, 1937) pp. 194-95,
pl. XXXVI. For the text of Vol. 1, arts. 1-2 and Vol. 2, arts. 2 and 4,
see E. Nestle and K. Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece, ed. 26
(Stuttgart, 1979) pp. 10-319.
Parchment, Vol. 1: ff. i (parchment) + 117 + i (parchment); Vol.
2: ff. i (paper) + 148 + i (paper). Both volumes exhibit the same
physical format and were clearly bound together at an earlier date: 172
x 139 (114 x 78) mm., written in 20 long lines, ruled in hard point on
the hair side before folding; double vertical bounding lines for
written space, additional pairs of guidelines in upper, lower, and
outer margins (the upper pair was used for running titles, in red; the
area between the two sets of lines in outer margin was used for
notations; the lower pair are usually left empty); prickings consisting
of horizontal slits in lower margin.
Vol. 1: I-VIII^^8, IX^^4 (4, f. 68 with portrait of Mark, seems to
have been sewn in later, though the binding is too tight to determine
precisely the composition of the quire), X-XIV^^8, XV^^8 ( + 1 additional
Vol. 2: I^^3 (bound in separately in front of text; f. 3 with
portrait of Luke), II-XI^^8, XII^^4, XIII-XIX^^8, XXI^^6 (-6). There are no
signatures or catchwords present in either volume.
Written by a single copyist in minuscule script, with headings and
tables of chapters in uncials; writing runs through guide-lines rather
than sitting on them.
Full page portraits of Mark, Luke, and John; all are depicted on
gold. Mark holds a codex in his left hand and touches his chin with the
right. Luke (f. 3v, Vol. 2) writes in an open codex he is holding in
his lap, while John (f. 87v, Vol. 2) holds a scroll bearing the opening
phrases of his gospel. Illuminated headpieces and ornamental initials
in gold with stylized foliage, before each book (except Mark); red
initials at beginning of first, tenth, and twentieth lines of text. The
style of decoration shows many similarities with a series of Gospel
Books of the tenth through the eleventh century. See K. Weitzmann,
exhib. cat. L'art byzantin, art europeen (Athens, 1964) no. 334; G.
Vikan, exhib. cat. Illuminated Greek Manuscripts from American
Collections (Princeton, 1973) pp. 74-75, no. 9, fig. 14.
Bindings: Volume 1, ca. 1904. Vellum case, gold-tooled.
Volume 2, 1961. Orange goatskin gold-tooled, bound by Sidney
Written in Byzantium in the first half of the 11th century; early
provenance unknown. Vol. 1: Belonged to private owners in Serres,
Macedonia. The Gospel of Matthew was purchased by Professor Thomas Day
Seymour in 1903 through Dr. John Henry House, an American missionary
with the Thessalonika Agricultural and Industrial Institute in
Salonika. Professor Seymour then purchased the Gospel of Mark from a
second unidentified source. The two portions were bound together by him
in modern vellum, ca. 1904 (bookplate of Prof. Seymour inside front
cover). The volume passed to his daughter, Mrs. George C. St. John in
1914 and was then presented to Yale by Mrs. St. John and her family in
Vol. 2: Purchased by H. P. Kraus in 1960 from Sotheby's, where it
had been consigned "by a lady" (Kraus, Catalogue 100: Thirty-Five
Manuscripts [New York, n.d.] no. 2; idem, Catalogue 107: A Selection of
Rare Books and Manuscripts [New York, n.d.] pp. 36-37, no. 42). Bought
by Yale in 1967 with the Beinecke Rare Book Endowment Fund.
The history of the reuniting of these two volumes is given by T.
E. Marston, Gazette 42 (1968) pp. 211-14.
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 35, no. 150.
Exhibition catalogue, pp.
182-83, no. 8, pl. 2.
T. E. Conrad, "The Seymour Gospels," Private edition, University
of Chicago Libraries (Chicago, 1942) [Discusses V. 1 only].
Barbara A. Shailor