BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 259 Crete [?], 1257, s. XV^^ex
Euchologium (in Greek)
1. ff. 1r-19v, 44r-49v
Liturgy of St. Basil; C. A. Swainson, The Greek Liturgies (Cambridge,
1884) pp. 149-71, with additional material in fifteenth-century portion,
ff. 1-11. The transcription of the rubric, probably added later by a scribe
unfamiliar with Greek, has been regularized.
2. ff. 50r-51v, 20r-26r
Liturgy of the Presanctified, which divides around the dismissal of the
catechumens; Swainson, op. cit., pp. 173-87; the text of the liturgy at
the end of the manuscript is an expanded version of that which appears
3. ff. 26v-43v, 52r-117v [Prayers, readings, etc.:] [Greek].
[Greek]. [colophon, f. 117r:]
[Greek]. Followed by several short texts, f. 117v, added in another hand.
Prayers, services, and readings for various occasions.
Paper (ff. 1-11 added in s. xv; watermarks similar to Harlfinger Boeuf 27)
and parchment (ff. 12-117), ff. i (modern paper) + 117 + i (modern paper), 184 x
132 (148 x 101) mm. Written in 21 long lines; double inner and outer vertical
bounding lines full length.
Ruled in hard point, on hair side; prickings along upper, lower, and
outer edges (some lost due to trimming).
I^^8 (+ 3 leaves added at end), II^^10 (-3, 7), III-VII^^8,
VIII^^10 (-3, 7),
IX^^6, X^^10 (-4, 8), XI^^6, XII^^10 (-4, 8), XIII^^8, XIV^^10
(-3, 7), XV^^6. The
original third gathering (now foliated 44-52) is misbound; it belongs after
f. 19. Quire signatures, letters of the Greek alphabet, occur at both the
beginning and end of quires, in the lower margin near gutter.
Written by three scribes, the third of which copied ff. 1-11 at the end
of the 15th century to replace leaves that were either lost or mutilated. The
first two scribes (ff. 12-117) signed and dated the codex on f. 117r: John
the Priest and his mother Zoe, 1257 (see art. 3, for complete
colophon). There are additions in several later hands.
The older portion of the codex has many crude initials in red and blue;
large decorative headpiece of woven pattern occurs on f. 50r, in red, blue,
and yellow. In the more recently written folios, initials are in red (much
faded) with modest floral designs; vine-work headpiece on f. 1r.
Binding: s. xv-xvi. From the Cretan "Apostolis Shop", according to A. R. A.
Hobson. Resewn on three single vegetable fiber cords laced at an
angle in and out of flush, oak boards grooved on the square edges. There are
several unused lacing holes and traces of two previous linings on the
inside of the boards. Covered in calfskin, originally brick red, faintly
blind-tooled with concentric borders, the central panel filled with three
lozenge-shaped tools, the center one containing a fleur-de-lis.
There is a pin in the edge of the upper board and three holes for braids
in the lower one. Rebacked.
Written in 1257 possibly in Crete (see art. 3 and discussion of scribes)
where it acquired its present binding and presumably ff. 1-11 at the end of the
15th century; early modern prevenance unknown. Unidentified rectangular
label with handwritten "N^^o 2" on upper board. Bought
by Sir Thomas Phillipps (no. 22408) in a Sotheby sale, May 1870. Purchased
from L. C. Witten with funds from the Jacob Ziskind Charitable Trust in
1957 (MS 45).
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 47, no. 259.
Ziskind Catalogue, pp. 51-52.
Barbara A. Shailor