BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 299 Byzantium, 1665
Canon Law and Ascetical Doctrine (in Greek)
1. ff. i verso - iii recto [List of Heretics; title:]
[Greek]. [text begins:]
ff. iii verso - vi verso, blank
2. ff. vii recto - xx recto [Table of contents; title:]
[Greek][Greek]. f. xx verso blank
3. ff. 1r-146r [Below decoration in red and black, which includes a cross
with inscription and a short text beginning [Greek]...and
ending [Greek] is the title:]
[Greek] [text begins:]
Miscellaneous collection of canon law and related texts.
The chapters of the table and the text correspond, but the numbering differs
slightly in spite of some renumbering in black by Scribe 2. The source of a
particular canon is given in the margin.
4. ff. 146v-149r [Prayer before Communion:]
5. ff. 149v-153r [Miscellaneous regulations on judgments:]
[Greek]. ff. 153v-154r blank
6. ff. 154v-155v Miscellaneous notes of owners and pen trials.
Paper (polished, sturdy; unidentified watermarks: crown surmounted by
six-pointed star and crescent, with the letters P and A, and clover leaf as
countermark), ff. vi (nearly contemporary paper) + 169 (foliated vii-xx,
202 x 142 (162 x 100) mm. Written in 20 long lines; triple outer and single
inner vertical bounding lines, full length, and an additional ruling in
upper and lower margins. Ruled in hard point, on verso.
I^^6, II-XIX^^8, XX^^12, XXI^^8 (-8).
The main text was written by two scribes. Scribe 1, using a delicate,
convoluted minuscule, wrote ff. vii recto - xvi verso and ff. 1r-133v; he placed
quire and leaf signatures, both as letters, in red, in the lower margin in the
first half of each gathering: the first letter represents the quire number,
the second letter represents the leaf number. Scribe 1 also numbered ff. 1-20
in Greek letters in the upper right corner; he dated the manuscript 6 July l665
on f. 1r. Scribe 2, employing a bolder minuscule that inclines to the right,
wrote ff. xvi verso - xx recto, ff. 133v-146r, and several rubrics and
corrections in the first section; he placed catchwords under the written space
on both recto and verso. Scribe 3, using a large archaizing hand, added the
prayer on ff. 146v-149r. Scribe 4, apparently one of the owners of the
manuscript, added the material on ff. i verso - iii recto and ff. 149v-153r.
The remaining notes are in other hands.
Elaborate headpieces, in red and black interlace designs (by Scribe 2?)
appear on ff. vii recto and 1r. Diagrams illustrating permissable and
non-permissable marriages, giving names and relationships of individuals, occur
on ff. 86v-89v. Numerous carefully executed initials, 11- to 2-line,
throughout the text.
Binding: s. xvii. Dark brown goatskin over wooden boards. Trace of two
fastenings. Rebacked and gold-tooled title added.
Written in Byzantium in 1665, possibly for Mt. Sinai: Anastasius of Sinai
is often cited as the source of a chapter in the text and he is usually
referred to as "Abbot Anastasius". Belonged to Panagiotes (ownership note
of the 18th century on f. 155v). Collection of Frederick North, 5th Earl of
Guilford (1766-1827, no. 207, bookplate); acquired by Sir Thomas Phillipps (no.
9512; tag on spine). Purchased from L. C. Witten with funds from the Jacob
Ziskind Charitable Trust in 1957 (MS 19).
Bibliography: Ziskind Catalogue, p. 47.
Barbara A. Shailor