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Illuminated Manuscripts
5.23 Psalter
Dionysiou Cod. 65
Parchment, 19.5 x 13 cm, ff. 244


The Original New Testament

On the basis of the Easter tables that it contains, which begin with the year 1313, this codex dates from the fourteenth century, while, according to a bibliographical note at the end, the scribe was Sabas from the Gulf of Nicomedia. It is illuminated with nine full-page miniatures, the first eight of which are all gathered together at the beginning of the manuscript, while the ninth lies at the end. They depict the following subjects: Jesus before the fig-tree (fol. 5r), St John the Baptist (fol. 5v), Christ in glory and a monk before the everlasting fire (fol. 11r), an angel receiving the soul of a monk with other angels leading souls into Hell (fol. 11v), a condemned sinner and a righteous man blessed by angels (fol. 12r), the Virgin and Child (fol. 12v), the Prophet Solomon (fol. 13r), the Prophet-king David (fol. 13v), and the Crossing of the Red Sea (fol. 202v). Of these, particularly interesting on account of their rarity are the depictions of the theme of death and the departure of the soul from the body. In addition, it is clear that the subject-matter of the illustrations is drawn not only from the text of the Psalter but also from the Old and the New Testament, as well as ecclesiastical history and tradition. This is, therefore, a 'polycyclic' manuscript, whose miniatures are the work of a competent artist who modelled his work on a similar eleventh- or twelfth-century psalter executed in Constantinople and added fourteenth-century elements. As for its contents, in addition to the 150 (or rather 151) psalms, it contains a variety of other texts. The binding is of brown leather, which is badly worn. The manuscript is in good condition.

Bibliography: Brockhaus 1891, pp. 235, 290. Lambros 1895, p. 324. Lazarev 1967, p. 422 n. 113. Stichel 1971, pp. 71-5, figs. 7-9. Thesauroi 1973, pp. 419-21, figs. 118-28. Mavropoulou-Tsioumi 1975, pp. 131-71. Spatharakis 1975-76, pp. 173-7. Spatharakis 1976, pp. 49-51, 77, 83 n. 96, 244, fig. 18. Vocotopoulos 1994 (2), pp. 102-3, fig. 6.

Index of exhibits of Monastery of Dionysiou
14th century

The Authentic Greek New Testament Bilingual New Testament I

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Three Millennia of Greek Literature

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