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Athos Holy Mount

Illuminated Manuscripts
5.32 Psalter
Xenophontos Cod. 54
Paper, 31.5 x 21 cm, ff. 129


The Original New Testament

The manuscript contains the 150 Psalms of David in minuscule script with red titles. The text is single-column and has twenty-three lines to the page. The binding consists of two wooden boards covered with dark brown leather. Both front and back covers picture David and are stamped with gilt flora motifs.

According to a note on the inside front cover, written in another hand, the manuscript is the work of a certain Christophoros. Another note on folio 1r mentions that the manuscript belongs to the holy cenobium of Xenophontos Monastery, on folio 40r that the manuscript was produced on 1st May 1747, and on folio 60r the year 1748 is written.

The ornamentation consists simply of rectangular and band-shaped headpieces with intricate two-dimensional geometrical designs and initials decorated with flora and fauna motifs. It is a delicate work, typical of the flowering of manuscript art in the eighteenth century. The motifs on the initials, crowned dragons and birds, continue the seventeenth century tradition.

Bibliography: Lambros 1895, p. 67. Kadas 1989, p. 443. Thesauroi 1991, pp. 350-1, figs. 402-5.

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