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Athos Holy Mount

Illuminated Manuscripts
5.9 New Testament, Homilies, Miscellaneous
12th c.
Pantokrator Cod. 234
Parchment, 16.5 x 15 cm, ff. 547


The Original New Testament

This manuscript is known on Mount Athos as the Kalyvitis Gospel. It contains the entire New Testament and many other texts, such as apostolic decrees, various homilies (e.g. by Maximus the Confessor, Germanos of Constantinople and John Damascene) and Novels of emperors, among them that of the Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennitos. The binding consists of wooden boards covered with black leather, which shows in the spine below the more recent cover with silver gilt sheets carrying relief representations of the Crucifixion on the front and the Annunciation on the back.

The manuscript's ornamentation includes arches framing the Gospel canon tables, miniatures of the four Evangelists with their symbols, the other apostles and various saints. One of the miniatures depicts Michael Psellos with the Emperor Michael Ducas, illustrating Psellos's text 'To Michael Ducas and on the meaning of faith' (fol. 254r). The miniatures are placed within the text on a gold background, either in an almost square frame or in a rectangular one stretching across the full width of the text. Although small, the figures are lively and expressive. This manuscript is typical of the twelfth century.

Bibliography: Brockhaus 1891, pp. 175-6 and passim. Lambros 1895, p. 112. Aland 1963, p. 135. Lazarev 1967, p. 252 n. 51. Huber 1969, p. 78. Illuminated Manuscripts 1973, cat. 22, p. 106. Mavropoulou-Tsioumi 1974 (2), p. 375 n. 3. Spatharakis 1976, pp. 115, 230-2. Thesauroi 1979, pp. 283-7, figs. 242-57. Galavaris 1979, pp. 63ff. Galavaris 1995 (1), pp. 96-7, fig. 9. Galavaris 1995 (2), pp. 27, 247, figs. 160-1.

Index of exhibits of Monastery of Pantokrator
12th century

Icon of the Mother of God and New Testament Reader Promote Greek Learning
Three Millennia of Greek Literature

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