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Athos Holy Mount

Greek Manuscripts
18.28 Lives and martyrdoms of saints commemorated in December
Koutloumousiou Monastery, Cod. 204
Paper, 32 x 23 cm, ff. 420


The Original New Testament

Scribe. Sophronios Koutloumousianos, alias the monk Euphrosynos. He wrote about 50 manuscripts in a period of 40 years (1542-1583), using the name Sophronios from 1542 to 1551 and Euphrosynos from 1552 to 1583.

As has been stressed in other entries (see, for example, nos. 18.10, 18.27 and 18.29) in post-Byzantine times, particularly during the sixteenth century, there was a considerable amount of copying activity on Athos. At the Koutloumousiou Monastery this activity manifested itself in the work of the above prolific scribe, who at first signed his manuscripts under the name Sophronios and then after a certain point under that of Euphrosynos - indeed, in some of his early manuscripts he changed the name from Sophronios to Euphrosynos. The late Professor Linos Politis, who also studied the manuscripts of this scribe supposed that, since there is no doubt that both names belong to the same scribe and that the 50 surviving manuscripts are by the same hand, Sophronios at some point changed his monastic name to Euphrosynos either because he became a megaloschemos or for some other reason which eludes us. All of the manuscripts are preserved at Koutloumousiou.

Scribe's note. At the end of the manuscript:

'The gift is from God and the labour by Sophronios. Finished in the year 6967 (= 1459).'

At the beginning and the end there is a leaf of parchment bound on to the wood of the binding; these folios are from the twelfth century and contain ecclesiastical material.

Bibliography: Lambros 1895, p. 296. Vogel - Gardthausen 1909, pp. 413 and 123 (= the monk Euphrosynos). Ehrhard 1936-52, II, pp. 504, 681, 684. Politis 1957 (2), pp. 355-65. Politis 1963, p. 125.

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16th century

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