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Walters Ms. W.520, Gospel Lectionary

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Gospel Lectionary

Text title
Gospel Lectionary


This is an example of a Gospel Lectionary written in the archaic, majuscule form of Greek letters. Liturgical books were inherently conservative and therefore commonly retained such antiquated writing. The scribe, a certain monk Theodore, has recorded his name in a verse at the end of the volume (fol. 179v). A leaf removed from this manuscript ca. 1900 is now in Sofia, National Library of Republic of Bulgaria NBKM Gr. 2.


Second half of the 10th century CE


Byzantine Empire


As-written name: Theodore

Name, in vernacular: Θεόδωρος






The primary language in this manuscript is Greek, Ancient (to 1453).

fols. 179v to 179v:
  1. In vernacular: Πένητα σώζε, Χ(ριστ)έ, τῷ γεγραφώτι, Θεοδώρῳ μοναστ(ῇ) καὶ ξένῳ τῶν δικαίων.
  2. Transliteration: Peneta soze, Christe, to gegraphoti, Theodoro monaste kai xeno ton dikaion.
  3. Translation: Christ, save the poor scribe Theodore, monk and stranger to righteousness.

Support material


Stiff, badly cockled


Foliation: i+179

Twentieth-century pencil foliation in upper right corners of rectos (followed here); nineteenth-century ink pagination in middle of upper margins


Formula: i, 1-2(8), 3(8,-1), 4-6(8), 7(8,-1,2,3,6,7,8), 8-17(8), 18(8,-1), 19-22(8), 23(8,-4,5), 24(*,-6,7,8)

Catchwords: None

Signatures: Greek letters surrounded by circles in upper external corner of the first page of each quire

Comments: Quires begin on fols 1(1), 9(2), 17(3), 24(4), 32(5), 40(6), 48(7), 50(8), 58(9), 66(10), 74(11), 82(12), 90(13), 98(14), 106(15), 114(16), 122(17), 130(18), 137(19), 145(20), 153(21), 161(22), 169(23), 175(24); whole quires missing: one after 8, three after 11, one after 17


23.0 cm wide by 30.0 cm high

Written surface

15.0 cm wide by 20.5 cm high

  1. Columns: 2
  2. Ruled lines: 21
  3. Hardpoint; writing stands on ruled lines

fols. 1r - 179v:
  1. Title: Gospel Lectionary
  2. Contents: Fols. 1r-49v: readings for the weeks of John; fols. 50r-57v: readings for the weekends of Matthew; fols. 58r-81v: readings for the weekends of Luke; fols. 82r-129v: readings for Paschal Week; fols. 121v-128r: readings for the Hours of Good Friday; fols. 130r-173r: readings for the feast days from September 1 to August 31; fols. 178v-179v: list of readings for various occasions
  3. Hand note: Upright pointed majuscule in brown ink; one hand throughout manuscript; second hand added the ekphionetic notation, titles, liturgical notes, and initials


fol. 1r:

  1. W.520, fol. 1r
  2. Title: Readings from the Gospel of John
  3. Form: Ornamented headpiece
  4. Text: Readings for the weeks of John
  5. Label: Synaxarion

fol. 50r:

  1. W.520, fol. 50r
  2. Title: Readings from the Gospel of Matthew
  3. Form: Ornamented headpiece
  4. Text: Readings for the weekends of Matthew
  5. Label: Synaxarion

fol. 58r:

  1. W.520, fol. 58r
  2. Title: Readings from the Gospel of Luke
  3. Form: Ornamented headpiece
  4. Text: Readings for the weekends of Luke
  5. Label: Synaxarion


The binding is not original.

Byzantine (?) squared wooden boards covered with red velvet ca. 1920-1930; flat spine; raised endbands; pastedowns and flyleaf of unwatermarked paper


Church of St. Nicholas Gropnicki or the Virgin Gropnicka in Ohrid, Macedonia

Library of the Metropolitan Church of St. Clement, Ohrid, no. 49 (seen there by F. I. Uspenskii in 1898), [church no longer extant]

Henry Walters, Baltimore, acquired before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


K. W. Clark, A Descriptive Catalogue of Greek New Testament Manuscripts in America (Chicago, 1937), 347-348 with pls. liii and lxxi

W. H. P. Hatch, The Principal Uncial Manuscripts of the New Testament (Chicago, 1939), pl. lxvii, with description on the facing page

I. Spatharakis, Corpus of Dated Illuminated Greek Manuscripts to the Year 1453 (Leidenl, 1981), 73 with fig. 528, cat. 301

K. Weitzmann, Die byzantinische Buchmalerei des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts: Addenda und Appendix. (Vienna, 1996), 92 with figs. 685–86

G. R. Parpulov, “A Catalogue of the Greek Manuscripts of the Walters Art Museum”, Journal of the Walters Art Museum 62 (2004), 71-189, esp. 77-83


Principal cataloger: Parpulov, Georgi R.

Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William

Copy editor: Joyal, Stephanie

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Emery, Doug; Noel, William; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.