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Walters Ms. W.529, Gospel Book

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Shelf mark



Gospel Book

Text title
Gospel Book


Authority name: Eusebius, of Caesarea, Bishop of Caesarea, ca. 260-ca. 340


Even though this volume contains the continuous text of the four Gospels, it is written in two columns, like a Gospel lectionary (e.g., W.520 and W.535). The leaves with Evangelist portraits are dyed red, in imitation of the very expensive purple-dyed parchment occasionally used in the fifth through ninth centuries. The style of the script, ornament, and images is a bit unusual, which makes it unclear whether the book was produced in the capital, Constantinople, or in some other part of the Byzantine Empire. A somewhat similar manuscript (Bucharest, Library of the Romanian Academy, Greek 1175) is now available in digitized form at www.e-corpus.org/fre/notices/141347-Tetraevangile.html. Unfortunately W.529 is too fragile to be fully digitized at this time, therefore only the binding has been imaged.


Middle of the 11th century CE


Byzantine Empire






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

Support material


Medium-weight parchment, severely damaged in the first few quires at the beginning and end of the book, with mold and water damage visible throughout


Foliation: i+298+i

Two sets of foliation: earlier incorrect pencil foliation lower right corners, rectos; modern pencil foliation upper right corners, rectos (used here)


Formula: Undetermined due to the fragile condition of the manuscript

Catchwords: None

Signatures: The scribe provided signatures in the form of a cross in the center of the upper margin of each quire's first page



19.0 cm wide by 25.0 cm high

Written surface

106.0 cm wide by 15.3 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 26

fols. 1r - 298v:
  1. Title: Gospel Book
  2. Contents: Incomplete, with losses to last quire. Fols. 1r–2r: letter of Eusebius to Carpianus; fols. 2v–7r: canon tables; fols. 7v–8v: chapters list for the Gospel of Matthew; fols. 10r–82r: Matthew; fols. 82r–84v: preface to the Gospel of Matthew; fols. 85r–v: preface to the Gospel of Matthew; fols. 85r-v: preface to the four Gospels; fols. 86r–v: chapters list for the Gospel of Mark; fols. 88r–134v: Gospel of Mark; fols. 138r–v: preface to the Gospel of Mark; fol. 138v: preface to the Gospel of Mark; fols. 136r–137v: chapters list for the Gospel of Luke; fol. 137v: verses in praise of the Evangelist Luke; fols. 139r–215r: Gospel of Luke; fols. 215v–216v: preface to the Gospel of Luke; fol. 216v: preface to the Gospel of Luke; fol. 217r: chapters list for the Gospel of John; fol. 217v: verses in praise of the Evangelist John, containing the name of the manuscript’s donor or scribe, Manuel; fols. 219r–274r: Gospel of John; fols. 274v–275v: preface to the Gospel of John; fol. 275v: preface to the Gospel of John; fols. 276r–291r: list of Gospel readings for the movable feasts; fols. 291r–298v: list of Gospel readings for the immovable feasts; ends imperfectly with February 28
  3. Hand note: One hand throughout the manuscript
  4. Decoration note: Four full-page miniatures of Evangelists before their Gospels; canon tables framed by heavy ornament with foliate and bird designs in blue, red, green, and gold; decorated headpieces and initials mark main divisions of text; rubrics and other notations in gold over magenta; some rubrics in red only; text in brown ink


The binding is not original.

Early twentieth century: olive brown velvet over squared wooden boards; paper pastedowns and flyleaves


Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, by 1522

Metochion of the Holy Sepulchre, Constantinople, no. 520/275 (seen there by E. Ioannidis in 1864, by C. R. Gregory on September 6, 1886, and by A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus in 1891)

Henry Walters, Baltimore, by purchase before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


Papadopoulos-Kerameus, A. Hierosolymitikē vivliothēkē hētoi katalogos tōn en tais vivliothēkais tou hagiōtatou apostolikou te kai katholikou orthodoxou patriarchikou thronou tōn Hierosolymōn kai pasēs Palaistinēs apokeimenōn hellēnikōn kōdikōn, 4 vols. (St.-Petersburg, 1891-1915; repr. Brussels, 1963), 4:253–255, cat. 275

Binggeli, A., M. Cronier, and D. Lafleur, "À propos d’un évangéliaire byzantin (Aland l 793) récemment mis en vente à Paris." Scriptorium 66 (2012): pp. 89-108, at p. 102

Parpulov, G. R. “A Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum.” Journal of the Walters Art Museum 62 (2004): pp. 71-189, at pp. 106-109

Clark, K.W. A Descriptive Catalogue of Greek New Testament Manuscripts in America (Chicago, 1937), 359-360, with pls. lix and lxxi

Spatharakis, I. Corpus of Dated Illuminated Greek Manuscripts to the Year 1453 (Leiden, 1981), 80, with figs. 585–586, cat. 329

Vikan, G. ed. Illuminated Greek Manuscripts in American Collections: An Exhibition in Honor of Kurt Weitzmann (Princeton, 1973), 148-149, cat. 40


Principal cataloger: Parpulov, Georgi R.

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

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-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-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.