July 7, 2010
On May 25, 2010, a team from CSNTM examined an uncatalogued Gospels minsucule manuscript at the Museum of Oltenia in Craiova, Romania. We are grateful to the Director, Prof. Dr. Mihai Fifor, for permission to examine the manuscript.
Since the manuscript (shelf number 535, formerly 00022) was in the process of conservation, it could not be photographed at the time of the visit. However, the situation presented a rare opportunity for Center staff to examine a manuscript that was completely disbound. Each quire had been removed from the binding, and then the leaves of the quires separated for conservation. We were able to examine the details of quire construction and the ordering of leaves, as well as see areas of the manuscript that are usually concealed by the binding.
The manuscript is a twelfth century Gospels manuscript written on parchment with several supplementary paper leaves. The manuscript measures 25.5 x 20.5 cm and consists of 293 leaves with 19–22 lines per column, one column per page (the supplementary leaves contain 30–32 lines per column with two columns per page). The manuscript contains extensive commentary in the margins.
Nearly the whole of the four Gospels are contained in the codex. A few leaves appear to be missing—a leaf from Matthew and several leaves from John. The manuscript ends at John 21:10 and seems to be missing the last two leaves. The long ending of Mark follows Mark 16:8 on 127 verso to 128 recto. A marginal note beside Mark 16:19 references Irenaeus’ work Against Heresies, where the second-century father quotes the verse. The pericope adulterae is found on 251r–252r in its traditional location.