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The Gospel book is by far the most numerous, and hence the most important and characteristic, genre of book production in Byzantine culture. A detailed survey of the surviving material in the British Library carried by the author provides an overview of the Byzantine perception of the Gospel book, and this establishes the features of ‘a standard Byzantine Gospel book’. On the other hand, individual books that do not fit the pattern do exist. For example, Gospel books with framed, full-/half-page illustrations, or marginal illustrations forming a narrative cycle, unusual headpieces, the Evangelist Symbols, imperial portraits, elaborate Canon Tables, and so forth. In this paper, some ‘special’ or ‘non-standard’ Byzantine manuscripts, notably Gospel books with later insertions that exemplify an unusual history of use and reuse, Gospel Lectionaries with unusual cruciform texts, and a copy of the Homilies of Gregory of Nazianzus with frontispieces of a jewelled cross are examined. Obviously Gospel books, Lectionaries and Homilies had a primary function: to preserve and transmit the words of the divinely inspired evangelists and church fathers. But at the same time, they could act as receptacles for precious relic-like elements. This paper suggests that the Byzantine books might have functioned not only as books to be read, but also as holy receptacle and bearer of hidden meaning.
From Manuscripts to Books - Vom Codex zur Edition. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Textual Criticism and Editorial Practice for Byzantine Texts (Vienna, 10-11 December 2009), ed. by Antonia Giannouli - Elisabeth Schiffer, Wien 2011 (Denkschriften der philosophisch-historischen Klasse, 431 - Veröffentlichungen zur Byzanzforschung, 29). ISBN 978-3-7001-7132-4, € 73.40.
Griechische Handschriften: gestern, heute und morgen
22./23.–28. September 2013, Hamburg
The 8th International Colloquium on Greek Palaeography (Greek manuscripts yesterday, today and tomorrow) will be hosted by the University of Hamburg (with a day trip to Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel on Thursday, 26 September). Invited papers will fall within the conference sections listed below. There is room for some additional submissions (please contact the section chairs directly, making sure to send a cc to the local organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org). A limited number of bursaries will be available to young researchers. A call for posters will be published later.
1) Paléographie et philologie
Direction: Erich Lamberz (email@example.com), Nigel Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sul sito dell'Università di Princeton, all'interno dell'Index of Christian Art (inaccessibile dal 23 dicembre 2011 al 3 gennaio 2012), è liberamente consultabile la ricchissima fototeca di Gabriel Millet, compresa la sezione dedicata ai manoscritti miniati; il database è soprattutto di interesse storico-artistico ma anche di notevole utilità paleografica.