Skip to main content

Quatuor Evangelia, Late 11th-early 12th

Identifier: MS 219
f. 19
f. 19


Contains the text of the Gospels until John 21:19, preceded by a 'Table of Lessons'.

Table of lessons: f. 5r-12v. Beginning: "ἐκ λόγου τῶν Δ εὑαγγελιστῶν διά".

Prayers: f. 12v. Beginning: "εἰς σχῆμα μοναχ(ικὁν) εὑαγγέ(λια) τρία".

Titles: f. 13r. Beginning: "τοῦ κατὰ ἰω(άννην) εὑαγγε(λίου) τὰ κεφάλαια..."; end: "τὁ τοιοῦτο ἐξεδόθη μετὰ χρόν(ους)".

Titles: f. 14r-v. Beginning: "τὰ κεφάλαια τοῦ κατὰ ματθαί(ον) εὑαγγε(λίου)..."; end: "περὶ τῆς αἰτήσεως τοῦ κυριακοῦ σώματος".

Untitled text: ff. 16r-19v. Beginning: "μηνολόγιον τοῦ ὅλου χρόνου".

The Gospel according to Matthew - εὑ(αγγελίου) τοῦ κατὰ ματθαί(ον): ff. 21r-72v. Beginning: "Βίβλο(ς) γενήσεως Ι(ήσο)υ Χ(ριστο)ῦ..."; end: "τέλ(ος) τοῦ κατὰ ματθαĩ(ον) εύαγγελίου...". Edition: E. Nestle and K. Aland et al., Novum Testamentum Graece, 28th edn. (Münster: German Bible Society, 2013).

The Gospel according to Mark - εὑ(αγγέλιον) κατὰ μάρκον: ff. 75v-105v. Beginning: "ἀρχὴ τοῦ εύαγγελίου Ι(ήσο)υ Χ(ριστο)ῦ..."; end: "διὰ τῶν ἑπακολουθούντ(ων) σημεί(ων) άμήν", "τέλ(ος) τοῦ κατὰ μάρκον εύαγγελίου". Edition: E. Nestle and K. Aland et al., Novum Testamentum Graece, 28th edn. (Münster: German Bible Society, 2013).

The Gospel according to Luke - εὑ(αγγελίου) κατὰ λουκᾶν: ff. 107r-156v. Beginning: "ἑπειδήπερ πολλοί ἑπεχείρησαν..."; end: "ὡς νοῦντες και εὑλογοῦντες τòν θ(εò)ν ἁμήν τέλ(ος) τοῦ κατὰ λουκᾶν εὑ(αγγελίου)". Edition: E. Nestle and K. Aland et al., Novum Testamentum Graece, 28th edn. (Münster: German Bible Society, 2013).

The Gospel according to John - εὑ(αγγελίου) κατὰ ἰω(άννην): ff. 157r-198r. Beginning: "ἑν ἁρχῇ ἧν ὁ [λ]όγο(ς)..."; end: "τοῦτο (δὲ) εἷπε(ν) σημαίν(ων) ποίῳ θανάτῳ". Edition: E. Nestle and K. Aland et al., Novum Testamentum Graece, 28th edn. (Münster: German Bible Society, 2013).


Scribes: single scribe.


Description of the Script and Type of the Script: "Typographic minuscule" (G. Parpulov, "Six scribes of the early Comnenian period", Estudios bizantinos, 5, 2017, p. 91-107). Neither round nor square; "typographic", resembling a printed script. Right inclined. Very characteristic feature is the co-existence of two or more forms for the same letter: ε, π, φ, Φ, δ, Δ, γ, Γ, σ, c. The distribution between the forms is reasonably balanced except for π and Δ, where the majuscule forms are very much dominant. Sporadic large τ, and ι above the headline and below the baseline, large Φ, χ (below baseline only) and sporadic large Γ and ε (above headline only) also. Majuscule Η. Many "scholarly hand" abbreviations. Used for both sacred and secular writing: MS 219 Quatuor Evangelia; Vat. Gr. 126 Thucydides Historia.


Scribal notes: Folio 4r: ἑ+κ τοῦ κατ(ὰ) ἰω βατάζην

Folio 20v: ἐδεόμεθα † †ρα + + κωςτα τοῦ δούλου τοῦ θεοῦ ἂμα αλ† καὶ μὴ καὶ τῶν τέκνων αὐτοῦ μνήσθητε κύριε ψυχὰς τῶν δούλων τοῦ θεοῦ ἰωάννις ἰερέως καὶ μαρί(ας) χριστοφόρου ἱερέως καὶ καλ(ιστ) ἰωάννου καὶ έκατερίνας μοωαχ(ής)

Folio 197v: Ι ἡ Κυριακή τοῦ σπόρου ἀναγινώσκεται τοῦ μετὰ τὴν ἐορτὴν τοῦ ἁγίου θωμὰ Κυριακή ἡ Κυριακή τοῦ πλουσίου καὶ τοῦ Λαζάρου ἀναγινώσκεται τῇ πρὁ τῶν ††

Illumination and decoration

Folia 15v and 74r: painted miniatures of Saint Matthew and Saint Mark.

Folio 19v: crosses.

Folia 5r, 13r, 14v, 16r, 21r, 75r-v, 106r-v, 156v: headbands and headpieces.

Embellished red capital letters.


  • Creation: Late 11th-early 12th

Language of Materials

Medieval Greek.

Physical Description

Good state of preservation.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

Contains the inscription "ex libris Domini Johannis Chesselaei", and seems to have been presented to the Library by Sir John Chessley about 1650 as the same time as manuscript Or Ms 171, an Arabic / Latin dictionary.

Processors' notes: on f. 2r: ""By Sir John Chessley. Anno 1650. Erpenius his Arabic Diction, are in a thick manuscript, wich an ancient Greek copy of the 4 Evangelists (which was brought from the Library of Alexandria in Egypt and supposed to be writen in the second inf not in the first century of the Church, they lay without being noticed in the trunck till this year [1673] came was taken to putt the Manuscript Dictionary in order, and so to cause bind it..." Donation book under date 1673."

Particular crosses on folio 4v; comparable to a cross found on a fresco in the monastery of Panagia Mavriotissa (Kastoria) (E. Drakopoulou, "Kastoria: Art, Patronage and Society", in Heaven and Earth: Cities and Countryside in Greece, J. Albani and E. Chalkia, Eds. Αθήνα: Μουσείο Μπενάκη, 2013, pp. 114-125.)

Previous reference

D. b. III. 6.

Physical Description

Good state of preservation.

Physical Facet

Material: vellum.

Binding: modern.

Quires: 4 (1x4), 12 (1x8), 13(1x1), 19 (3x2), 20 (1x1), 60 (5x8), 61 (1x1), 67 (1x8), 68 (1x1), 78 (1x10), 80 (1x2), 196 (15x8), 198 (2x1)

Quire signatures: A Γ on folio 73r.

Ruling: Leroy 01 a4 = Sautel 039 b3

Ink (colour): Brown; red initials and capital letters at the beginning of chapters, folia 13r, 14r-v and 75r are written in red ink, some headpieces and headbands.

Blank and lost leaves: Folia 1r-v, 2r-v, 3r-v, 4r-v, 13v, 15r, 20r-v, 73r-v, 75v, 197r-v, 198r-v are blank. Missing folio at the end, since text cuts off at John 21:19.


14 cm x 10.5 cm.


Columns and number of lines to a page: One column arrangement except for folia belonging to the Table of Lections, which have a two or plus columns arrangement, folio 106r-v two column arrangement. 20 to 25 lines per page.

Foliation: 198 + i

Processing Information

Description created by Amrou Motawa and Lucilla Crespi in 2019, and keyed into ArchivesSpace by Aline Brodin in May-June 2020.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379