July 20, 2010
Last week, the Center announced the discovery of a “manuscript within a manuscript,” a two-leaf minuscule fragment of Luke’s Gospel at the end of a complete New Testament (GA 2554) at the National Museum of Art in Bucharest.
Yet another discovery of this nature was made two days later at another institution in Bucharest, the Library of the Romanian Academy. In this case, the fragmentary manuscript consists of three leaves of a lectionary bound within another lectionary. The “host” lectionary is GA lect 1738, a 14th century two-column lectionary of 87 leaves (MS Gr. 936).
Within this codex are three leaves that were apparently not a part of the original manuscript. Leaves 64 and 66 are from a single-column lectionary, in contrast to the two-column lectionary in which they are located; in addition, the text of the leaves consist of 27 lines of text, while the “host” manuscript contains 28–31 lines of text. Leaf 65 is so fragmentary that it cannot be determined for certain whether it shares the same characteristics as the leaves that surround it (64 and 66), but the appearance of the parchment seems to indicate that it belongs with the two other leaves. Since the text of 64 and 66 are not contiguous, it seems possible that this fragmentary leaf is the intervening leaf (or one of several).
The leaves measure 21.5–22 x 16.5–17 cm, the same dimensions as the manuscript in which they are bound. The hand is estimated as 14th century.
The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts is grateful to the Library of the Romanian Academy for the opportunity to examine this manuscript.