Greek Manuscripts

Gospel of Trebizond. Gospel Readings.
10th cent. (middle). Constantinople (?). Fragments

Gospel of Trebizond Gospel of Trebizond
РНБ. Греч. 21, fol. 1v. - 2r.
РНБ. Греч. 21а, fol. 1r.

F (328 х 265).
Parchment. Ink, cinnabar, colours, gold.

It is written in a liturgical uncial hand in two columns.

At the National Library of Russia, the largest portion of the manuscript - 14 leaves - is held at shelfmark РНБ. Греч. 21. Leaves 4, 11, 12 are fragmentary. There are 15 miniatures, of which 6 are full page; 6 multicolour ornamental initials with gold.
In 1858 Constantius, the Metropolitan of Trebizond in Asia Minor, presented Emperor Alexander II with this magnificent parchment Gospel. Sheets of the Gospel of Trebizond were inserted in accordance with a liturgical order into the Byzantine unilluminated minuscule Lectionary, dating from the 11th century, which is held now at shelfmark РНБ. Греч. 69. It was donated by the Emperor to the Imperial Public Library in 1858.

1 leaf is held at shelfmark РНБ. Греч. 21а. The sheet contains 1 miniature and 2 multicolour ornamental initials with gold. The fragment was acquired by the National Library of Russia from Athanasius Papadopoulos Kerameus in 1902.

The Gospel of Trebizond is one of the most famed Greek illuminated manuscripts kept in Russian repositories. For many long years, researchers considered the place of origin of the Gospel of Trebizond to be eastern provinces of the Byzantine Empire, and it was thought to date from the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th centt. But, judging by the style of handwriting, Boris Fonkich made the cogent assumption that the Gospel of Trebizond was created in Constantinople. At present this opinion is generally accepted and sufficient to prove that the manuscript dates from the 10th century. The artistic style of miniatures from the Gospel of Trebizond are distinguished from Byzantine paintings of the middle and the second half of the 10th century by the peculiar expressiveness of images plunged in their inner emotions.

Shelfmark: РНБ. Греч. 21, 21а.

Find out more about this manuscript on the page from the exhibition "Treasures from our Collections" devoted to the Gospel of Trebizond.