Codex Cyprius - Description


The codex contains a complete text of the four Gospels. The entire work is arranged on 267 parchment leaves. The leaves each measure 26 centimetres (10 in) by 19 centimetres (7.5 in), in a quarto format with four leaves to each quire. The text itself is written in brown ink in one single column per page. Each page contains 16 to 31 lines because the handwriting is irregular and varies in size, with some pages having letters that are quite large.

The style of handwriting of the codex bears a striking general resemblance to that of three Gospel lectionaries of the 10th and 11th centuries: Lectionary 296, 1599, and 3. The letters and words are not separated from one another (scriptio-continua). There is frequent insertion of a point as a mark of interpunction. This has been supposed to occur in an ancient stichometrical style of writing. A dot is always used to denote the end of the stichos.

The uncial letters of this codex are large, upright, not round, and compressed. In some of the pages letters are very large. It contains lectionary markings on the margin, Synaxarion (list of Saints) on pages 1–18, with Menologion (Saint days), and the Eusebian Canon tables on pages 19–28. It contains subscriptions after each of three first Gospels. In Matthew:

ευαγγελιον κατα ματθαιον ΣΤΙ ΑΒΨ
το κατα ματθαιον ευαγγελιον υπ αυτου εν ιεροσολυμοις
μετα χρονους η της του χριστου αναληψεως.

In Mark:

ευαγγελιον κατα μαρκον ΣΤΙ ΔΨ
το κατα μαρκον ευαγγελιον εξ δοτη μετα χρονους δεκα
της του χριστου αναληψεως

In Luke:

ευαγγελιον κατα λουκαν ΣΤΙ ΑΒΩ
το κατα λουκαν ευαγγελιον εξεδοτη μετα χρονους ιε
της του χριστου αναληψεως.

It has rough breathing, smooth breathing, and accents from the original scribe (prima manu), but often omitted or incorrectly placed. The breathings are indicated by ⊢ and ⊣, these signs were often used in the codices from the 9th and 10th century. Errors of itacism are very frequent.

The text is divided according to the Ammonian Sections (Matthew 359, Mark 241, Luke 342, John 232 sections), whose numbers are given at the left margin of the text, but a references to the Eusebian Canons are absent. There was not another division according to the κεφαλαια (chapters) in the original codex, though it has their τιτλοι (titles) at the top of the pages, and tables of the κεφαλαια before each Gospel. The numbers of the κεφαλαια (chapters) were added by a later hand (Matthew 68, Mark 48, Luke 83, John 19).

The nomina sacra are written in an abbreviated way: ΑΝΟΣ for ανθρωπος (men), ΔΑΔ for δαυιδ (David), ΘΣ for θεος (God), ΙΣ for Ιησους (Jesus), ΙΛΗΜ for ιερουσαλημ (Jerusalem), ΙΗΛ for ισραηλ (Israel), ΚΣ for κυριος (Lord), ΜΗΡ for μητηρ (mother), ΟΥΝΟΣ for ουρανος (heaven), ΟΥΝΙΟΣ for ουρανιος (heavenly), ΠΗΡ for πατηρ (father), ΠΝΑ for πνευμα (spirit), ΠΝΙΚΟΣ for πνευματικος (spiritual), ΣΡΙΑ for σωτηρια (salvation), ΥΣ for υιος (son), ΧΣ for χριστος (Christ).

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