If You Have Some Millions to Spare …: The Sale of Codex Sinaiticus Zosimi Rescriptus

1. “If you have some millions to spare, the bidding starts in less than an hour!” In this and similar ways, many colleagues drew attention on social media to Christie’s Live Auction 23056 on 11 June, which was entitled: “Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection”. This auction comprised 62 lots. Among them were enormously important… Continue reading If You Have Some Millions to Spare …: The Sale of Codex Sinaiticus Zosimi Rescriptus

Collecting Clues: A Forged Colophon and the Trade in Sinaitic Manuscripts

1. Imagine an old manuscript falls into your hands. You realise it is valuable and you want to turn it into money. You may even know someone potentially interested in buying the manuscript. Its monetary value is directly related to its age. The only problem is you don’t know exactly how old the manuscript is.… Continue reading Collecting Clues: A Forged Colophon and the Trade in Sinaitic Manuscripts

Membra Dispersa Sinaitica: Looking Back on One Year

1. Today is the 6th International Provenance Research Day, which provides a good opportunity to look back on the first year of Membra Dispersa Sinaitica and give a kind of annual report of the project. I should emphasise here that it is (so far) not supported by any external funding and is run on my… Continue reading Membra Dispersa Sinaitica: Looking Back on One Year

Miscellaneous Identifications I: A New Fragment by the Scribe Antony David of Baghdad

1. The collection of Arabic manuscripts from St Catherine’s Monastery is of particular importance for our understanding of early Christian Arabic manuscript production. According to André Binggeli, it functions like a prism through which we must look at the production of manuscripts not only on Mount Sinai, but also in other places with which the… Continue reading Miscellaneous Identifications I: A New Fragment by the Scribe Antony David of Baghdad

New Materials on Grote

1. Recently, I came across an online auction that was held almost a year ago to sell three curious photographs and a court document. The Amsterdam auction house Zwiggelaar offered the material as lot 1492 on 6 December 2022. The description states, among other things: “Depicts Grote, notorious collector of Christian Oriental manuscripts” (fig. 1).… Continue reading New Materials on Grote

Stray Leaves from an Ancient Triodion

A guest post by Georgi Parpulov* 1. A triodion is a liturgical book containing hymns for the church festivals of the “movable” cycle, i.e. those whose date changes from year to year depending on the date of Easter. The earliest surviving manuscript of this kind seems to be MS Athens, National Library of Greece, 626, copied… Continue reading Stray Leaves from an Ancient Triodion

Greek Fragments in Göttingen and Bryn Mawr and Their Previous Owners

1. Last year, Georgi Parpulov published a short piece entitled “Membra disiecta sinaitica Graeca” in Fragmentology 5 (2022).1. Although the article is only 7 pages long, in it Parpulov accomplishes a lot: he identifies 18 dispersed fragments of Greek manuscripts from Sinai – not counting the joins identified among Sinai’s New Finds. These 18 manuscripts… Continue reading Greek Fragments in Göttingen and Bryn Mawr and Their Previous Owners

An Arabic Medical Manuscript with Greek Maculatur

1. When I started studying the history of the fragmentary Sinai manuscripts kept at the Bavarian State Library in Munich, the digitized acquisition list of Oriental manuscripts (fig. 1) proofed very helpful. In 1921, the library bought six Christian Arabic fragments of Sinaitic provenance from the collector Friedrich Grote (1861-1922).1 Interestingly, the library’s acquisition list… Continue reading An Arabic Medical Manuscript with Greek Maculatur

A Greek-Arabic Liturgical Manuscript in Princeton’s Scheide Library

1. The largest batch of Sinaitic diaspora manuscripts ever to circulate on the European antiquities market was probably the one offered by the Leipzig-based antiquarian, book dealer, and publisher Karl Wilhelm Hiersemann (1854-1924). His Katalog 500, with the thematic title Orientalische Manuskripte, offered 54 manuscripts in 8 languages. The majority of these is probably of… Continue reading A Greek-Arabic Liturgical Manuscript in Princeton’s Scheide Library

A Blog Dedicated to the Dispersed Manuscript Heritage of Saint Catherine’s Monastery

  1. “The history of the Sinai library till the second half of the nineteenth century is mostly a history of its despoiling”.1 The Byzantinist Vladimir Beneshevich (1874-1938) made this statement as early as 1911. At that point, scholars were only just beginning to get an idea of the extent of this “despoiling”. Moreover, the… Continue reading A Blog Dedicated to the Dispersed Manuscript Heritage of Saint Catherine’s Monastery

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