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A Syriac Gospel page as pastedown   5 comments

SMMJ 68, pastedown at end

SMMJ 68, pastedown at end

Pages don’t always turn up where we expect them to. The image above is of a pastedown at the end of a Syriac liturigical manuscript (SMMJ 68), a Beth Gazo missing its beginning and end, dated 1580; according to a note on f. 186v, it was repaired in October, 1910 as part of Saint Mark’s collection, and it was probably at that time bound in the cover of an English Bible published much later by the British and Foreign Bible Society (see below)! (Incidentally, the original binder of the Bible was Watkins, as can be seen from the emblem at the top left of the photo above, on the inside of the original front cover; a search reveals other known copies of English Bibles bound by Watkins in the 19th century.) The page above is from an older (and prettier) manuscript, a Gospel lectionary containing Jn 5:29 and Mt 24:36-39 (Peshitta) in a clear Estrangela hand, including some diacritical marks and vowels. It is an iffy business attempting to date a single manuscript page, but this one might be from the 13th century.

The current cover of the book, originally a Bible from the British and Foreign Bible Society..

The current cover of the book, originally a Bible from the British and Foreign Bible Society.

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