Monday, December 20, 2021

A New Lectionary Leaf (L1663) in Uppsala


Until recently, sixteen Greek New Testament manuscripts in Sweden were included in the official register of Greek NT manuscripts maintained by the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung (INTF) in Münster, the Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments (Liste). Some years ago I published an article in Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok that describes these manuscripts, "Greek New Testament Manuscripts in Sweden (With an Excursus on the Jerusalem Colophon)" available here.

In 2011, Eva Nyström and Patrik Granholm initiated a project to digitise and catalogue all the Greek manuscripts in Sweden. A new website,, was launched and the scope of the project was subsequently widened to include all medieval and early modern manuscripts kept in Swedish libraries. Currently, the database contains 379 manuscripts in seven languages, 221 of which have been digitised in full, including fifteen Greek New Testament manuscripts in Uppsala, Gothenburg and Linköping, but not the Gospel manuscript in the National Museum in Stockholm which I found there some years ago.

Last year, as I perused this database, I found to my surprise a parchment leaf from a Gospel lectionary (Uppsala University Library, Fragm. ms. graec. 1). The manuscript has now been identified and registered as a new leaf of Lectionary 1663 (L1663) in the Liste—this is the seventeenth Greek New Testament manuscript in Sweden. 

I have just published an article and made it publicly available, "A New Leaf of Constantine Theologites the Reader’s Lectionary in Uppsala University Library (Fragm. ms. graec. 1 = Greg.-Aland L1663)" in the current volume of Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok in which I describe this new lectionary leaf its provenance and its place in the larger codex. As I mention in the article, this happens to be the leaf right next to one in Montreal which was described by Brice Jones on his blog in 2014. The main part of the codex is in the University of Chicago Library.


This is an image of the Uppsala leaf, fol. 1r (click on it for higher resolution), and in col. 1, line 2 you can see an example of the distinct μέν-distendu, which has given the style its name. It can be dated to the early thirteenth century (thus, I propose that the current fourteenth-century date in the Liste be changed). I take the opportunity to thank Georgi Parpulov who gave me good advice on palaeographical matters (he and other colleagues are acknowledged in my publication too).


  1. Twentieth Century Acceptable Provenance Statement: "[he] acquired them from somewhere".
    Twenty-First Century Acceptable Provenance Statement: read Tommy!

  2. Yet another example of Head's Law: The best place to find previously unknown manuscripts is in a Library;).

    1. Indeed. Another admonition derived from Tommy's article: don't be an Ege-head and rip apart beautiful manuscripts for personal benefit (Ouch!) Jesus, the Great Exegete, provides a good rule-of-thumb: "Seek and ye shall find!"