This description is a preliminary draft and is subject to change without notice
Uppsala University Library, Gr. 28A (Olim Benzelius 2)
Composite manuscript with mainly epistolographic contents, in two volumes (together with Gr. 28B)
Constantinople, the mid-14th c.
ii, 225, ii' ff.
220 × 145 mm
Foliation partly in ink, partly in pencil: 1–225.
Unit I:Q1(IV + 1f.1)f.9 + Q2IVf.17
Unit II:Q3–53.IVf.41 + Q6(IV42^49; 43–48 are artificial bifolia+1f.50)f.50 + Q7IVf.58 + Q8Vf.68 + Q9IVf.76
Signatures:In the lower right margin of the last verso. Most signatures are trimmed off. Traces still visible on f. 33v βʹ f. 49v δʹ f. 58v εʹ
Unit III:Q10–134.IVf.108 + Q14VIf.120 + Q15IVf.128
Signatures:In either upper or lower right margin of the first recto. The unit displays some irregularities, including a twofold use of a couple of signatures. This may be related to the scribal work being divided between Scribe A and B; cf. Karlsson (1981) p. 19, , n. 9.. Signatures are visible on f. 85r βʹ f. 93r γʹ f. 109r γʹ f. 110r γʹ f. 121r δʹ
Unit IV:Q16–172.IVf.144 + Q18(III+1f.151)f.151
Signatures:In the lower right marginof the last verso and/or upper right margin of the first recto. f. 144v βʹ f. 145r γʹ
Unit V:Q19–202.IVf.167 + Q21(III-1post f.171)f.172
Unit VI:Q22–232.IVf.188 + Q24IIIf.194 + Q25(V-1post f.195-2post f.196)f.201 + Q26–283.IVf.225
Signatures:The fourth quire of this unit was, probably by mistake, counted as number three; likewise, at the end of the sixth quire, the traces seem to correspond to number five. f. 195r γʹ f. 201v γʹ f. 217v εʹ
In Q10: the
In Q16–17, and on the extra leaf ending Q18, the
In Q22–23: the
Unit I:ff. 1r–17v Scribe A, Philotheos Metropolitan of Selymbria, who is the main scribe and the organizer of the volume (PLP no. 29896.). Writes in a distinct digraphic way, with one more calligraphic variant, suggestive of the Metochitesstil, and one more narrow and cursive minuscule. The styles may be compared, e.g., on f. 1r, where the pinax on the upper half differs from the letter recorded below. That the two variants are by the same scribe is evident from other parts of the volume, where the two styles constantly take turns and also sometimes appear to transform into each other. The scribal hand, in both its digraphic variants, seems to be indentical to the one represented in the Princeton Gospel book Princeton y1957-19; that manuscript includes a colophon providing the name of Philotheos Metropolitan of Selymbria and the year 1379–1380.
Unit II:ff. 18r–75r Scribe A, Philotheos Metropolitan of Selymbria; cf. the preceding unit. ff. 75v–76v Scribe B (except for the rubric on f. 75v, which is by Philotheos Metropolitan of Selymbria). This cursive minuscule script is not altogether different from the cursive variant of the main hand, but should, according to Dieter Harlfinger’s palaeographical analysis, nevertheless be seen as another hand; cf. Karlsson (1981) p. 23.. Scribe B has contributed also in Q13–14 and Q18, and is responsible for a few folios in Gr. 28B.
Unit III:ff. 77r–101v, 108r–109v, 120r–128v Scribe A, Philotheos Metropolitan of Selymbria; cf. preceding units. ff. 102r–107v, 110r–119v Scribe B, the collaborator of Philotheos Metropolitan of Selymbria; cf. the preceding unit.
Unit IV:ff. 129r–150v:19, 151v:15–151v:28 Scribe A, Philotheos Metropolitan of Selymbria; cf. preceding units. ff. 150v:20–151v:14 Scribe B; cf. codicological units 2–3.
Unit V:ff. 152r–172v Scribe A, Philotheos Metropolitan of Selymbria; cf. preceding units.
Unit VI:ff. 173r–225v Scribe A, Philotheos Metropolitan of Selymbria, who has contributed in all units of the volume (cf. codicological units 1–5).
Rubrics, glosses, and a few larger initials in red ink. The headpiece on (f. 2r) is rather plain; just lines and dots, and a couple of flourishes.
Titles, initials, marginalia and glosses in red ink. Most initials are plain; larger flourished initials on ff. 18r, 74v. An elaborate headpiece on (f. 18r), where the red ink is used to create white vine scrolls and palmettes in the voids.
Rubrics, glosses, marginalia, and rather plain initials in red ink. A few examples of more ambitious initials in pale red ink; see, e.g., the Epsilon on (f. 104v). A simple geometric figure in the margin of (f. 106v).
Titles, initials, marginalia and glosses in red ink. Most initials are plain or with just a small flourish. On (f. 129r) a simple headpiece made up from a couple of lines and four trefoils. Astrological and planetary symbols in the margins, passim. On (f. 131v) a cosmological diagram showing Pythagoras’ eight-corded lyre.
Titles, initials, and marginal glosses in faded red, or pale brown ink, on (ff. 173r–194v), in bright red ink on (ff. 195r–225v). For examples of flourished initials, see the quadrangular Beta with unfilled crosses and trefoils on (f. 179v), a Delta furnished with a vine, dots, and tendrils on (f. 181r). Similar embellishments are used also for the bright red initials later in the unit; see, e.g., the Rho on (f. 210v), and Psi on (f. 221v) 210v. A pointing hand on (f. 176v).
Layoutff. 2r–17v Written area: 160/170 × 90/100 mm ff. 18r–76v Written area: 160/180 × 80/95 mm ff. 77r–128v Written area: 165/180 × 95/105 mm ff. 129r–151v Written area: 175 × 105 mm ff. 152r–172v Written area: 165/170 × 90/100 mm ff. 173r–194v Written area: 165/170 × 90/95 mm ff. 195r–196v Written area: 170 × 90 mm ff. 197r–200v Written area: 175 × 95 mm ff. 201r–207v Written area: 175 × 95 mm ff. 208r–225v Written area: 175 × 95 mm
Inboard binding covered in stained brown calfskin. Sewn on five supports. Stuck-on endbands in brown and reddish-brown. Blue edges. Binding title on spine: CODEX MS. GRAECUS. Gold-tooled decorations on spine compartments, bands, and board edges. The same kind of tooling is found on books bound by Johan Nilsson Norman, who was active as a bookbinder in Stockholm 1693–1723 and was employed as bookbinder to the King’s Library 1700–1714. Cf. Hedberg (1949–1960) vol. 1, pp. 301–303, ..
Binding dimensions: 230 × 170 × 55 mm
The volume was, together with its sister volume, Ups. Gr. 28B, written in the mid-14th c., based on the watermarks and the handwriting (partly in ‘Metochitesstil’). As it is an extensive composite of several autonomous units, it is not unlikely that the production was stretched out over a longer period of time. The following units were, according to Dieter Harlfinger, probably the earliest (1340s): units 1 and 5 in Ups. Gr. 28A together with units 9 and 12 in Ups. Gr. 28B; cf. Karlsson (1981) pp. 24–28.. Dieter Harlfinger has suggested that, on the basis of the contents as well as the handwriting, the main scribe is likely to have been a pupil of Thomas Magister and Nicephorus Gregoras; he first proposed that Scribe A might be Demetrius Cydones, in which case we would have a geographical connection to Constantinople . In an addendum, though, this assumption was corrected into an identification of Scribe A as Philotheos Metropolitan of Selymbria (Karlsson (1981) p. 32.). This still supports a close connection to the intellectual milieu around Nicephorus Gregoras, to whom Philotheos Metropolitan of Selymbria supposedly was a pupil but later turned against (cf. the anathema preserved in autograph in the Register of the Patriarchate, Vindob. Cod. Hist gr. 47).
The manuscript was acquired in Istanbul by Claes Rålamb, who was the Royal Swedish ambassador there in 1657–1658. Before that acquisition, the codex/codices (28A and 28B) had probably been in the West for some time, judging from marginalia and Latin titles added in the fifteenth century. In the late sixteenth century it was part of Mattias I Corvinus King of Hungary’s library in Poland, according to the very accurate description of its contents given in a letter from 1573 (Karlsson (1981) p. 30.). How and when it returned to Istanbul in between is not known.
- Norrmann (1691–1694)
- Foerster (1877)
- Graux (1889) pp. 53–55
- Foerster (1903–1927) vol. 9 pp. 145–146
- Fritz (1905) p. 376
- Lindstam (1910) pp. LIV–LX
- Lindstam (1919–1920) pp. 62–65
- Hermelin (1934)
- Garzya (1973) p. 27 no. 209
- Karlsson (1981)
- Harlfinger (1996) pp. 47–48
- Gastgeber (2010) pp. 419–421
- Kotzabassi (2010) p. 479