Codex Cyprius

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Codex Cyprius, designated by Ke or 017 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), ε 71 (von Soden), is a Greek uncial manuscript of the four Gospels, on parchment. It was variously dated in the past (8th–11th centuries), currently it is dated to the 9th century. It was brought from Cyprus (hence name of the codex) to Paris. Sometimes it was called Codex Colbertinus 5149 (from new place of housing). The words are written continuously without any separation, with stichometrical points.

It is one of the very few uncial manuscripts with complete text of the four Gospels, and it is one of the more important late uncial manuscript of the four Gospels.

The text of the codex was examined by many scholars. It represents the Byzantine text-type, typical for the majority of manuscripts, but it has numerous peculiar readings. The manuscript was examined by many palaeographers and textual critics since the end of the 17th century until to half of the 20th century. Although its text is not highly estimated by present textual critics and a full collation of its text was never made or published, it is often cited in editions of the Greek New Testament.



The codex contains a complete text of the four Gospels. The entire work is arranged on 267 parchment leaves.[1] 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.[2][3] 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.[4]

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, with the first letter and last letter (sometimes with other letters, selected either from those immediately following the first letter, or from those immediately preceding the final letter). The last letter is dependent upon case; in the nominative case, abbreviations are as follows: 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).


Textual character

Luke 20:9, in second line, between 11th and 12th letter stands stichometrical point
Luke 20:9, in second line, between 11th and 12th letter stands stichometrical point
Gospel of John 6:52–53 in Scrivener's facsimile edition; it has the Ammonian section in the margin (ξς = 66)
Gospel of John 6:52–53 in Scrivener's facsimile edition; it has the Ammonian section in the margin (ξς = 66)

he Greek text of this codex is a representative of the Byzantine text-type.[] Together with Codex Petropolitanus belongs to the family Π, which is in close relationship to the Codex Alexandrinus. According to Tregelles, textual critic, it has many good and valuable readings,[] but according to another textual critic Kenyon the text of the codex has not remarkable value, because the manuscript is late.[] According to Gregory, textual critic, it has many old readings, older than Byzantine text-type.[] Hermann von Soden, textual critic, who designated codex by ε 71,[] classified it to the textual family Iκa and provenance of this text associated with Jerusalem.[]

According to Silva Lake, textual critic, the text of the codex is a somewhat dilute form of family Π, with a large number of peculiar readings, most of which are either misspellings or careless and ignorant mistakes. An educated scribe could hardly have produced the variants in Mark 4:1; 6:26; 9:4; 13:3; 14:38; 16:4. The readings which it does not share with other representatives of Family Π are supported outside that family and they seem to be connected with the late Alexandrian group (C, L, M, N, Δ), but the number of the Alexandrian readings is not high and according to Silva they are rather result of accident than influence of a foreign text-type.[]

Kurt Aland placed its text in Category V.[] The text of the codex is cited in 27th edition of Novum Testamentum Graece of Nestle-Aland (NA27). According to the Claremont Profile Method it belongs to the textual family Πa in Luke 1, Luke 10, and Luke 20.[] The profile of this group is following: Luke 1: 1, 4, 12, 14, 30, 34, 41, 44; Luke 10: 1, 8, 15, 22, 23, 30, 32, 37, 38, 47, 48, 53, 57, 63; Luke 20: 2, 4, 8, 9, 19, 23, 24, 26, 28, 33, 34, 50, 61, 62, 64, 65, 70, 74, 75.[]

Textual variants

In Matthew 27:34 it reads οινον (wine) as Codex Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Bezae, Regius, Koridethi, manuscripts of Lake's family (f1), manuscripts of Ferrar's family (f13), and 33; Alexandrinus, Washingtonianus, Climaci Rescriptus, and majority of the manuscripts read οξος (see Psalm 69:22). According to Wettstein, textual critic, the reading οινον came from Latin version.[]

In Mark 10:19, the phrase μη αποστερησης (do not defraud) is omitted, as in codices B (added by second corrector), W, Ψ, f1, f13, 28, 700, 1010, 1079, 1242, 1546, 2148, 10, 950, 1642, 1761, syrs, Armenian, Georgian manuscripts.[] This omission is typical for the manuscript of the Alexandrian and Caesarean text-type.

In Mark 10:47 it has singular reading Ναραιος, but corrector changed it into Ναζωραιος (of Nazareth);[]

In Luke 9:5556 it has the interpolation: στραφεις δε επετιμησεν αυτοις και ειπεν, Ουκ οιδατε ποιου πνευματος εστε υμεις; ο γαρ υιος του ανθρωπου ουκ ηλθεν ψυχας ανθρωπων απολεσαι αλλα σωσαι (but He turned and rebuked them and He said: "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of; for the Son of man came not to destroy men's lives but to save them). The same interpolation have codices: Petropolitanus, 1079, 1242, 1546, (f1 omit γαρ), (Θ, f13 omit υμεις and γαρ);[]

In Luke 14:5 it reads ὄνος ἢ βοῦς (an ass or an ox) for υἱὸς ἢ βοῦς (a son or an ox); the reading of the codex is supported by א, L, X, Π, Ψ, f1, f13, 33, 892, 1071, 547;[]

In John 1:29 it lacks ο Ιωαννης (John) along with manuscripts Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Campianus, Petropolitanus Purpureus, Vaticanus 354, Nanianus, Macedoniensis, Sangallensis, Koridethi, Petropolitanus, Athous Lavrensis, 045, 047, 0141, 8, 9, 565, 1192;[]

In John 1:42 it reads εγαγον along with the manuscripts Athous Lavrensis (044), 1519, lectionary 1692; majority reads εγαγεν;[]

In John 1:45 it reads Ιησουν τον υιον Ιωσηφ (Jesus, son of Joseph) along with Alexandrinus, Campianus, Macedoniensis, Sangallensis, Petropolitanus, 047, 7, 8, 196, 461, 817, 1514, 1519; majority of the manuscripts read Ιησουν τον υιον του Ιωσηφ;[]

In John 1:50 it reads οψη (you will see) along with Alexandrinus, Basilensis, Boreelianus, Seidelianus I, Campianus, Vaticanus 354, Sangallensis, Koridethi, Petropolitanus, Athous Lavrensis, 045, 047, 9, 461, 1216, lectionary 253; majority of the manuscripts read οψει (you will see);[]>

In John 1:51 it reads και λεγει (and He said) along with Alexandrinus, Seidelianus I, Campianus, Nanianus, Macedoniensis, Koridethi, Petropolitanus, 0141, 0211, 210, 1212; the majority reads λεγει (He said);[]

In John 2:8 it reads οι δε (so they) along with the manuscripts Petropolitanus Purpureus, Petropolitanus, 044, 565, 1192; the majority reads και (and);[]

In John 2:22 it reads ελεγε αυτοις (said to them) along with Petropolitanus, 754, 1212, lectionary 1076; majority reads ελεγε (said);[]

In John 3:2 it reads αυτον (Him) along with Alexandrinus, Vaticanus 354, Nanianus, Macedoniensis, Sangallensis, Koridethi, Petropolitanus, 044, 045, 047, 0211, 7, 9, 194, 196, 210, 461, 565, 743; majority reads τον Ιησουν (Jesus);[]

In John 3:19 it reads αυτων πονηρα τα εργα; majority has this phrase in sequence πονηρα αυτων τα εργα;[]

In John 4:1 it reads ο κυριος (the Lord) along with codices Alexandrinus, Basilensis, Boreelianus, Seidelianus I, Vaticanus 354, Nanianus, 034, 036, 037, 041, 044, 045, 0141, 0211, 2, 7, 8, 9, 27, 194, 196, 461, 475; majority reads ο Ιησους;[]

In John 4:42 it has unique reading εγνωμεν, other manuscripts have οιδαμεν (εγνωκαμεν – codices 034 and 041);[]

In John 4:51 it reads υπηντησαν along with Petropolitanus Purpureus, Koridethi, Athous Lavrensis, 565, 1194, 1519; majority reads απηντησαν;[]

In John 7:8 it reads εγω ουκ αναβαινω (I am not going), along with codices Sinaiticus, Codex Bezae, Cyprius, 1241, instead of εγω ουπω αναβαινω (I am not yet going) – Vaticanus, Regius, Borgianus, Washingtonianus, Koridethi, Athous Lavrensis, 0105, 0180, Climaci Rescriptus, f1, f13, Byzantine manuscripts;[]

In John 8:9 it has reading οι δε ακουσαντες και υπο της συνειδησεως ελεγχομενοι εξερχοντο εις καθ εις – along with the codices Codex Basilensis, Seidelianus I, Seidelianus II, 1079 1365;[]

In John 8:10a it reads και μηδενα θεασαμενος πλην της γυναικος – along with manuscripts of the textual family Kr; this phrase is omitted by the manuscripts Codex Bezae, Tischendorfianus IV, 1, 892, 1010;[]

In John 8:10b it reads που εισιν εκεινοι οι κατηγοροι σου; other manuscripts read που εισιν οι κατηγοροι σου (Basilensis, Boreelianus, Seidelianus I, Nanianus, 1079), or που εισιν οι κατηγοροι σου (Seidelianus I, Vaticanus 354, f13, 28, 225, 700, 1009), or που εισιν as manuscripts Bezae, Campianus, Tischendorfianus IV, Tischendorfianus III, and manuscripts of Lake's Family (f1).[]



At the end of the manuscript, on the page 267 verso, there is a colophon (subscription) inserted by second hand (secunda manu). According to this colophon the manuscript was written by scribe named Basil (εγραφη δε η δελτος αυτη διαχειρ[] βασιλειου μοναχου), and it was bound by one Theodulos, who commend themselves to the Virgin and St. Eutychios (προσδεξη ταυτην [την δελτον] η παναγια θεοτοκος και ο αγιος Ευτυχιος).[][] Some parts of the colophon are uncertain.[][] Full text of the colophon:

εγραφη δε η δελτος αυτη διαχειρ[] βασιλειου μοναχου
ημφιασκεται εκεφ[]κεωθη υπ[..θε]οδουλου του μοναχου
προσδεξητε αυτην η παναγια θκος και ο αγιος ευτυχιος
κσδεοθς δια πρεσβειων της υπερ [αγι]λς θκου και
του αγιου ευτυχιου χαρισηται ημιν την βασιλειαν
των ουνων αιωνιζησαν αμην:~[]


Richard Simon, biblical scholar and the first textual critic, dated the manuscript to the 10th century. According to palaeographer Bernard de Montfaucon[] and biblical scholar Scholz it was written in the 8th century. According to Leonard Hug, biblical scholar, it is not older than the ninth century, because no one has yet shown that the compressed letters Σ, Ε, Ο, and Θ were ever used in manuscripts at so early a date as the 8th century. The letters Ζ and Ξ ever have their strokes prolonged beneath the line, or that the small strokes at the bottom of the letter Δ are ever extended below the line, in the manuscripts from the 8th century.[]

Constantin von Tischendorf, palaeographer and textual critic,<[] and Caspar René Gregory, textual critic, dated the manuscript to the 9th century.[] According to Tregelles, textual critic, the manuscript is not older than the middle of the ninth century.[] According to Frederic G. Kenyon, biblical scholar, the manuscript must be not earlier than the 11th century, because of the formal liturgical hand and the palaeographic ground. But Kenyon saw only Scrivener's facsimile and his assessment was made only on the basis of this facsimile text.[]

According to Henri Omont, palaeographer, it is impossible to give precise date to this manuscript on the palaeographical ground, because there are many manuscripts written in that way, but they are not dated. The 9th century is possible as well as the 11th century.[]

According to Silva Lake, textual critic, it is hardly to prove it have been written earlier than the year 1000, and is perhaps as late as the middle of the eleventh century.[] This assessment was based rather on the textual dependency from other manuscript, members of the family Π, than on the palaeographical ground (variations of letter forms). According to Silva codex 1219 represents text of the family Π in its earlier stage than Codex Cyprius. Cyprius could be copied from the codex 1219 (Gregory-Aland) or copy of codex 1219 (Lake's hypothetical codex b). Codex 1219 can hardly have written before the year 980 or long after 990, in result Codex Cyprius can hardly be dated very long before the year 1000.[]

According to William Hatch, palaeographer, the letters Β, Δ, Κ, Λ, Μ, Ξ, Π, Υ, Φ, Χ, Ψ, and Ω have forms which are characteristic for the late 10th or the early 11th century.[]> The handwriting of this codex bears a striking general resemblance to that of three Gospel lectionaries of the 10th and 11th centuries: Lectionary 3, 296, and 1599. On the other hand no such likeness exists between the codex and uncial manuscript of the New Testament which were written in the 9th century. The manuscript should be written about 1000.[]

Textual critics like Frederic G. Kenyon,[] Kurt Aland[] and Bruce Metzger dated it to the 9th century.[] Currently the manuscript is dated by the Institute for New Testament Textual Research to the 9th century.[]

Discovery and further research

The early history of the codex is unknown. It was brought from Cyprus – hence actual name of the codex – to the Colbert Library (no. 5149 – sometimes it was called Codex Colbertinus 5149) in Paris in 1673, whence it passed into its present locality – Bibliothèque nationale de France.[]

The manuscript was examined by Richard Simon,[] who made some extracts for John Mill, who used readings of the codex in his edition of Novum Testamentum in Greek.[] Montfaucon, published the first facsimile of the codex, with text of Matthew 2:19–22, and used this manuscript for his palaeographical studies.[] Wettstein, textual critic, used readings of the codex but with not great accuracy (with a large number of errors).[] Scholz, textual critic, though valued it very highly, collated the text of the manuscript and edited its textual variants in 1820,[] but with so little care and with numerous errors that his testimony is worth but little. Tischendorf in 1842 and 1849, and Tregelles in 1950 gave a new and more accurate collation (in 1950 in Leipzig they compare their collations and made one). It is cited in Tischendorf's Editio Octava Critica maior.[] Scrivener published its facsimile with text of Gospel of John 6:52–53.[] Henri Omont[] and William Hatch[] published some fragments of the codex in facsimile.

It was also examined and described by Bianchini,[] Silva Lake, and Gregory, who saw the codex in 1883.[]

According to Wettstein the text of the codex was altered by Old Latin manuscripts.[] According to William Hatch Codex Cyprius is "one of the more important of the later uncial manuscripts of the four Gospels".[]

Currently the codex is located in the Bibliothèque nationale de France (Gr. 63) in Paris.[]

See also


Further reading


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