About Four Gospels Coptic-Arabic

Subj: Four Gospels In Bohairic... File: VAT116.JPG (374064 bytes) AUTHOR: Library of Congress

Four Gospels In Bohairic Coptic and Arabic Copied by Georgis Cairo 1205

This manuscript is one of the finest surviving Coptic codices of the Middle Ages. Copied in Cairo, it was once in the library of the monastery of Saint Anthony in the desert near Suez. After being moved back to Cairo and then to Alexandria, it was purchased by Girolamo Vecchietti in 1594 for the director of the Medici press, Giovanni Battista Raimondi. This codex includes both a Coptic version of the Gospels, translated from the Greek and written in an uncial script, and an Arabic translation. In the Byzantine tradition each Gospel is preceded by a historical preface stating when and where the Gospel was written, making the codex of particular interest.

The manuscript is richly illustrated and illuminated, partly by the scribe Georgis and partly by another artist. The ornamentation frequently shows Islamic influence, but the illustrations are Byzantine in style. The pages on display show the opening of the Gospel of Mark (verses 1-3) on the right. On the left is the Evangelist writing the first word of his text, and beside him stands the archangel Michael.

Vat. copt. 9 pp. 146- 47 orient14 AH.72