Greek Manuscripts on View

Two of Princeton’s illuminated Byzantine manuscripts of the Gospels have been on view in an exhibition, Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, from 26 September 2016 until 8 January 2017. The two manuscripts are among over 200 works of art from some 60 lenders worldwide, including the Vatican Library and Bodleian Library. From the Manuscripts Division is Garrett MS. 3, Gospels, 12th century, gift of Robert Garrett, Class of 1897; and from the Scheide Library is Scheide M70, Gospels, 11th century, bequest of William H. Scheide, Class of 1936. The manuscripts were formerly in Greek Orthodox religious institutions in the Jerusalem area. Garrett MS. 3 was written in the Monastery of St. Sabas (Mar Saba), located in the Judean desert, east of Jerusalem, in 1135/36, according to a scribal note; and Scheide M70 was in the library of the Anastasis Church and later the Monastery of Abraham, both in Jerusalem, at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. For descriptions of these and other Byzantine and post-Byzantine manuscripts in the Library, see Greek Manuscripts at Princeton, Sixth-Nineteenth Century: A Descriptive Catalogue, by Sofia Kotzabassi and Nancy Patterson Ševčenko, with the collaboration of Don C. Skemer (Princeton: Department of Art and Archeology and the Program in Hellenic Studies, in association with Princeton University Press, 2010). The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition focuses on the important role played by art in the spiritual lives of multiple faiths and cultural traditions that coexisted in the Holy City between 1000 and 1400. Nearly a quarter of the objects will come from Jerusalem itself, including loans from its religious communities. Almost a third of the items in the exhibition are manuscripts, including examples in Greek, Hebrew, Georgian, Armenian, and Arabic. Metropolitan Museum of Art curators Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holcomb curated the exhibition and prepared the published catalogue.

Garrett MS. 3, fol 5r. Headpiece
for the Gospel of Matthew