University of Chicago Library, Goodspeed Manuscript Collection Ms. 128, Lectionary (Argos Lectionary). Greg. l 1599. Constantinople? 9th or 10th century.


Gospel lectionary in Greek. Includes both Synaxarion and Menologion. With ecphonetic notation. Formerly Goodspeed Ms. Grk. 17.

  1. fols. 1r-7v Synaxarion. John, Weekday, and Saturday-Sunday Lections: Sunday, Resurrection Day, John 1:1-17 (lacking, fol. 1r, col.1, Εν αρχη ην ο Λογος, to fol. 1v, col. 2, with 1:12 at, τεκνα θεου γενεσθαι τοις πιστευ[ουσιν]). Thursday, Week 2 of Easter, John 5:24-30 (lacking, fol. 7r, col. 2, begins on fourth line with 5:24 at, αμην αμην λεγω υμιν οτι ο τον, to fol. 7v, with 5:29 at, τα αγαθα ποιησαντες εις αναστασιν).
    Note: Lost upper portion of parchment leaf (fol. 1r) replaced at an unknown date with a paper repair. Supplied title and lection rubric in blue ink, Τη αγια και μεγαλη κυριακη του πασχα and Εκ του κατα Ιωαννη. Owing to the parchment loss and overlap of the repair, the text of fol. 1v, col. 1 begins with John 1:7 at, [φω]τος ινα παντες πιστευσωσιν δι..., and on col. 2, with 1:11 at, [εις τα] ιδια ηλθεν και. A paper repair covers the bottom two lines of fol. 6v, col. 2., continuing the text of John 3:13 at, μη ο εκ του ουρανου καταβας ο υιος του. Running title in red, Της Διακινησιμου, designating Easter, fols. 2r, 3r, and 5v, and on 6r in pencil.
  2. fols. 8r-23v Synaxarion. Luke, Saturday-Sunday Lections: Sunday, Week 7 after Pentecost, Luke 8:26, 27-35, 38-39 (lacking, fol. 8r, col. 1, begins at the last word of 8:27, μνημασιν... to fol. 9r, col. 1 with 8:39 at, οσα εποιησεν αυτω ο Ιησους). Sunday, Tyrophagou or Cheesefare, Matthew 6:14-21 (fol. 23r, col. 2, to fol. 23v, col. 2).
    Note: Missing portion of the reading for Luke 8:26-27 supplied in blue ink in the upper margin (fol. 8r).
  3. fols. 24r-38v Synaxarion. Lections for Saturday and Sunday of Lent: Saturday, Week 1 of Great Lent, Mark 2:23-3:5 (lacking, fol. 24r, col. 1 begins with 3:5 at, της καρδιας αυτων λεγει...). Sunday, Week 6 of Great Lent (Palm Sunday), John 12:1-18 (fol. 37r, col. 2, to fol. 38v, col. 2).
  4. fols. 38v-72r Synaxarion. Holy Week Lections through Thursday: Monday, Holy Week, Matthew 21:18-43 (fol. 38v, col. 2, to fol. 41v, col. 1). Thursday, Holy Week, Foot-washing (Liturgy), Matthew 26:40-27:2 (lacking, fol. 68v, col. 2 to fol. 72r, col. 1).
    Note: Loss of portions of leaves and text (fols. 69-72).
  5. fols. 72v-100r Synaxarion. Good Friday, Twelve Lections of the Holy Passions: Friday, Holy Week, 1st Passion Gospel, John 13:31-18:1 (lacking, fol. 72v, col. 2, begins with 13:36, to fol. 83r, col. 1). Friday, Holy Week, 12th Passion Gospel, Matthew 27:62-66 (fol. 99v, col. 1 to fol. 100r, col. 1).
    Note: Loss of outer column of text (fol. 72).
  6. fols. 100r-115r Synaxarion. Good Friday and Holy Saturday Lections, Canonical Hours, and Liturgy: Friday, Holy Week, 1st Hour, Matthew 27:1-56 (lacking, fol. 100r, col. 1, begins with 27:3, to fol. 103r, col. 2). Saturday, Holy Week (Liturgy), Matthew 28:1-20 (lacking, fol. 113v, col. 1, to fol. 115r, col. 1. Ends with 28:20 at, εως της συντελει[ας]).
    Note: Text on lower portion of leaf is lost (fol. 115).
  7. fols. 115r-120v Synaxarion. Eleven Resurrection Lections (Heothina): 1st Lection, Matthew 28:16-20 (lacking, fol. 115r, col. 2, ends with 28:18 at, και προσελθ[ων]. Begins on fol. 115v, col. 1, with 28:19 at, [μα]θητευσατε παντα τα, and ends, col. 1, with 28:20 at, ειμι πασας τας η[μερας]. 2nd Lection, Mark 16:1-8 (lacking, fol. 115v, col. 2, with 16.1 at, η Μαγδαληνη καὶ, and ends with 16:3 at, ελεγον προς εαυτας). 10th Lection, John 21:1-14 (lacking, fol. 119v, col. 2, to fol. 120v, col. 2, ends with 21:11 at, και τοσουτων οντων).
    Note: Text on lower portion of leaf lost (fol. 115).
  8. fols. 121r-128r Menologion. September (lacking).
  9. fols. 128r-134v Menologion. October (lacking).
  10. fols. 135r-135v Menologion. November (lacking).
  11. fols. 136r-144v Menologion. December (lacking).
  12. fols. 145r-145v Menologion. January (lacking).



Small headpieces of floral motifs and scrollwork in blue, red, white, and gold (fols. 100r, 115r, 128r, 135r).


Major initials (20-40 mm) set off from text and embellished with floral, foliate, and bead motifs in blue, red, and gold. Minor initials in gold over red.

Physical Description


Parchment. 290 x 220 mm.

Number of Leaves

147 leaves of which 2 are flyleaves of paper.


1 (unfoliated marbled paper flyleaf) + 145 + 1 (unfoliated marbled paper flyleaf). Modern foliation in Arabic numerals in pencil. Earlier system of pagination in ink extant from fol. 2r to fol. 22r.


23 quires extant. All quires of the present manuscript were originally of 8 leaves with the exception of quires 18 and 22, each of 6 leaves. Estimate of content lost: 1 leaf, quire 1 (headpiece and text); 2 to 3 leaves (after fol. 5); 6 to 7 leaves (after fol. 6); approximately 80 leaves (after fol. 7, remainder of John, complete Matthean section, and beginning of Luke); 1 leaf (after fol. 9); 6 to 7 leaves or more (after fol. 14); 1 leaf (after fol. 15); 1 leaf (after fol. 21); 1 leaf (after fol. 23); 1 leaf (fol. 72); 1 leaf (after fol. 102); 1 leaf (after fol. 104); 1 leaf (fol. 115); 1 to 2 leaves (after fol. 120); 2 leaves (after fol. 122); 1 leaf (after fol. 124); 1 leaf (after fol. 125); 1 leaf (after fol. 135); 2 or more leaves (after fol. 144); unknown number of leaves (after fol. 145).


Written space 210 x 170 mm (fol. 36r ). Each column is 210 x 75 mm with a space of 20 mm between.


2 columns, 17 to 18 lines. Ruling with hard point.


Written in uncial script in medium brown ink (flaking and fading).

Punctuation includes high and middle points.

Text Divisions

Titles in gold over red.


Corners broken on several leaves. Paper hinges used to reinforce a number of quires. Trimming of margins with the loss of some notation. Damaged leaves, sections of which are patched with paper (fols. 1, 6, 9, 13, 20, 21, 22, 28, 37, 45, 59, 60, 69, 70, 71, 72, 76, 115). Certain lost lection headings, incipits, and portions of lections were supplied in blue ink and pencil.

Binding Description

Bound in black and white mottled paper over pasteboard. Spine of green leather divided into panels, each framed with a stamped gold arabesque design. Pastedowns of marbled paper. Title ΙΕΡΟΝ ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΟΝ.



The manuscript is dated to the 9th or 10th century, and may have been written in Constantinople, the present-day Istanbul, Turkey.


Said to have belonged to a church in Argos, Greece and damaged during the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829). In the later 19th century, belonged to Nikolaos Papadopoulos. Brought from Greece to the United States by the family of Michael Biskos, and claimed by him to have been used as an oath book by gangland members during induction ceremonies at a Chicago restaurant.


Acquired by the University of Chicago from Michael Biskos, February 1930, with funds provided by Frederic C. Woodward, university vice-president, Shailer Matthews, dean of the Divinity School, real estate developer Arthur T. Galt, and Llewellyn Raney, director of the university libraries.


  1. Prolegomena to the Study of the Lectionary Text of the Gospels. Studies in the Lectionary Text of the Greek New Testament. Edited by Ernest C. Colwell and Donald W. Riddle (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, c1933), 1 pp. 81, 85-156.
  2. Seymour de Ricci, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. (New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935), vol. 1, p. 568.
  3. Kenneth W. Clark, A Descriptive Catalogue of Greek New Testament Manuscripts in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937), pp. 229-231.
  4. Harold Rideout Willoughby, "Greek Rebinding Colophons in Chicago Manuscripts," Annales de l'institut Kondakov 11 (1940), p. 30.
  5. Merrill Mead Parvis, The Story of the Goodspeed Collection ([Chicago]: s.n., 1952), pp. 15-16.
  6. New Testament manuscript traditions. An exhibition based on the Edgar J. Goodspeed Collection of the University of Chicago Library, the Joseph Regenstein Library, January-March, 1973. University of Chicago. Library. Dept. of Special Collections. Exhibition catalogs ([Chicago: s.n., 1973]), 36, no. 38.