University of Chicago Library, Goodspeed Manuscript Collection Ms. 134, New Testament. Gospels (Larissa Gospels). Greg. 2406. Thessaly, Greece? 13th or 14th century.


Four gospels in Greek. Ammonian section and Eusebian canon numbers in the margins. Added chronology and calendrical table. Formerly Goodspeed Ms. Grk. 25.

  1. fols. 1r-2r Kephalaia of Matthew (lacking).
  2. fols. 2r-2v Hypothesis of Matthew (lacking).
  3. fols. 2v-3r Chronology of pre-Christian and Christian history. Calendrical table of ecclesiastical observances.
  4. fols. 5r-72v Matthew. Subscription.
  5. fols. 73r-74r Kephalaia of Mark.
  6. fols. 76r-117v Mark.
    Note: Bifolia 104-107 and 105-106 were reversed and bound in. For correct sequence of text, read: fols. 105, 104, 107, 106.
  7. fols. 118r-119v Kephalaia of Luke.
  8. fols. 121r-194v Luke.
  9. fol. 195r Kephalaia of John.
  10. fols. 195v-196r Hypothesis of John.
  11. fols. 198r-245v John (lacking).


The manuscript contains 4 Evangelist portraits painted on inserted leaves, and based on the style of execution, dated to the 14th century. Multi-colored vignettes of birds, fruit, and flowers at each gospel opening (fols. 5r, 121r, 198r), with the exception of Mark for which a small headpiece of interlace design was added in ink (fol. 76r). Like the portraits, these are thought to have been later additions.


  1. fol. 4rEvangelist, Matthew, Portrait: Matthew with scroll, seated at writing desk. Angel symbol at left; buildings in background.
  2. fol. 120rEvangelist, Mark, Portrait: Mark writing, seated on bench. Lion symbol on floor at left; buildings in background.
    Note: Portrait of Mark bound out of order before Luke's gospel. Blank (fol. 120v).
  3. fol. 75rEvangelist, Luke, Portrait: Luke writing, seated on stool at writing desk; buildings in background.
    Note: Portrait of Luke bound out of order before Mark's gospel. Blank (fol. 75v).
  4. fol. 197rEvangelist, John, Portrait: John seated at center, a book held open on his knee, right hand raised; writing desk at left; buildings in background.
    Note: Blank (fol. 196v).


Major initial at Matthew's opening obscured by binding (15 mm, fol. 5r). Spaces left blank at the other gospel openings. Minor initials in red (faded) set off from the text.


Photographs of the Evangelist portraits were examined in 1931 by art historians Charles Rufus Morey and Albert M. Friend, Jr., who proposed a tentative dating to the 14th century or later, and stated that the painting style was suggestive of Venice, Russia, or the Balkans, rather than of Greece. (Charles Rufus Morey to Harold R. Willoughby, 8 January 1931, Willoughby, Harold Rideout, Corpus of New Testament Iconography Collection, box 2, Special Collections Research Center, Regenstein Library, University of Chicago).

Physical Description


Parchment. 130 x 90 mm.

Number of Leaves

246 leaves, of which 1 is a flyleaf.


245 + 1 (unfoliated paper flyleaf). Modern foliation in Arabic numerals in pencil 1-245.


Originally 31 quires of 8 leaves, with the exception of quires 1, 21, and 24 of 9 leaves, 2 and 3 of 10 leaves, and 12 of 7 leaves. Estimate of content lost: Eusebian Canon tables I-X, and possibly Eusebius's letter to Carpianus on the gospel canons; several leaves of quire 1; leaf 1 of quire 30 (after fol. 239, ends with John 17:11 at, ουτοι, and begins on fol. 240r with 17:26 at, γνωρισω); leaf 8, quire 30, and leaves of quire 31 (from John 20:3 at, Πετρος to the end).

Primary quire numbers lost through marginal trimming, replaced with a secondary set written in Arabic numerals (partially trimmed) on the first leaf (recto, upper margin) of each quire (see for example, fols. 30r and 70r).


Written space 110 x 80 mm (fol. 87r ).


1 column, 18 to 25 lines. Ruling with hard point.


Written in minuscule script in medium to dark brown ink.

Punctuation includes high point, comma, marks of elision and interrogation. Quotation marks of red in right margin next to each line of quoted text.

Corrections of text in the margins. Strips of paper glued over portions of existing text are also present.

Text Divisions

Titles in red (upper and lower margins). Lections denoted by the indicators αρχε (beginning) and τελος (end).


Several leaves broken or cut (fols. 1, 2, 20). Partial paper repair (fol. 1). Leaves trimmed resulting in the loss of some text. Grease and water stains.

Binding Description

Bound in dark brown leather, over boards.

Front and back covers, blind tooled with a saltire (St. Andrew's cross). Random blind-stamped circles infilled with stippling.



The manuscript may have been written in either the late 13th or early 14th century in the Greek region of Thessaly.


Medieval to late 19th century provenance unknown. Said to have been taken from a church in Lárisa, Greece by a military officer during the Greco-Turkish War of 1897, and thereafter sold in 1925 to M. Filiba, a bookseller of Paris.

University of Chicago Libraries bookplate and stamp (front pastedown; fols. 1v, 4v); undated inscriptions and drawings (fols. 3v, 74r-74v, 117v, 196v).


Acquired by the University of Chicago from M. Filiba (Paris), July 1931, with funds provided by Shailer Matthews, dean of the Divinity School, university trustee Martin A. Ryerson, and real estate developer Arthur T. Galt.


  1. Harold Rideout Willoughby, "Corpus of New Testament Iconography Collection." Special Collections Research Center. Regenstein Library, University of Chicago.
  2. Otto F. Linn, "The Tetragram, Thomas, and Larissa Gospels" (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1935).
  3. 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. 569.
  4. Kenneth W. Clark, A Descriptive Catalogue of Greek New Testament Manuscripts in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937), pp. 244-245.
  5. Merrill Mead Parvis, The Story of the Goodspeed Collection ([Chicago]: s.n., 1952), p. 19.
  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. 51.