University of Chicago Library, Goodspeed Manuscript Collection Ms. 947, Lectionary (Symeon Stylites Lectionary). Greg. l 1963. Albania or Southern Italy, 11th or 12th century.


Gospel lectionary in Greek. Includes both Synaxarion and Menologion. Lection headings and Ammonian section numbers. Restoration of text (paper, 15th century) from lost parchment leaves. Formerly Goodspeed Ms. Grk. 45.

  1. fols. 1r-33v Synaxarion. John, weekday, Saturday, and Sunday Lections.
  2. fols. 33v-54r Synaxarion. Matthew, Saturday, and Sunday Lections.
    Note: Text of the paper leaf ends with the reading for Saturday, Week 16 after Pentecost, Matthew 24:34-44 (fol. 52r). The text on parchment, fol. 53r, begins with the reading for Sunday, Week 16 after Pentecost (Liturgy) Matthew 25:14-30. Lacking verse 14, it starts with 25:15 at, και απεδημησεν ευθεως.
  3. fols. 54r-82v Synaxarion. Luke, Saturday, and Sunday Lections.
  4. fols. 83r-92v Synaxarion. Great Lent, Saturday and Sunday Lections.
  5. fols. 92v-111v Synaxarion. Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Monday through Thursday Lections.
  6. fols. 112r-133v Synaxarion. Twelve Lections of the Holy Passions.
  7. fols. 133v-151v Synaxarion. Good Friday and Holy Saturday Lections.
  8. fols. 152r-165r Menologion. September through October.
  9. fols. 165r-175r Menologion. November through December.
  10. fols. 175r-184v Menologion. January through February.
  11. fols. 184v-187r Menologion. March through April.
  12. fols. 187r-192v Menologion. May through June.
  13. fols. 192v-196r Menologion. July through August.
  14. fols. 196v-207r Synaxarion. Eleven Resurrection Lections (Heothina).
  15. fols. 207r-207v Lections for various occasions (references only).


Quarter-page miniatures number 4, and include portraits of the Evangelists Mark and Matthew, of St. Simeon Stylites the Elder and his mother the Venerable Martha, and of the Christ Child's Presentation in the temple.


  1. fol. 82vEvangelist, Mark: Portrait. Mark writing, seated on a cushioned platform.
  2. fol. 92vEvangelist, Matthew: Portrait. Matthew stands holding book; hand of God blesses him (upper right).
  3. fol. 151vSimeon Stylites: Scene, Visit from his Mother. Simeon seated on pillar; his mother the Venerable Martha stands below him at left.
  4. fol. 181vChrist: Presentation. Before the temple altar, Simeon, at right, reaches for the Christ Child held by the Virgin Mary at left; Joseph stands behind her with an offering of doves.


Headpieces of interlace, scrollwork, and geometric patterns in green, brown, and light red (fols. 54r, 112r, 133v, 151v, 152r). Horizontal bars of similar design occur at minor divisions of the text.


Major initials of green, brown, light red, and purple (45-80 mm) set off from text and embellished with foliate, bead, geometric, and knot motifs. Inhabited initial of serpents (fol. 167v). Minor initials set off from the text in red.

Physical Description


Parchment and paper. 230 x 185 mm.


Watermarks of inserted leaves similar to Briquet, Coupe 4540 (Vicence, 1476), and Fleur 6689 (Udine, 1448).

Number of Leaves

207 leaves, of which 58 are replacement leaves of paper.


52 (foliated paper replacement leaves) + 144 + 6 (foliated paper replacement leaves) + 5. Modern foliation in Arabic numerals in pencil 1-207.


19 parchment quires, and 8 paper quires, each of 8 leaves, with the exception of quire 7 of 4 leaves, quires 10 and 11, respectively of 9 and 7 leaves, quire 26 of 6 leaves, and quire 27 of 5 leaves. Estimate of content lost: Johannine section for Weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays; Matthean section for Saturdays, and Sundays; leaves from quire 27 (after fol. 207, various lections). Missing text of fols. 1-52 restored on inserted paper leaves in the 15th century including the Heothina portion (fols. 197r-202v), though the text was extant on parchment (fols. 196v, 203r-207r).

Quire numbers from fol. 53r on the first leaf of each parchment quire (recto, lower center), 8-25, 27 (η-κε, κζ). Paper quires numbered 1-7 and 26 (α-ζ, κϛ).


Written space 165 x 125 mm (fol. 62r). Each column is 165 x 55 mm with a space of 15 mm between.


2 columns, 25 lines. Ruling with hard point. Pricking in the outer margins.


Written in minuscule script in medium brown ink.

Punctuation includes high and low points, comma, marks of interrogation and elision. Cross for full stop. Quotation marks in left margin next to each line of quoted text.

Occasional corrections to the text added in the margins and noted with reference marks.


Holes in several parchment leaves. Hinges used to reinforce a number of quires. Insect damage to some inserted paper leaves. Minor dirt and water stains.

Binding Description

Bound in thin black leather over boards. Spine mended with brown velvet.



The manuscript is judged to have been written in Albania, or Southern Italy in either the 11th or 12th century. The artist Basil, who painted the miniatures, signed the portrait of St. Simeon Stylites (fol. 151v), and added a prayer.


According to the only dated colophon (fol. 202v), the scribe Iohannes, who supplied the manuscript's missing text on paper, finished his work in the year 1465 (6973). An undated colophon in Arabic on the same folio is possibly that of a one-time owner. Its content was covered over by the addition of a piece of paper hinged to the leaf, which contains a transcription of the 15th century scribe's colophon. Undated notation and prayer (front pastedown, fol. 52v). University of Chicago Libraries bookplate (front pastedown).


Acquired by the University of Chicago in 1940 from Trini Kouzoutzakis who purchased the manuscript in Berat, Albania.


  1. C. U. Faye and W. H. Bond, Supplement to the census of medieval and renaissance manuscripts in the United States and Canada. (New York: Bibliographical Society of America, c1962), p. 163.
  2. Merrill Mead Parvis, The Story of the Goodspeed Collection ([Chicago]: s.n., 1952), pp. 24-25.