Greek Gospel Manuscript (Eikosiphoinissa MS 220 / GA 1429)

Collection ID





ca. AD 1000


Southern Italy




Ink on Vellum


222 folios; 7.1 × 5.4 × 3.0 in. (18.0 × 13.5 × 7.6 cm.)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

This manuscript of the four Gospels comes from a monastery in southern Italy, which at the time was under Byzantine control. It contains text in two columns of 27 lines written by multiple scribes in a Greek minuscule script, except for the letter of Eusebius to Karpianos, which is in an uncial script. Stars mark the beginning of each line of the story of the woman caught in adultery, often called the pericope adulterae (John 7:53–8:11). Inside the back cover, the initials M. K. appear in red pencil. Taken together, these details provide evidence that the manuscript was among those looted from the Theotokos Eikosiphoinissa Monastery (also known as Kosinitza Monastery) on March 27, 1917, by Vladimir Sis and approximately 60 Bulgarian partisans known as komitadji. For more information, please see

Created ca. AD 1000 in a Greek monastery in southern Italy. During the 11th century, a Menologium or Synaxarium (calendar of saints) was added to the front of the manuscript. [1] Acquired by the 1880s by the Theotokos Eikosiphoinissa Monastery near Drama, Greece and photographed there in 1902 by Oxford scholar Kirsopp Lake.[2] Looted on March 27, 1917, by Vladimir Sis and approximately 60 Bulgarian partisans known as komitadji, and transported by pack mule to Sofia, Bulgaria.[3] Sold at auction in 1958 by H. P. Kraus, New York.[4] Purchased at auction in 2011 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma;[5] Donated in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC; Deaccessioned in 2020; Returned in 2022 to Theotokos Eikosiphoinissa Monastery, Drama, Greece.

NOTES: [1] Based on Greek and Latin inscriptions on the first folios, and an inscription in Greek recording an inheritance, the manuscript was still in southern Italy from the 13th to the 15th century. [2] Athanasios Papadopoulos-Kerameus recorded it as Kosinitza Manuscript 220 in the appendix to volume 17 of Ο εν Κωνσταντινούπολει Ελληνικός Φιλολογικός Σύλλογος: σύγγραμμα περιοδικόν, τόμος 17, Παράρτημα, published in 1885 by the Greek Philological Society in Constantinople. Hermann Freiherr von Soden consulted the work of Papadopoulos-Kerameus and gave it the number ε 3053 in Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1911) ( Caspar René Gregory mentioned Lake’s photograph in his Textkritik des Neuen Testamentes, Bd.3 (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung, 1909) ( [3] The report of the looting and the involvement of Sis appears in Rapports et enquêtes de la Commission interalliée sur les violations du droit des gens commises en Macédoine orientale par les armées bulgares (Imprimerie et Libraire Berger-Levrault: Nancy, Paris, Strasbourg, 1919), 286, 293 ( Sis made a catalog of the manuscripts from Kosinitza and a second monastery that he looted later. In the catalog, he designated the ones from Kosinitza with the initials M. K. See Vasilis Katsaros, “Τρια Λανθάνοντα Χειρογραφα της Μονης της Παναγιας Αχειροποιητου του Παγγαιου, της Επονομαζομενης «Κοσινιτσας» ΄η “Εικοσιφοινισσας,” 452 ( After the war, Sis sold some manuscripts from Kosinitza to antiquarian book dealers in Germany, and his wife sold others in Prague. The manuscript likely entered the market around this time. [4] Fifty Mediaeval and Renaissance Manuscripts, H. P. Krause, New York, 1958, Lot 6 [5] Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts, Christie’s, London, June 8, 2011, Lot 6

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