Minuscule 551

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Minuscule 551
New Testament manuscript
Text Gospels
Date 12th century
Script Greek
Found 1837
Now at British Library
Size 21.9 cm by 15.4 cm
Type Byzantine text-type
Category V
Note full marginalia

Minuscule 551 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), ε 251 (in the Soden numbering),[1] is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament, on parchment. Palaeographically it has been assigned to the 12th century.[2] Scrivener labeled it by number 538.


The codex contains a complete text of the four Gospels on 233 parchment leaves (size 21.9 cm by 15.4 cm). The writing is in one column per page, 22-23 lines per page.[2]

The text is divided according to the κεφαλαια (chapters), whose numerals are given at the margin, and the τιτλοι (titles of chapters) at the top of the pages. There is a division according to the Ammonian Sections, and some references to the Eusebian Canons. The number of Ammonian Sections and κεφαλαια are varies from what is usual.[3][4]

It contains the Epistula ad Carpianum, Prolegomena (added by a later hand), tables of the κεφαλαια (tables of contents) are placed before every Gospel. There are barbarous headpieces to the Gospels.[4]

It contains lectionary markings at the margin, incipits, (Synaxarion and Menologion added by a later hand), subscriptions at the end of each Gospel, with numbers of στιχοι, and pictures of the four Evangelist.[3]


The Greek text of the codex is a representative of the Byzantine text-type. Aland placed it in Category V.[5] According to the Claremont Profile Method it represents the textual family Kx in Luke 1, Luke 10, and Luke 20.[6]


The manuscript was held in the Karakalou monastery at Athos peninsula. In 1837 Robert Curzon, Lord Zouche, brought this manuscript to England (along with the codices 547-550).[4][3] The entire collection of Curzon was bequeathed by his daughter in 1917 to the British Museum, where it had been deposited, by his son, since 1876.[7]

The manuscripts was added to the list of the New Testament minuscule manuscripts by F. H. A. Scrivener (538) and C. R. Gregory (551).[4] Gregory saw it in 1883.[3]

The manuscript was examined by Scrivener, Dean Burgon, and Gregory.[3]

It is currently housed at the British Library (Additional Manuscripts, 39594) in London.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gregory, Caspar René (1908). Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testament. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung. p. 67. 
  2. ^ a b c Aland, K.; M. Welte; B. Köster; K. Junack (1994). Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neues Testaments. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter. p. 79. ISBN 3-11-011986-2. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Gregory, Caspar René (1900). Textkritik des Neuen Testaments. 1. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung. p. 202. 
  4. ^ a b c d Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose; Edward Miller (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament. 1 (4 ed.). London: George Bell & Sons. p. 253. 
  5. ^ Aland, Kurt; Aland, Barbara (1995). The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism. Erroll F. Rhodes (trans.). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-8028-4098-1. 
  6. ^ Wisse, Frederik (1982). The Profile Method for the Classification and Evaluation of Manuscript Evidence, as Applied to the Continuous Greek Text of the Gospel of Luke. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 63. ISBN 0-8028-1918-4. 
  7. ^ Heike Behlmer, ... `As Safe as in the British Museum`: Paul de Lagarde and His Borrowing of Manuscripts from the Collection of Robert Curzon The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology Vol. 89, (2003), pp. 231-238.

Further reading[edit]

  • S. Emmel, Catalogue of Materials for Writing, Early Writings on Tablets and Stones, rolled and other Manuscripts and Oriental Manuscript Books, in the Library of the Honourable Robert Curzon (London 1849).

External links[edit]