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Walters Ms. W.536, Pontifical

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Shelf mark




Text title
Archieratikon (Pontifical)


Authority name: Chrysostom, John, Saint, -407


Authority name: Basil, Saint, Bishop of Caesarea, approximately 329-379


Authority name: Gregory, the Great, Saint, approximately 540-604


This manuscript contains liturgical prayers for the use of a bishop. It is among the first known works of one of the most prominent Greek scribes of the Ottoman period, Metropolitan Matthew of Myra (fl. 1596-1624). If the manuscript ever contained a note with his name, this is now lost, but the peculiar handwriting is clearly attributable to his hand.


Late 16th century CE


Moscow, Russia


As-written name: Mattaios, metropolitan of Myra

Known as: Matthew of Myra

Note: Matthew of Myra is attributed as the scribe for fols. 1-110; fol. 111, added in the seventeenth century, was written by a different hand






The primary language in this manuscript is Greek, Ancient (to 1453).

Support material


Folded in quarto; fols. 1-29: watermarks very similar to Briquet, no. 568, chain distance 28 mm; fols. 30-110: watermarks generally similar to Briquet, no. 9665, chain distance 27 mm; fol. 111: paper noticeably smoother, no watermark or chains visible


Foliation: 111

Twentieth-century pencil foliation in upper right corners of rectos


Formula: 1(10,-1,2), 2(6), 3(10), 4(6-1), 5-9(8), 10(10), 11-13(8), 14(8)

Catchwords: None

Signatures: None

Comments: Quires begin on fols. 1(1), 9(2), 15(3), 25(4), 30(5), 38(6), 46(7), 54(8), 62(9), 70(10), 80(11), 88(12), 96(13), 104(14). Fols. 72-73 of quire 10 are a tipped in bifolium; stitching at fols. 75v-76r. Last leaf of quire 14 is a replacement.


13.5 cm wide by 19.3 cm high

Written surface

6.7 cm wide by 12.3 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 14

fols. 1r - 111v:
  1. Title: Archieratikon (Pontifical)
  2. Contents: Fols. 1r-29r: Presbyterial prayers from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, beginning lost; fols. 30r-71r: Presbyterial prayers from the Liturgy of St. Basil; fols. 74r-89v: Presbyterial prayers from the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts; fols. 90r-91r: rite of ordination for lectors and chanters; fols. 91r-93r: rite of ordination for a subdeacon; fols. 93r-97v: rite of ordination for a deacon; fols. 97v-102v:rite of ordination for a priest; fols. 103r-107v: rite of ordination for a priest; fols. 108r-111v: prayer of absolution
  3. Hand note: Fols. 1-110 written in Schörklerschrift, one hand; fol. 111 written in a seventeeth-century, archaizing, liturgical script


fol. 30r:

  1. W.536, fol. 30r
  2. Title: Title page of the Liturgy of St. Basil
  3. Form: Ornamented headpiece, ornamented initial

fol. 72v:

  1. W.536, fol. 72v
  2. Title: St. Gregory the Great
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Comment:

    Inscribed: "Saint Gregory."

    St. Gregory the Great, pope of Rome (590-604), is traditionally considered the author of the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, the text of which follows this miniature. He is portrayed here in episcopal vestments, holding a Gospel book in one hand and blessing the faithful with the other.

    The scribe Matthew of Myra is known to have been in Moscow at the time when this manuscript was copied. Judging from its style, the miniature must be the work of a Russian icon painter.

fol. 74r:

  1. W.536, fol. 74r
  2. Title: Title page of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
  3. Form: Ornamented headpiece, decorated initial


The binding is not original.

Modern; thick, acid-free paper


Henry Walters, acquired before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


Politis, L. “Un copiste éminent du XVIIe siècle: Matthieu métropolite de Myra.” In Studia Codicologica, eds. Jürgen Dummer and Kurt Treu. Vol. 124, Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1977, pp. 375-394, figs. 1-16.

Gratziou, Olga. Die dekorierten Handschriften des Schreibers Matthaios von Myra, 1596-1624: Untersuchungen zur griechischen Büchmalerei um 1600. Vol. 1, Sonderheft der Zeitschrift Mnemon. Athens: K. Michalas, 1982, 21f., 149, figs. 13, 15, 64.

Parpulov, Georgi. “A Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum.” Journal of the Walters Art Museum 62 (2004): 71-189.


Principal cataloger: Parpulov, Georgi R.

Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William

Copy editor: Joyal, Stephanie

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Emery, Doug; Noel, William; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.