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Walters Ms. W.548, Fragments of a Sluzhebnik (Euchologion)

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Fragments of a Sluzhebnik (Euchologion)

Text title
Slavic Orthodox Liturgical Book


This liturgical text is a rare example of an early Russian manuscript, dating from the fourteenth century. It offers a fascinating case study in the history of manuscript collecting. Because of some eleventh-century dates written in the text, the manuscript was long believed to have been made in that century. Later it was argued that the work was in fact a nineteenth-century forgery by a Russian collector, Alexander Sulakadzev (Demkova 1979). A recent study (Afanas'eva 2009), however, has determined its origin definitively: the pages of this book were cut from a larger manuscript (Saint Petersburg, National Library of Russia, Ms. O. п. Ι. 4) and bound together (out of order), probably by Sulakadzev. Sulakadzev is also likely to have added the notes that made the text appear to date to the eleventh century.


14th century CE








The primary language in this manuscript is Church Slavic; Old Slavonic; Church Slavonic; Old Bulgarian; Old Church Slavonic.

Support material


Medium-weight parchment; brown stains on edges from use; some holes and uneven edges


Foliation: 16

Foliated in pencil on upper right rectos


Formula: 1-8(2)

Catchwords: None

Signatures: None

Comments: Each bifolio appears to have been cut from the center of a quire from the larger manuscript (St. Petersburg, National Library of Russia, O. π. Ι. 4)


12.5 cm wide by 17.0 cm high

Written surface

9.0 cm wide by 12.5 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 16
  3. Hardpoint ruling

fols. 1r - 16v:
  1. Title: Slavic Orthodox Liturgical Book
  2. Hand note: Uncial, written by a single hand; several notes in margins by later users, including some that refer to medieval history and include medieval dates, which were probably added by Sulakadzev
  3. Decoration note: One inhabited initial (5 lines); sixteen decorated initials; prayer initials in capitals with blue fill; rubrics and some capitals in red; text in brown ink
fols. 11r - 12v; 7r - 9v; 5r - 6v; 10r - 10v:
  1. Title: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
  2. Text note: Beginning and end of text missing; gaps between fols. 12v and 7r and between fols. 8v and 9r
fols. 15r - 16v; 13r - 13v; 2r - 2v:
  1. Title: Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
  2. Text note: Beginning of text missing; gap between fols. 16v and 13r
fols. 1r - 1v; 14r - 14v:
  1. Title: Vesperinal Prayers
  2. Text note: End of text missing
fols. 4r - 4v:
  1. Title: Matutinal Prayers
  2. Text note: End of text missing
fols. 3r - 3v:
  1. Title: Prayers for All-Night Vigil
  2. Text note: Beginning and end of text missing


fol. 13v:

  1. W.548, fol. 13v
  2. Title: Initial "B" in the shape of a dragon biting its tail
  3. Form: Inhabited initial "B," 6 lines


The binding is not original.

Disbound bifolia housed in a nineteenth-century binding of red velvet over pasteboard with paper pastedowns


Created in Russia in the fourteenth century as part of a larger liturgical text (Saint Petersburg, National Library of Russia ms. O. п. Ι. 4)

Alexander Sulakadzev, before 1816 (labeled and numbered on front pastedown: "Codex Sulakasianus Slavonicus membranaceus dictus: Coyбopникь const. fol.: 16. 1v-16v, saec XIo. Cum Postillis Sulakasianis")

Henry Walters, Baltimore, before 1931 (bookplate on front pastedown)


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935. p. 817. no. 369.

Demkova, Natalia. "Древнерусские рукописи и старопeчатные kниги в нekotopыx собpaнияx" Trudy Otdela drevnerusskoi literatury 34 (1979): pp. 388-405.

Parpulov, Georgi. "A Medieval Russian Manuscript at the Walters Art Museum (W.548)." Journal of the Walters Art Museum. Journal of the Walters Art Museum 62 (2004): pp. 229-232, p. 230 fig. 1 (fol. 2r), p. 230 fig. 2 (fol. 13v).

Afanas'eva, Tatiana. "Cлужебник Рнб О. п. I. 4 и Рукoпись Walter Art Museum (W. 548) – единый дpевнеpусский кoдекс пеpвoй пoлoвины XIV в." 2009. http://www.drevnyaya.ru/vyp/2009_2/part5.pdf

Parpulov, Georgi. "Pre-1650 Cyrillic Manuscripts in U.S. Public Collections: A Catalogue." Palaeoslavica 18, no. 2 (2010): pp. 1-53, p. 7, no. 3.


Cataloger: Parpulov, Georgi R.

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

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.