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Walters Ms. W.916, Fathers of the Solovetsky Monastery and their sufferings
Fathers of the Solovetsky Monastery and their sufferings
Vernacular: Istoriya ob ottsekh i stradal'tsekh solovetskikh
Authority name: Denisov, Simeon, 1682-1741
Note: Simeon Denisov is known as the author of this text, but the name of his brother and fellow Old Believer leader, Andrei, is written on the title page; the name was once crossed off, and another name written above in pencil, which has subsequently been erased
Authority name: Denisov, Andreĭ Dionisʹevich, 1674-1730
This manuscript was made around 1800 by an often persecuted group of Russian Christians, the “Old Believers.” Because this group frequently had its books confiscated and was denied the use of printing presses, its members continued to write important books such as this one by hand. This text chronicles and illustrates the story of a group of monks at the Solovetsky Monastery who opposed Nikon’s controversial reforms and endured a siege for eight years (1668-1676) before they were finally betrayed. Most of the monks were killed, though some escaped, and many went to the Vyg region, where the author of this book, Simeon Denisov (1682-1741), was a leader in the Old Believer community.
Ca. 1800 CE
The primary language in this manuscript is Russian.
Compiled of an array of different types of paper ranging from thin to very thick; some pages laid and some wove; two different watermarks observed, both heraldic in style: one features a crown supported by a beast, the other a horse's head on a base; some pages have letters RCMR or RGMR; some contain parts of dates
Pastedowns and three blank folios at end are part of quire structure but are not foliated; modern foliation in pencil at top right corners of rectos (no. 130 repeated) and at bottom right (in Cyrillic numeration) in ink
Formula: 1(8,-2,-7), 2-5(4), 6(6), 7(6 -6), 8-14(4), 15(6), 16(8,-2), 17(6,-6), 18-22(4), 23(2), 24(4), 25(8,-1), 26-29(6)
Comments: Many bifolia appear to be formed from two smaller sheets glued together; quire 1 appears to be missing a folio that was pasted in and hooked to fol. 4v; quires 16 and 17 contain pasted-in fold-out miniatures
15.0 cm wide by 18.5 cm high
11.0 cm wide by 13.5 cm high
- Columns: 1
- Ruled lines: 14-15
- Title: Old Believer Martyrs
- Hand note: Multiple different hands throughout text; squared uncial script
- Decoration note: Three double-page miniatures; two fold-out full-page miniatures; forty-seven regular full-page miniatures; decorative headpiece; decorated initial; rubrics in red; text in black and brown ink
The binding is original.
Tooled and varnished leather over wood; spine in light brown leather; darker leather tacked on over boards; two different types of clasps in different metals (one brass, the other possibly copper); straps broken
Russia, ca. 1800, created by Russian "Old Believers"
Walters Art Museum, 2005, purchased from Sam Fogg Rare Books and Manuscripts
Museum Purchase, 2005
Cataloger: Kauffman, Nicholas
Editor: Herbert, Lynley
Copy editor: Dibble, Charles
Conservator: 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.