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Walters Ms. W.532, Gospel Book

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Shelf mark



Gospel Book

Text title


Authority name: Eusebius, of Caesarea, Bishop of Caesarea, ca. 260-ca. 340


This eleventh-century Gospel Book is of great importance for art historians due to the style of its miniatures, which suggest that it may have been produced in Antioch on the Orontes. The city was a major Byzantine center before its fall to the Seljuks in 1084, but very little of its artistic production survives. Unfortunately, the fragile condition of the manuscript and its binding makes full imaging impossible at this time, so only the exterior could be digitized. Although the volume contains the continuous text of the Gospels, its size is quite large, and it may have been used for public liturgical readings in church, much like a Gospel lectionary.


Late 11th century CE


Eastern Mediterranean






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

Support material


Heavyweight parchment, yellowed from use


Foliation: i+303+i


Formula: i, 1-5(2), 6(6,-3), 7(2,-2), 8-17(8), 18(2,-2), 19-20(2), 21(6), 22-24(8), 25(10,-4), 26-35(8), 36(6), 37(2,-2), 38-45(8), i

Catchwords: None

Signatures: Signatures written by the scribe in the outer upper corner of each quire's first page

Comments: Quires begin on fols. 1(1), 3(2), 5(3), 7(4), 9(5), 11(6), 16(7), 17(8), 25(9), 33(10), 41(11), 49(12), 57(13), 65(14), 73(15), 81(16), 89(17), 97(18), 98(19), 106(20), 114(21), 120(22), 128(23), 136(24), 144(25), 153(26), 161(27), 169(28), 177(29), 185(30), 193(31), 201(32), 209(33), 217(34), 225(35), 233(36), 239(37), 240(38), 248(39), 256(40), 264(41), 272(42), 280(43), 288(44), 296(45)


24.5 cm wide by 34.5 cm high

  1. Ruled lines: 22
  2. Ruled in hardpoint

fols. 1r - 303v:
  1. Title: Gospels
  2. Contents: Current order is as follows: fols. 1v-2r: letter of Eusebius to Carpianus; fols. 3v-10r: canon tables I-X; fols. 11r-14r: preface to Matthew; fols. 14r-15r: chapters list for Matthew; fols. 17r-94r: Matthew; fol. 94r-v: verses to Matthew; fols. 94v-95r: preface to Mark; fols. 95v-96r: chapters lists for Mark; fols. 98r-145v: Mark; fol. 146r: verses to Mark; fols. 146r-147v: Preface to Luke; fols. 147v-149r: chapters list for Luke; fols. 151-236v: Luke; fol. 236v: verses to Luke; fols. 236v-238r: preface to John; fol. 238v: chapters list for John; fols. 240r-301v: John; fol. 302r: verses to John; fols. 302r-303r: John 7:35-8:11
  3. Text note: The original order of the leaves is: 1–11, 13, 12, 14–96, 150, 98–116, lacuna, 117–49, 97, 151–303
  4. Hand note: Written in large, rounded liturgical minuscule; Eusebian letter, preface and chapter titles, and verses in Alexandrian Auszeichnungs-Majuskel, and the Gospel titles in epigraphic Auszeichnungs-Majuskel
  5. Decoration note: Four full-page miniatures; Eusebius letter and canon tables framed by ornament; decorated headbands, headpieces, and decorated initials mark main divisions of text; rubrics and other notations in gold over magenta; text in brown ink


The binding is not original.

Covered, probably in the mid-sixteenth century, with blind-tooled brown goatskin over squared flush-grooved wooden boards; later re-covered with red velvet; traces of metal attachments


Given to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in 1541/42

Taken to Damascus by Patriarch Damianus of Jerusalem ca. 1918

Bought by Henry Walters in Paris, after 1918


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


Parpulov, Georgi R. "A Catalogue of the Greek Manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum." Journal of the Walters Art Museum 62 (2004): pp. 119-122, p. 161 (fols. 2r, 4r), p. 162 (fols. 16v, 97v), p. 163 (fols. 239v, 240r), p. 164 (fols. 17r, 94v, 146r, 166r)

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. 759, no. 5

Saminsky, Alexander. "Assimilation and Creation of GreekArt in Antioch-on-the-Orontes in Syria during the Second Periodof Byzantine Domination (969–1084)." East and West in the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean II Antioch from the Byzantine Reconquest until the End of the Crusader Principality. Acta of the Congress held at Hernen Castle (the Netherlands) in May 2006. Edited by K. Ciggaar and V. Van Aalst. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 199 (2013): pp. 219-226, figs. 3-5, 10, 13, 17, 22, 23.

Clark, Kenneth Willis. A Descriptive Catalogue of Greek New Testament Manuscripts in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937, pp. 363-365

Walters Art Gallery. Early Christian and Byzantine Art: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art, April 25-June 22, 1947. Baltimore: Walters Art Gallery, 1947, p. 145, no. 733, pl. CIV

Berkowitz, David S. In Remembrance of Creation: Evolution of Art and Scholarship in the Medieval and Renaissance Bible. Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 1968, p. 28, no. 46


Principal cataloger: Parpulov, Georgi R.

Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

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-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-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.