The Codex Sinaiticus and the Manuscripts of Mt Sinai in the Collections of the National Library of Russia

Documents relating to the acquisition of the Codex Sinaiticus by Russia

(The Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire, AVPRI; the Russian State History Archives, RGIA)

Copy of Mt Sinai Community Council's official act,
dated 16 September /Old style/ 1859,
and attested on 1 August 1868

AVPRI, f. 161 II-11, op. 50, d. 5. fol. 115r.

Ἀριθ. 6

Σήμερον 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 1859 ὑπ᾽ὄψιν λαβοῦσα ἡ Ἱερὰ Σύναξις τὴν κάτωθι συναφθεῖσαν ἐνταῦθα ἐπιστολὴν τοῦ ἐξοχωτάτου πρέσβεως πασῶν τῶν Ῥωσσιῶν παρὰ τῷ Α.Μ. τῷ Σουλτάνῳ Κ. Πρίγγιπος Λαβάνωφ, δι᾽ἧς ἡ Α.Ἐξοχότης προτείνει τῇ Ἱερᾷ ἀδελφότητι ἵνα ἐμπιστευθῇ λόγῳ δανείου τῷ Κ. ἱππότῃ Κ. Τισχενδορφίῳ παλαιόν τι χειρόγραφον περιέχον μέρος τῆς παλαιᾶς καὶ τὴν καινὴν διαθήκην, σκεφθεῖσα πρὸς τούτοις ὅτι τὸ προσωρινῶς οὕτω παραχωρηθησόμενον χειρόγραφον τοῦτο θέλει χρησιμεύσει ὥς ὑπογραμμὸς διὰ τὴν ἤδη γινομένην ἐκτύπωσιν ἐν Ῥωσσίᾳ τῆς παλαιᾶς καὶ νέας διαθήκης, καὶ δύναται νὰ παρέξῃ οὕτως ὅσην πλείστην ὠφέλειαν ἅπαντι τῷ χριστιανικῶ πληρώματι διά τὴν γνησιότητα τοῦ πρωτοτύπου, οὐχ᾽ἧττον δὲ περὶ πολλοῦ ποιουμένη νὰ δώσῃ ἰδιάζον τι δεῖγμα ἀφοσιώσεως τῇ Α. Μεγαλειότητι τῷ Αὐτοκράτορι Ἀλεξάνδρῳ Β', ἀποφασίζει ὅπως τὸ τιμαλφὲς τοῦτο χειρόγραφον δωρήσῃ τῷ Μεγαλειοτάτῳ καὶ Κραταιοτάτῳ Αὐτοκράτορι πασῶν τῶν Ῥωσσιῶν Ἀλεξάνδρῳ Β-ω εἰς τεκμήριον ἀϊδίου εὐγνωμοσύνης πρὸς τὸν Μέγαν καὶ κραταιόν τοῦτον τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας καὶ τῆς Βασιλικῆς τοῦ Σινᾶ Μονῆς προστάτην.

Ἡ Ἱερὰ τῶν πατέρων Σύναξις
Ὁ Ἀρχιμανδρίτης Μακάριος Δικαῖος
Ὁ Πρωτοσύγγελλος Ἀγαθάγγελος
Ὁ Πρωτοσύγγελλος Κύριλλος
Ὁ Ἱεροδιάκονος Νικηφόρος
Ὁ Πανάρετος Ἱεροδιάκονος
Ἡλίας Σκευοφύλαξ

Ἡμεῖς ὑποφαινόμενος Δικαῖος τῆς Βασιλικῆς τοῦ Σινᾶ Μονῆς ἐπικυροῦμεν ὅτι τὸ παρὸν ἀντίγραφον ἴσον ἀπαράλλακτον τῷ ἐν τῷ Ἱερῷ τῆς Μονῆς Κώδηκι πρωτοτύπῳ· ἐφ ᾽ᾧ καὶ ὑπογραφόμενοι τίθεμεν καὶ τὴν μεγάλην τῆς Μονῆς σφραγίδα.

Ἐν τῷ κατά Κάϊρον Σιναϊτικῷ τῆς Τζουβανίας καθιδρύματι
ἐν Καΐρῳ, τῇ α´ Αὐγούστου 1868.

δικαῖος ἀρχιμανδρίτης Κύριλλος σιναΐτης
καὶ ἡ σύναξις τῶν πατέρων

No. 6

This 16 September 1859, Considering enclosed letter by His Excellency Russian Ambassador at His Majesty Sultan's court, Prince Lobanov, inviting the sacred community to pass a certain ancient manuscript containing one part of the Old Testament and New Testament as a loan to Chevalier C. Tischendorf, and believing therewith that the manuscript on loan will be needed as a model for current publication of the Old and New Testament in Russia and thus greatly benefit all Christendom on the strength of its authenticity, but rather desiring to provide a special proof of our allegiance to His Majesty Emperor Alexander II, the Holy Council decrees, that the valued manuscript be donated to the Great and Mighty Sovereign of All Russia Alexander II in witness of eternal gratitude to this great and strong defender of the Orthodox Church and Mt Sinai Monastery.

Holy council of Mt Sinai:
Dikaios Archimandrite Macarius,
Protosyncellus Agathangelos,
Protosyncellus Cyril,
hierodeacon Nicephorus,
hierodeacon Panaretos,
sexton Ilias.

The undersigned, dikaios of the Royal Monastery of Mt Sinai, verifies the integrity and consistency of this copy with the entry in the Sacred Book of monastic deeds, by subscribing and attaching the Great Seal of the Monastery.

Sinai House in Cairo Djuvania, Cairo, 1 August 1868.

Dikaios Archimandrite Cyril of Sinai, and the Holy Council.

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