Ostromir Gospel


Second quarter of 14 cent. Middle Bulgarian version. Fragment (Both the beggining and the end are lost, several leaves are missing from the middle part of the codex)

F (310/325 235/240). 86 leaves.
Parchment. Ink, colours, purple, cinnabar, silver.

It is written in a uncial hand.

There are glued-on head-pieces in the Old Byzantine style (fols. 10r, 56v). Folio 58r has a head-piece with motifs in the Balkan style and an interlaced initial in the same style. Thin initials and headings are written in purple (purple had faded, therefore, they were renewed partially by cinnabar at a later date). The first lines of headings on fols. 10r, 56v, 58r are written with use of ligatures.
Folio 10r bears the scribe's encrypted note in the lower margin, (the decrypted message is: "The end of the preface").

The uncial script, used in the codex, resembles calligraphic writing of the manuscripts dating from the period of the reign of Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria. The artistic design of the manuscript shows mix of motifs in the Old Byzantine and the Balkan styles and a huge diversity of materials available. The codex is also remarkable for an interesting example of medieval cryptography, contained in it.

The manuscript came into the State Public Library in 1945.

Shelfmark: . F..I.122.

© The National Library of Russia, 2007