Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Minuscule 69

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Name  Codex Leicester
Date  15th century
Now at  Leicester
Text  New Testament †
Script  Greek
Size  37.8 cm by 27 cm
Minuscule 69

Minuscule 69 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), δ 505 (Soden), known as Codex Leicester, or Codex Leicestrensis, is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament on paper and parchment leaves. The manuscript palaeographically has been assigned to the 15th century. Some leaves of the codex were lost. The text-type is eclectic. It has been examined and collated by many palaeographers and textual critics. Although it is of late date, its text is remarkable from the point of view of textual critic. There are no marginalia. It is carelessly written with breathings and accents often given wrongly.



The codex contains the entire New Testament with four lacunae (Matthew 1:1-18:15; Acts 10:45-14:17; Jude 7-25; Apocalypse 19:10-22:21) on 213 leaves (37.8 cm by 27 cm). The text of the manuscript skips from Acts 10:45 to 14:17 without a break; possibly a scribe rewrote it from a defective manuscript. The codex is written on 91 leaves of parchment and 122 of paper. Usually two parchment leaves are followed by three paper leaves. The paper was very poor quality. It is so bad that four of the leaves were written only on one side. The leaves are arranged in quarto (four leaves in quire). There are catchwords from quire to quire and the first half of each quire the leaves are numbered (2nd, 3rd, 4th).

The original order of books was: Pauline epistles, Acts of the Apostles, Catholic epistles, Revelation of John, Gospels. The Pauline epistles precede Acts of the Apostles (like in Codex Sinaiticus). This order was changed by a binder: Gospels, Pauline epistles, Acts, Catholic epistles, and Apocalypse.

The text of Rev 18:7-19:10 is a fragmentary.

It has some non-biblical additional material like: An explanation of the Creed and the Seven Councils (fol. 159v), the Lives of the Apostles (fol. 160v), Limits of the Five Patriarchates (fol. 161r) like codices 211 and 543.

It contains Prolegomena to the Hebrews, the tables of the κεφαλαια (tables of contents) precede the three later Gospels with very unusual variations, but without corresponding numbers of the κεφαλαια (chapters) at the margin. There is no division into chapters or sections, no references to the Eusebian Canons, no liturgical markings at the margin. The marginal notes are often illegible. It contains subscriptions at the end of each book. In subscriptions are given numbers of στιχοι and numbers of ρηματα.

The headings of the Gospels are titled as in codex 178 — εκ του κατα Μαρκον.

Scribal habit

The text is written in one column per page, 37-38 lines per page. The large initial letters at the beginning of each book are written in red.

The writing is rather rough and inelegant. It was written by a strange hand, epsilon being recumbent and so much like alpha, that it is not clear which was intended. The accents are placed over the succeeding consonant of the vowel. "The whole style of writing resembling a careless scrawl" (Scrivener). There are numerous marginal notes written by a beautiful hand. This hand wrote words Ειμι Ιλερμου Χαρκου at the top of the first page. The hand of the corrector is nearly old as the scribe.

The name ιησους is always written at full length up to John 21:15, where we meet with ις, and in 41 other places, 19 of which are in the Acts. The nomina sacra are contracted in a usual way (δαδ, ις, κς, ουνος, ανος, χς, ιηλ, ιλημ, σηρ, πηρ, μηρ, πνα, στρος, and παρνος). The abbreviation χς (χρισος) once was used for χρηστος.

Ferrar enumerated 1129 errors of itacism in the codex: ο for ω (190 occurrences), ω for ο (126), η for ει (93), ει for η (104), ι for ει (77), ει for ι (62), η for ι (87), ι for η (46), ε for αι (73), αι for ε (72), ε for η (24), η for ε (20), υ for η (27 – rare elsewhere), η for υ (28), ου for ω (13), ω for ου (16), οι for ι (3), ι for οι (3), η for ευ (1 – in Luke 12:16), υ for ι (15), ι for υ (14), υ for η (6), υ for ε (1), υ for οι (4), υ for ει (3), οι for υ (4), οι for η (9), ο for ου (3), η for οι (3). There is also θ for τ (after σ) in Mark 10:40 and Luke 11:7.

N ephelkystikon is rarely omitted.

There are some unusual for late mediaeval manuscripts grammar forms: ειπαν (twice only – Matthew 26:35; Luke 20:2), ηλθατε (Matthew 25:36), εξηλθατε (Matthew 26:55; Mark 14:48; Luke 7:24.25.26; 22:52), εισηλθατε (all instances), ανεπεσαν (John 6:10), παραγενομενος (Luke 14:21). In some cases the accusatives are written with ending -αν for -α, e.g. νυκταν, θυγατεραν, χειραν. The gender is sometimes altered, verbs in -αω or -οω are formed as those in -εω (e.g. επηρωτουν, Luke 3:10; 20:27; επετιμουν, Luke 18:15; ετολμουν; ερωτουν; εμβριμουμενος and others). The augment is often omitted after Luke 11:44, but all before Luke 9, and there is a double augment in ηπηντησαν (John 4:51).


Textually codex 69 is very remarkable; it belongs to Family 13, as very important member of this group—according to some scholars even the most important. The Greek text of the Gospels of this codex is representative of the Caesarean text-type. Aland placed it in Category III. It was confirmed by the Claremont Profile Method.

In Pauline epistles and Catholic epistles its text is a Byzantine. Aland placed it in Category V. In the Book of Revelation its text belongs to the Byzantine text-type, but with a large number of unique textual variants, in close relationship to the Uncial 046 and Minuscule 61, which appears to have been copied from it. These three manuscripts constitute a subgroup of the Byzantine text-type.

The text of Christ's agony at Gethsemane (Luke 22:43-44) is placed after Matt 26:39. The Pericope Adulterae (John 7:53-8:11) is placed after Luke 21. This is typical for the manuscripts of the Ferrar Group.

In John 4:5 it reads Σιχαρ for Συχαρ.

In 2 Cor 11:17 it reads ανθρωπον for κυριον.

Although there is no liturgical equipment in the codex, many of its various readings have arisen from lectionaries.


Wettstein and J. Rendel Harris dated the manuscript to the 14th century, C. R. Gregory to the 15th century. Currently it is dated by the INTF to the 15th century. Rendel Harris suggested that it was written by Emmanuel from Constantinople.

The manuscript was presented to George Neville, Archbishop of York (1465–1472). It once belonged to Richard Brinkley (or Brinkeley), who probably got it from Covenant of Grey Friars at Cambridge (like minuscule 61). Then it belonged to William Chark (or Charc), mentioned in marginal notes of codex 61. Then it belonged to Thomas Hayne, who in 1641 gave this codex with his other books to the Leicester Library.

John Mill was permitted to use this manuscript at Oxford, and collated it there in 1671 (as L). Another collation was made by John Jackson and William Tiffin was lent to Wettstein through César de Missy. Wettstein had observed a close affinity between this codex and minuscule 13. It was also examined by Edward Gee. Tregelles re-collated it in 1852 for his edition of the Greek New Testament. Scrivener collated it again in 1855 and published his results, with a full description in the Appendix to his "Codex Augiensis". It was collated by T. K. Abbott along with three other manuscripts of the Ferrar family (marked by L). It was examined and described by Rendel Harris. Gregory saw it in 1883.

Formerly it was held in the library of the Town Council of Leicester. The codex now is located in Leicestershire Record Office (Cod. 6 D 32/1) at Leicester.


Minuscule 69 Wikipedia

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