Terms for Manuscript Studies

This page gathers terms that were introduced over the course of a particular undergraduate class on manuscript studies, and so it is a bit idiosyncratic, including terms used in art history and terms used in palaeography. Some of it draws on Michelle Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms, recently revised by Elizabeth C. Teviotdale and Nancy K. Turner (London: The British Library, 2018).

There is an excellent, searchable Lexicon at the HMML Reading Room.

There is a separate page crafted for this course that includes images of the Script Samples we used during a survey of the development of western scripts.

Most of the images in the Visual Companion at the bottom of the page are taken from The Walters Ex Libris, the online collection of The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, which makes its images freely available for non-commercial use. In cases where I could not find a suitable example in the Walters collection, I have used images from e-codices, the Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland, whose member libraries have designated their images either Public Domain or freely available for non-commercial use. The caption lines for the images are linked to the sources. The terms are keyed to relevant images in each entry. The images are arranged in roughly chronological order.

Acephalous: literally, “without a head”; the term is used for manuscripts that have lost their opening pages

Anthropomorphic initial (or decoration): formed out of a human figure or figures (Bodmer 34) (W.39)

Antiphonal (Antiphonary, Antiphoner): contains the music for the Office (W.761)

Arms (when used to describe parts of a letter; for heraldic use, see Heraldic Initial below): the horizontal strokes of letters such as e, f, L

Ascender: the part of a letter that rises above the base line (W.21)

Aspect: the general appearance of a script

Author portrait: a miniature or initial showing the author of a text; authors sometimes appear in presentation portraits (Bodmer 41) (W.141)

Bar: the horizontal stroke of a letter such as a or h

Bas-de-page: images at base of manuscript page, not always related to text (W.79) (W.88) (W.89)

Benedictional: contains episcopal blessings (St Gall 398)

Bifolium: a sheet of parchment folded in half, producing 2 leaves (in our terms, 4 pages)

Biting: when the bows of rounded letters touch/ merge

Book of Hours: a personal devotional book containing prayers and often other elements such as a calendar and various offices (W.39)(W.88) (W.89) (W.165)

Bookplate: an ownership indication, often glued to the inside cover of a manuscript or book by a later owner (St Gall 95) (W.2)

Boss: a piece of metal, sometimes decorative, on the outside of a manuscript binding (W.8)

Bow: the rounded part of a letter such as b, d, p (W.83)

Breviary: contains the text for the Office (prayers and set readings for throughout the day) (W.83)

Calendar: often found at the beginning of liturgical and devotional texts. It records such things as saints’ days, and so can reveal clues as to origin (because some saints had associations with particular places). Calendars might also be used by owners to note special dates (W.78)

Canon tables: a concordance to the Gospels, often found at the beginning of Gospel books (W.4) (W.836)

Carpet page: an ornamental page, often found in Insular manuscripts (St Gall 51)

Catchword: the first word of a following page, written at the bottom of the preceding page (W.144)

Codex: a book, formed of folded sheets of parchment or paper

Colophon: an inscription at the end of a manuscript (or a printed book), sometimes simply celebrating the end of the book, and sometimes with information about the production, perhaps including such things as a scribe’s name, the name of a text, a date (W.79)

Descender: the part of a letter that goes below the base line (W.21)

Display script: larger, more elaborate script used for headings and so on (W.1) (W.3) (W.9) (W.18)

Dittography: a scribal error of multiplication, resulting from copying the same word or phrase more than once

Donor portrait: a miniature commemorating the gift of a donor (W.89) (W.175)

Drollery: see Grotesque

Ductus: describes the order and direction of strokes making up a letter

Encaustum: a kind of ink, containing acidic material so that it would “bite” into parchment

Exemplar: a manuscript from which another manuscript is copied

Explicit: Latin for “here ends”; used to indicate the end of a text or section of a text (W.4)

Evangelary: a book containing the Gospel readings for the Mass (Bern 348)

Evangelist portrait: a figure of one of the four evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), often occurring at the beginning of the relevant Gospel (Schaffhausen Min.8) (W.1) (W.7) (W.527)

Evangelist symbols: the symbols associated with each Gospel writer: Matthew = man; Mark = lion; Luke = bull; John = eagle; sometimes these figures have wings (Bern 348) (Schaffhausen Min.8) (W.7)

Eyeskip: a scribal error of omission, caused by jumping from a set of letters, a word, or a phrase, to a nearby similar instance

Explicit: Latin for “here ends”: used to indicate the end of a section, text, or book

Flesh side: the side of a sheet of parchment that faced the inside of the animal; it can be noticeably lighter than the hair side

Finial: a decorative Serif

Foliate initial: an initial filled with leaves/ vegetation (W.25) (W.175)

Folio: a sheet of writing support; the front is called the recto, and the back is called the verso

Fore edge: the edge of a book, opposite the spine

Gilding: the application of gold, usually in leaf form

Girdle book: a small book that can be attached to a belt

Gloss: a word or words in the margin of a text, added as clarification or commentary (W.21)

Gospel: a manuscript containing some or all the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) (Bodmer 34) (St Gall 51) (Schaffhausen Min.8) (W.1) (W.3) (W.4) (W.7) (W.527) (W.539) (W.751) (W.836)

Gradual: contains music (chants) for the Mass (W.756)

Grisaille: monochrome painting (or the monochrome image it produces), often in grey (W.165) (W.199)

Grotesque (Hybrid, Drollery): amusing, hybrid, comic figures (W.39)(W.83) (W.88) (W.89)

Guide letter: a letter written to tell a scribe or artist what letter to use in, for example, a decorated initial; sometimes guide letters can still be seen, either in manuscripts in which the decoration is unfinished, or when they were placed in the margins, rather than in the space for the initial

Gymnastic initial: particularly lively example of anthropomorphic or zoomorphic initial (W.25)

Hair side: the side of a sheet of parchment that faced outwards, on which the animal’s hair grew; hair follicles can often be seen on this side (Lausanne V1765) (St Gall 635)

Hand: an individual scribal realization of a script

Head (Top stroke): the horizontal stroke of letters such as T

Heraldic shield/ initial: a decorative element identifying a noble family, often owners of a manuscript (W.83) (W.89) (W.175) (W.312)

Historiated initial: contains an identifiable scene or figures, sometimes related to the text (W.33) (W.39) (W.83) (W.756) (W.761)

Hybrid: see Grotesque

Illuminated manuscript: decorated with colour, particularly gold and/ or silver (W.9) (W.79) (W.83) (W.751) (W.756) (W.761)

Illumination: see Miniature

Incipit: Latin for “here begins”; used to indicate the beginning of a text or section of a text

Inhabited initial: a large decorated initial including animal or human figures, but without suggesting a specific scene (Bodmer 41) (W.25) (W.79) (W.83)

Interlace: a type of complex decoration, often found in Insular manuscripts among others (St Gall 51) (W.3) (W.751)

Inversion: a scribal error, reversing word order

Lectionary: contains readings for use in the liturgy (W.8) (W.9)

Ligature: the joining of letters

Lunellum: a tool used to scrape a soaked hide, on the way to making it into parchment

Majuscule: a largely upper-case script (W.3) (W.9) (W.18) (W.756)

Manicule: a marker in the shape of a hand, in the margin of a text, used to draw attention to a particular passage (Lausanne V1765)

Miniature (sometimes called an Illumination): an independent illustration (that is, not an initial) (W.89) (W.106) (W.141) (W.165)(W.199) (W.539)

Minim: the short vertical stroke in letters such as i, m, n

Minuscule: a script made up largely of lower-case forms (W.1) (W.9)

Mise-en-page (Ordinatio): the layout of a page

Missal: contains the texts (chants, prayers, readings) for the Mass (W.33) (W.175)

Pandect: a manuscript containing all the books of the Bible

Parchment: a writing support made of animal skin

Paraf: a mark in the margin or text of a manuscript, often shaped like a C, indicating a paragraph or similar textual division (Bodmer 41) (W.307) (W.355)

Pastedown: a leaf or pieces of manuscript pasted onto the inner boards of a bound manuscript, to smooth the structure and cover binding elements (W.2) (W.33)

Pecia system: a system used to supply texts for the university market; approved exemplars of important texts were divided into sections that could be loaned out to scribes who would make multiple copies of them

Pen trial: a scribble, doodle, phrase, or test letters made when a scribe was testing their pen (St Gall 95)

Per cola et commata: a form of textual division relying, not on word separation, but on separation according to phrasing, emphasis

Plummet: a piece of lead in a holder, used to draw lines as part of the layout and production of a text

Pounce: a chalky substance used to sand/ polish a writing surface

Presentation miniature: shows the presentation of a book to its patron; often the image shows the author presenting the book (W.312)

Pricking: marking holes on a page in order to facilitate the ruling of lines for text (St Gall 398)

Provenance: the history of who owned a manuscript

Psalter: contains the text of the Psalms. Psalters often include visual references to King David, who was believed to be the author of the Psalms (W.25) (W.78) (W.79)

Quire: a bundle (gathering, booklet) of pages – the building blocks of a manuscript

Recto: the front of a folio

Roundel: a decorative circular medallion, often found in the frame of a decorated page (W.78) (W.751)

Rubric: a title or textual division, often written in red (the name derives from the Latin for red) (Sion S 94) (W.21) (W.144) (W.307) (W.312) (W.355)

Ruling: the drawing of lines to indicate layout and to facilitate writing (Lausanne V1765) (W.79) (W.144)

Running title: a title at the top of a page, indicating the work or section of a work (Lausanne V1765) (W.199)

Scriptio (Scriptura) continua: continous writing, with no space between words (St Gall 1394)

Scriptorium: a place where books were copied

Script: a general type of writing (the model the scribe has in mind)

Serif: a small stroke attached to a larger stroke; a finial is a decorative version

Shelf mark: indicates where a book may be found in a library; some manuscripts have both common names and shelf marks

Signe-de-renvoi: a symbol placed where an error has been made and in the margin of a text, linking a correction to the appropriate spot (St Gall 635)

Stemma: a text’s family tree; an attempt to map out the relationship between texts and exemplars

Tawed binding: a binding where the leather has been treated with alum to produce a white colour (W.148)

Tironian notes: abbreviations, so-called after Tiro, Cicero’s secretary, who invented a kind of shorthand

Tooling: a design made on the binding material of a manuscript (and sometimes on the gold leaf in an illumination, W.106), often with the use of heated metal tools; it might have colour or gold applied to it (W.340) (W.478)

Treasure binding: an elaborate binding, often consisting of jewels, ivory plaques, gold, or silver (W.8)

Vellum: a writing support made of calf skin

Vernacular: a local language, as distinct from Latin; Middle English is an example

Verso: the back of a folio

X-height: the part of the letter contained by two horizontal lines; the ascenders and descenders are the parts of the letter that go above or below the x-height

Zoomorphic initial: made entirely out of animals (Sion S 94) (W.25)

A Visual Companion

This is a fragment from a late 4th-century manuscript of Vergil’s Aeneid. It is written in SCRIPTIO CONTINUA.

The script is Uncial.

The language is Latin.

The decoration of this Irish GOSPEL book from c. 750 includes a CARPET page with INTERLACE design.

In this copy from around 800 of Paul the Deacon’s Historia Longobardorum, you can see that an omission has been provided at the bottom of the page, marked by a SIGNE-DE-RENVOI.

It is easy to see that this is the HAIR SIDE of the parchment (look at the highly visible hair follices in the top right, for example).

The manuscript was written in northern Italy. The language is Latin.

This 9th-century copy of De fide ad Gratianum contra perfidiam Arrianorum has a BOOKPLATE, in the form of the monastic library’s inked stamp, and a PEN TRIAL on its opening page.

While you can’t see it here, this manuscript is still in its original binding.

This EVANGELARY from Fleury, dated to around 820, includes this page, showing the hand of God above the four EVANGELIST SYMBOLS (Matthew as a winged man, Mark as a winged lion, Luke as a winged bull, and John as an eagle)

Walters W.2, inside front cover

The front inner cover of this manuscript (a copy of works by St Augustine, made in northeastern France in the second half of the 9th century), has a PASTEDOWN made from another manuscript – if you leaf through the digitization, you can see the stub of the pastedown showing at the edge of folio 9v.

The pastedown is from an early 11th-century Italian liturgical manuscript, so it is later than the original manuscript: the current binding was done in Paris in the late 19th or early 20th century.

There is also a BOOKPLATE, belonging to an 18th-century French owner.

Walters MS W.4, fol. 32v

The Freising GOSPELS were made in Freising, Germany, around 875. This is one of the CANON TABLES.

The script in the manuscript is Caroline minuscule for the most part, but the EXPLICIT at the bottom right of this page is written in Rustic capitals.

The language is Latin.

This 10th-century GOSPEL book was produced in the 10th century, probably in Halberstadt. In this EVANGELIST PORTRAIT, the evangelist Matthew is shown with his EVANGELIST SYMBOL, a winged man.

Walters MS W.1, fol. 77v

The image below shows the opening of the Gospel of Luke: this page from the same manuscript shows the EVANGELIST PORTRAIT of Luke that faces the beginning of the text, when the manuscript is opened.

Walters MS W.1, fol. 78r

This GOSPEL book was made in Brittany in the early 10th century.

This page shows DISPLAY SCRIPT at the opening of the Gospel of Luke.

The script is Caroline MINUSCULE.

The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.751, fol. 4r

This leaf is part of a fragment of a GOSPEL book from Corvey in Germany, c. 940 – 975. The ILLUMINATED initial to the opening of the Gospel of John features elaborate INTERLACE.

The ROUNDELS contain stylized animals.

Walters MS W.3, fol. 20r

The opening page of the GOSPEL of Matthew in this late 10th-century manuscript from France features an elaborate INTERLACE initial and a MAJUSCULE DISPLAY SCRIPT.

Walters MS W.527, fol. 1v

This EVANGELIST PORTRAIT of Mark comes from a GOSPEL book written in Constantinople c. 1000.

The language is Greek.

This is a BENEDICTIONAL written in Mainz, Germany, around the year 1000. If you look closely at the right edge (particularly in the online facsimile), you can see PRICKING for the lines that would have guided the writing of the text.

The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.8, binding

This TREASURE BINDING is from an 11th-century GOSPEL LECTIONARY made in Regensburg, Germany. There are BOSSES on the corners of the binding.

Walters MS W.9, fol. 152v

This LECTIONARY was made around the year 1000 in Trier, Germany. The DISPLAY SCRIPT here includes letters ILLUMINATED in gold, as well as a MAJUSCULE script.

The main script is Caroline MINUSCULE.

The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.7, fol. 161v

In this EVANGELIST PORTRAIT from the Reichenau GOSPELS, the evangelist John can be seen looking up towards his EVANGELIST SYMBOL, the eagle.

This manuscript was produced at Reichenau Abbey in Germany, in the middle of the 11th century.

Walters MS W.18, fol. 29r

This page from the Rochester New Testament, which was made at Rochester Cathedral Priory in the first half of the 12th century, shows DISPLAY SCRIPT. This is a MAJUSCULE script.

There is another volume of this Bible (it was originally part of a 5-volume set) in the British Library: London, British Library, Royal MS 1 C vii.

The script is Protogothic.

The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.21, fol. 30v

In this late 12th-century manuscript from northeastern France, the scribe has extended the ASCENDERS at the top of the column, and the DESCENDERS at the bottom of the column, for decorative effect.

There are GLOSSES in the margin in red; there are also red RUBRICS.

The manuscript is a collection of classical, late antique, and medieval texts associated with things such as the history of Alexander the Great.

The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.25, fol. 1v

This is the opening of a late 12th- or early 13th-century PSALTER, from the Rhineland in Germany. As is often the case in psalters, the first page (sometimes called the Beatus vir page, from the first words of Psalm 1) features an image of King David playing his harp.

The floral/ vegetative decoration makes this a FOLIATE INITIAL. It is also, thanks to the presence of David and the angel above him, an INHABITED INITIAL.

The script is a Gothic bookhand.

The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.25, fol. 72r

This INHABITED INITIAL here might also be called a GYMNASTIC INITIAL, given the energetic battle between the man and the dragon it contains. The letter S here could be said to be ZOOMORPHIC, as it is created by the dragon’s body.

Walters MS W.33, fol. 9r

The Melk MISSAL was made for a Benedictine Abbey in Melk, Austria, at the end of the 12th or beginning of the 13th century. The HISTORIATED INITIAL shows Jonah being swallowed by the whale.

Walters MS W.33, back board

The back board of this MISSAL has a PASTEDOWN.

Walters MS W.106, fol. 21v

This MINIATURE is by William de Brailes, a 13th-century English artist.

This ILLUMINATION shows the Ascension of Christ.

Note the TOOLING on the gold leaf in the background.

Walters MS W.78, fol. 6r

This is a CALENDAR page from a PSALTER, produced in Augsburg, Germany, in the mid-13th century. This is the page for July. The ROUNDELS on the page contain a picture of a woman with a sickle, and the zodiacal sign Leo.

The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.539, fol. 68r

The T’oros Roslin GOSPELS were made in 1262 by the illuminator of that name, in Hromlka, Armenia. The MINIATURE shows Jesus walking on the water.

The language is Armenian.

Walters MS W.756; single leaf

The image is a single leaf from a GRADUAL. The manuscript dates to the mid-13th century, and is from southern Germany.

It includes a HISTORIATED INITIAL, showing the Assumption of the Virgin.

The initial is ILLUMINATED in gold.

The first words (starting Gaude horus) are in a MAJUSCULE DISPLAY SCRIPT. The main script is Gothic.

The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.761, fol. 4r

This page from the Beaupre ANTIPHONARY, illuminated in Hainault c. 1280, features a HISTORIATED INITIAL showing the Annunciation to the Shepherds and the Nativity.

The initial and borders are ILLUMINATED.

The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.39, fol. 33r

This BOOK OF HOURS was made in northeastern France or Western Flanders, around 1275 – 1300. This page includes a HISTORIATED INITIAL showing the Three Marys at the tomb of Christ, as well as DROLLERIES in the margin, including an ANTHROPOLOGICAL grotesque.

Walters MS W.79, fol. 56r

In this PSALTER, made in East Anglia in the early 14th century, you can clearly see the RULING used to organize the page.

The INHABITED INITIAL shows the Fool talking to God. Both it and the DISPLAY SCRIPT at the beginning of the page are ILLUMINATED in gold.

The BAS-DE-PAGE figures show a rabbit being chased by dogs.

The text is Psalm 52, in Latin.

Walters MS W.79, fol. 191r

At the end of the same manuscript as the image above, there is a COLOPHON. It reads (in Latin):

Finito libro sit laus et

gloria Christo. Amen

(The book is finished: glory and praise to Christ, Amen).

I have expanded two abbreviations here: one for “et,” and the other for “Christo”

Again you can see the RULING on the page.

Walters MS W.144, fol. 17v

This page from Henri de Gauchy’s Les livres du gouvernement des roys et des princes has a CATCHWORD in the bottom right corner.

The manuscript was copied in England in the first quarter of the 14th century.

There is a RUBRIC at the top of the first column, in red.

The RULING can be seen fairly clearly, particularly for the columns.

The script is a semi-formal Gothic bookhand.

The language is French.

Walters MS W.836, fol. 4r

This is one of the CANON TABLES from the beginning of a manuscript of Ethiopian GOSPELS, written in Tǝgray in the early 14th century.

The language is Gǝ‛ǝz.

Walters MS W.88, fol. 14v

This BOOK OF HOURS was made for the diocese of Cambrai in French Flanders, c. 1300 – 1310. This is the CALENDAR page for December. The BAS-DE-PAGE figures are a man and a woman baking.

The initial features DROLLERIES (an animal and a human head) as part of its decoration.

This INHABITED INITIAL features an AUTHOR PORTRAIT, showing Boethius pointing at a copy of his book. There are red PARAFS marking parts of the text. The manuscript is a copy of Boethius’s De consolatione Philosophiae, made in northern Italy in the second half of the 14th century. The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.141, fol. 1r

This copy of Guillaume de Deguileville’s Le pèlerinage de la vie humaine opens with a MINIATURE featuring an AUTHOR PORTRAIT, showing the author reading aloud from his work. This manuscript was made in northeastern France in the third quarter of the fourteenth century. The language is French.

Walters MS W.89, fol. 3v

This BOOK OF HOURS was made around 1380 in France.

The ILLUMINATION is a DONOR PORTRAIT showing Isabelle de Coucy, for whose marriage the book was commissioned, with the Virgin and Child.

There is a HERALDIC SHIELD with the Coucy arms.

Walters MS W.89, fol. 4r

This ILLUMINATED page from the BOOK OF HOURS includes a HERALDIC INITIAL with the conjoined arms of Isabelle de Coucy and Raoul II de Raineval, the couple for whose marriage the book was commissioned.

There is a DROLLERY (a dragon, I think) in the decorative margin, and a BAS-DE-PAGE illustration of a dog chasing rabbits.

The script is Gothic textura formata.

The language is French.

This page from a late 14th- or early 15th-century copy of Henry Suso’s Horologium Sapientiae has an elaborate MANICULE that holds a scroll and points at a section of the text. The manuscript, made in Italy, featured RUNNING TITLES (book and chapter numbers). On this page, you can see the remnants of the RULING at the top of the columns, and it is also easy to see that this is the HAIR SIDE of the parchment, as it is notably dark, and follicles are visible.

The script is a semi-cursive Gothic. The language is Latin

Walters MS W.355, fol. 2v

This is one of Aesop’s fables, from a collection of moralizing texts written in Italy in the 15th century. There is a RUBRIC above the start of a new story (also indicated by the line drawing of the man and his dog), and there are two PARAFS.

The language is Latin.

This German translation of Jean de Mandeville’s Voyages includes this ZOOMORPHIC initial. There is also a RUBRIC introducing the chapter. The manuscript is paper, dating from the 15th century.

Walters MS W.83, fol. 7v

This BREVIARY was made for a church in Liège in around 1420.

The HISTORIATED INITIAL shows David playing the harp, and the start of the Psalms, in the top BOW, and the HERALDIC SHIELD of the family of Surlet de Chokier in the bottom BOW.

The script is Littera Batarda.

The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.83, fol. 41r

Another page from this BREVIARY shows an INHABITED INITIAL with the figure of a fool, and a HYBRID/ DROLLERY in the bottom of the frame.

Walters MS W.165, fol. 100v

The Loftie Hours is a BOOK OF HOURS made in the Netherlands in the middle of the 15th century. This GRISAILLE MINIATURE shows the Last Judgement.

Though you cannot see it on this page, the manuscript is written in Dutch.

Walters MS W.312, fol. 1r

In this PRESENTATION MINIATURE, the author, Laurent de Premierfait, presents a copy of his French translation of Cicero’s De amicitia to Jean, Duke de Berry.

The manuscript was made in 1470, by which point both Jean and Laurent were long dead. The HERALDIC SHIELD in the bottom margin is unfinished.

A RUBRIC introduces the text, which is in French.

Walters MS W.307, fol. 88r

The Trésor de sapience is an account of the creation of the world, up to 138 CE. This page includes a RUBRIC for a major text division, as well as several PARAF marks for minor divisions.

The manuscript was probably illuminated in Bruges, c. 1470 – 1480.

The script is Littera Batarda.

The language is French.

Walters MS W.199, fol. 30r

This manuscript is dated quite precisely, to February 20, 1489. It is a copy of Gossouin of (Gautier de) Metz’s Image du Monde. This page has a GRISAILLE MINIATURE showing a cleric with mathematical tools and shapes. There is a PARAF preceding the RUBRIC that introduces a new section of the text. There is also a RUNNING TITLE, in the form of a chapter number, in the top margin.

The language is French.

Walters MS W.340, binding

This late 15th-century northern Italian copy of the Rule of St Augustine is still in its original, TOOLED leather binding.

Walters MS W.478, binding

This Italian treatise on cosmetics from c. 1500 still has its original binding. Here, the TOOLING is filled with gold. You can also see the clasps that would have helped to keep the book shut.

Walters MS W.175, fol. 122r

This MISSAL was produced in Utrecht in the Netherlands, around 1500. This page shows a DONOR PORTRAIT. The HERALDIC SHIELDS in the decoration help to identify the donors.

The main text initial is an example of a FOLIATE INITIAL. The margins contain highly realistic flowers (and a monkey).

The script is Bâtarde. The language is Latin.

Walters MS W.148, binding

This TAWED BINDING dates to the 16th century; the book within is a 14th-century text.

This GOSPEL book from 1606 was written in Istanbul. This page includes an ANTHROPOMORPHIC initial.

The language is Armenian.