Lot 10
  • 10

Homilies, in medieval Georgian, in nuskuri script, manuscript on vellum [Georgia, eleventh century]

3,000 - 5,000 GBP
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  • Vellum
a single leaf, 250mm. by 193mm., single column, 25 lines in brown ink in a fine nuskuri script, some later marginalia, slight water-damage at top, small spots and stains, else good condition, hessian binding



Acquired by Martin Schøyen from Sam Fogg in 1992; Schøyen MS 1599.

Catalogue Note


Georgian is the principal surviving example of the South Caucasian language group, completely unrelated to the Indo-European or Finno-Ugric languages of Europe. The script is derived from Greek, and reads from left to right and uses separate vowel symbols. It has a rich and deep heritage: it is first mentioned as a spoken language by the Roman grammarian Marcus Cornelius Fronto in the second century AD., who referred to the incomprehensibility of the tongue. Fragments and inscriptions of written texts survive from the fifth century onwards.

The vast majority of medieval manuscripts in Georgian are in libraries in Tbiblisi and Kutaisi in Georgia itself, with a handful in St. Petersburg and Moscow, the Greek patriarchate in Jerusalem, St. Catherine's on Mount Sinai, and Yerevan, Armenia.

The present text concerns a sinner on the point of death, pleading with the angels who have come to take him to his judgement.