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Codex Marianus

Codex Marianus

The Codex Marianus is an Old Church Slavonic fourfold Gospel Book written in Glagolitic script, dated to the beginning of 11th century,[1] which is (along with Codex Zographensis), one of the oldest manuscript witnesses to the Old Church Slavonic language, one of the two fourfold gospels being part of the Old Church Slavonic canon.


  • History 1
  • Linguistic analysis and origin 2
  • Legacy 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
  • Further reading 7


Most of the Codex (172 folios, 171 according to some sources) was discovered by Viktor Grigorovič at Mount Athos during a journey to the Balkans in 1844-45, in a hermitage belonging to the Monastery of the Holy Mother of God (the Blessed Theotokos), and thus the manuscript was named Codex Marianus in Latin. Grigorovič took the found folios to Kazan', and after his death in 1876 the Codex was transferred to Russian State Library in Moscow where it carries the catalog number грнг 6 (M.1689). Croatian diplomat and amateur scholar Antun Mihanović acquired 2 folios (containing Matthew 5.23 - 6.16) some time before Grigorovič made his discovery, and sent it to renowned Slovene Slavist Franc Miklošič, who had them published in 1850. After Miklošič's death, the two-folio fragment was deposited in the Austrian National Library in Vienna under the catalog number Cod. Slav. 146.

The Codex was first published by Croatian Slavist Vatroslav Jagić in 1883 in Saint Petersburg as Quattuor Evangeliorum versionis palaeoslovenicae Codex Marianus Glagoliticus, transcribed in Cyrllic and with extensive philological commentary in Latin. Reprint was published in Graz in 1960.

Linguistic analysis and origin

Text of Codex especially abounds with the usage of asigmatic aorist, and very frequent is the assimilation of vowels in compound adjectival declension and present forms (-aago, -uumu instead of -aego, -uemu; -aatъ instead of -aetъ etc.).

During the late 19th. century Jagić deduced that the manuscript could have originated on Štokavian area (cf. the characteristics of Croatian and Serbian recension). Analysing the language of the Codex he has been ascertained that one of the scribes of the Codex came from Štokavian area, namely the one under Eastern-rite, on the basis of substitutions u - ǫ, i - y, u - , e - ę etc. At the same time the Bulgarian researcher Lyubomir Miletich analysing some dialectal characteristics, claimed Western Bulgarian, i.e. Macedonian origin of the Codex.[2]

Later researchers as Josip Hamm has warned that vocalization of yers (ъ > o, ь > e), as well as the occasional disappearance of epenthetic l, suggests Macedonian provenience. According to F. Curta, the book was "certainly of Macedonian origin", written "either in Ohrid or in one of the monastic centers in the region."[3] According to H. G. Lunt, "Certain deviations from the theoretical norms indicate Macedonian influences, others possibly Serbian (if not northern Macedonian)".[4] There are a number of arguments that link the Codex Marianus with territory that bordered that of Serbia.[5] According to Hanne Eckhoff the Codex is of Macedonian origin, probably written in the Ohrid Literary School.[6] It is difficult to answer whether the Codex was created before the end of the First Bulgarian Empire (1018), or after its Byzantine conquest, i.e. into the theme of Bulgaria.[7] Lunt proposed the 1030s,[4] but David Diringer dates it from the late 10th. century.[8]


The book is enumerated in Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbian[9] historical literary corpus.

Codex forms the base text for the contemporary rendition of the New Testament on the basis of the Slavic recensions in the series Novum Testamentum Palaeoslovenice.


  1. ^ Vaganay, Léon; Christian-Bernard Amphoux, Jenny Heimerdinger (1991). An introduction to New Testament textual criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 44.  
  2. ^ „Особеностите на езика на Марийнския паметник“, Любомир Милетич, „Периодическо списание на Българското книжовно дружество“, V, 1880 г., кн. 19-20. 219-252
  3. ^ Florin Curta (2006). Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250. Cambridge University Press. p. 285.  
  4. ^ a b Horace Gray Lunt (2001). Old Church Slavonic Grammar. Walter de Gruyter. p. 7. The Codex Marianus (Mar) has 174 folia, containing the Gospel text from Mt 5:23 to John 21:7. Certain deviations from the theoretical norms indicate Macedonian influences, others possibly Serbian (if not northern Macedonian). 
  5. ^ Monastic Traditions: Selected Proceedings of the Fourth International Hilandar Conference, the Ohio State University, 14-15 August 1998, Charles E. Gribble, Predrag Matejić Издание, Slavica, 2003, ISBN 0893573124, p. 15.
  6. ^ Old Russian Possessive Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach. Studies and Monographs [TiLSM, Hanne Martine Eckhoff, Walter de Gruyter, 2011, ISBN 3110255049, pp. 187-188.]
  7. ^ Slavic Scriptures: The Formation of the Church Slavonic Version of the Holy Bible, Henry R. Cooper, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2003, ISBN 0838639720, pp. 97-98.
  8. ^ The Illuminated Book: Its History and Production, David Diringer, Faber, 1967, p. 115.
  9. ^ Mateja Matejić (1978). An Anthology of Medieval Serbian Literature in English. 



External links

  • Codex Marianus transliterated in 7-bit ASCII, at the Corpus Cyrillo-Methodianum Helsingiense
  • Codex Marianus, at TITUS project

Further reading

  •   (reprint Graz: Akademsiche Druck, 1960).
  • B. M. Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 405-406.
  • Evangelium secundum Ioannem, Novum Testamentum Palaeoslovenice 1 (St. Petersburg, 1998).
  • M. Garzaniti, Die altslavische Version der Evangelien, (Köln: Böhlau, 2001).
  • Ђ. Трифуновић, Ка почецима српске писмености, Београд 2001
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