Codex Petropolitanus Purpureus


Codex Petropolitanus Purpureus, designated by N or 022 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), ε 19 (Soden), is a Greek New Testament codex containing the four Gospels. It has been paleographically dated to the 6th century.[1]

Uncial 022
New Testament manuscript
Matthew 10:10-17
Matthew 10:10-17
NamePetropolitanus Purpureus
Date6th century
FoundSarmisahly (or Sarumsahly)
Now atNational Library of Russia
Size32 cm x 27 cm
Notepurple codex

Codex Petropolitanus Purpureus, along with the manuscripts Φ, O, and Σ, belongs to the group of the Purple Uncials. The manuscript is very lacunose.[1]


The codex is made of 231 parchment leaves (32 x 27 cm), with the text written in two columns, 16 lines per page, 12 letters in line, in large uncial letters. The lettering is in silver ink on vellum dyed purple, with gold ink used for the nomina sacra (ΙΣ, ΘΣ, ΚΣ, ΥΣ, and ΣΩΤΗΡ). It has errors of iotacisms, as the change of ι and ει, αι and ε.[2] It has been calculated the original codex contained 462 leaves.[3]

The tables of κεφάλαια (tables of contents) were placed before each Gospel. The text is divided according to the κεφάλαια (chapters), whose numbers are given at the margin, with τίτλοι (titles of chapters) at the top of the pages. The Ammonian sections and the Eusebian Canons are presented in the margin.[2]


Gospel of Matthew 1:1-24, 2:7-20, 3:4-6:24, 7:15-8:1, 8:24-31, 10:28-11:3, 12:40-13:4, 13:33-41, 14:6-22, 15:14-31, 16:7-18:5, 18:26-19:6, 19:13-20:6, 21:19-26:57, 26:65-27:26, 27:34-end;

Gospel of Mark 1:1-5:20. 7:4-20, 8:32-9:1, 10:43-11:7, 12:19-14:25, 15:23-33, 15:42-16:20;

Gospel of Luke 1:1-2:23, 4:3-19, 4:26-35, 4:42-5:12, 5:33-9:7, 9:21-28, 9:36-58, 10:4-12, 10:35-11:14, 11:23-12:12, 12:21-29, 18:32-19:17, 20:30-21:22, 22:49-57, 23:41-24:13, 24:21-39, 24:49-end;

Gospel of John 1:1-21, 1:39-2:6, 3:30-4:5, 5:3-10, 5:19-26, 6:49-57, 9:33-14:2, 14:11-15:14, 15:22-16:15, 20:23-25, 20:28-30, 21:20-end.[4]: 691 


The text of the codex is a representative of the Byzantine text-type, with numerous pre-Byzantine readings.[5]: 79  According to Scrivener "it exhibits strong Alexandrian forms."[6] According to Streeter, in parts it has some Caesarean readings. Aland placed it in Category V,[1] and it is certain that it is more Byzantine than anything else.

The texts of Luke 22:43-44, and John 7:53–8:11 are omitted.

In John 1:27 it has the addition εκεινος υμας Βαπτιζει εν πνευματι αγιω και πυρι (He shall baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire).[4]: 249 


Text of John 14:6 in facsimile edition

It is understood that the manuscript originated in the imperial scriptorium of Constantinople and was dismembered by crusaders in the 12th century. In 1896 Nicholas II of Russia commissioned Fyodor Uspensky's Russian Archaeological Institute of Constantinople to buy the greater part of it for the Imperial Public Library in St. Petersburg.[2]

The codex was examined by Lambeck, Montfaucon, Hermann Treschow, Alter, Hartel, Wickholf, Bianchini, H.S. Cronin, and Duchesne.

Wettstein in 1715 examined 4 leaves housed at London (Cotton Titus C. XV) and marked them by I.[7]: 40  Wettstein cited only 5 of its readings. According to Scrivener it has 57 various readings.[8][6]: 139–140  Bianchini described portions housed at the Vatican Library. The same portions examined and collated for Scholz Gaetano Luigi Marini.

Vienna fragments, Codex Vindobonensis, were examined by Wettstein, who marked them by siglum N.[7]: 41  Treschow in 1773 and Alter in 1787 had given imperfect collations of Vienna fragments.[9] Peter Lambeck gave the wrong suggestion that Vienna fragments and Vienna Genesis originally belonged to the same codex.[2][10]

Tischendorf published fragments of this manuscript in 1846 in his Monumenta sacra et profana. Tischendorf considered it as a fragment of the same codex as 6 leaves from Vatican, and 2 leaves from Vienna.[8]

Louis Duchesne described the Patmos portions (1876).[11] Athens and New York portions were edited by Stanley Rypins in 1956.

A facsimile of all fragments was published 2002 in Athens.[12]

Present locationEdit

The 231 extant folios of the manuscript are kept in different libraries:[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Aland, Kurt; Aland, Barbara (1995). The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism. Erroll F. Rhodes (trans.). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-8028-4098-1.
  2. ^ a b c d Gregory, Caspar René (1900). Textkritik des Neuen Testaments. Vol. 1. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs. pp. 56–58.
  3. ^ Kenyon, Frederic G. (1910). Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament. London. p. 110.
  4. ^ a b Aland, Kurt; Black, Matthew; Martini, Carlo Maria; Metzger, Bruce M.; Wikgren, Allen, eds. (1981). Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (26 ed.). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung. ISBN 3-438-051001. (NA26)
  5. ^ Metzger, Bruce Manning; Ehrman, Bart D. (2005). The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 141. ISBN 0-19-516667-1.
  6. ^ a b Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose; Edward Miller (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament. Vol. 1 (4 ed.). London: George Bell & Sons.
  7. ^ a b Wettstein, Johann Jakob (1751). Novum Testamentum Graecum editionis receptae cum lectionibus variantibus codicum manuscripts (in Latin). Vol. 1. Amsterdam: Ex Officina Dommeriana. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  8. ^ a b Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose (1852). A Full and Exact Collation of About 20 Greek Manuscripts of the Holy Gospels. Cambridge; London. p. XL.
  9. ^ F. K. Alter, Novum Testamentum Graecum, ad Codicem Vindobonensem Graece expressum: Varietam Lectionis addidit Franciscus Carolus Alter, 1 vol., Vienna, 999-1001.
  10. ^ P. Lambeck, Commentarii De Augustissima Bibliotheca Caesarea Vindobonensi ed. alt. opera et studio Adami Franc. Kollarii, Wien, Bd. (Buch) 3 (1776), col. 30-32.
  11. ^ L. Duchesne, Archives des missions scientifiques et littéraires (Paris, 1876), vol. 3, pp. 386-419.
  12. ^ The purple codex of the Gospels of Patmos and Petroupolis, Athens 2002.
  13. ^ "Liste Handschriften". Münster: Institute for New Testament Textual Research. Retrieved 16 March 2013.

Further readingEdit

  • Constantin von Tischendorf, „Monumenta sacra inedita“, Leipzig, 1846, pp. 15–24.
  • S. P. Tregelles, "An Introduction to the Critical study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures", London 1856, pp. 177–178.
  • F. H. A. Scrivener, A Full and Exact Collation of About 20 Greek Manuscripts of the Holy Gospels, Cambridge and London, 1852, p. XL. (as j)
  • Louis Duchesne, Archives des missions scientifiques et littéraires, Paris, 1876, vol. 3, pp. 386–419.
  • H. S. Cronin, "Codex Purpureus Petropolitanus. The text of Codex N of the gospels edited with an introduction and an appendix", T & S, vol. 5, no. 4, Cambridge, 1899.
  • C. R. Gregory, "Textkritik des Neuen Testaments", Leipzig, 1900, vol. 1, pp. 56–59.
  • S. Rypins, Two Inedited Leaves of Codex N, JBL Vol. 75, No. 1 (Mar. 1956), pp. 27–39.
  • Weitzmann, Kurt, ed., Age of spirituality : late antique and early Christian art, third to seventh century, no. 444, 1979, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, ISBN 9780870991790; full text available online from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries

External linksEdit

  • Codex Petropolitanus Purpureus N (022) at the Encyclopedia of Textual Criticism
  • Codex Petropolitanus Purpureus at the National Library of Russia, 2007