Petersburg Leaf of the Miroslav Gospel

Description of the Landmark

Shelfmark: OR RNB. F. 550. OSRK, F.п.I.83. 

Gospel. Complete Aprakos. Between 1180 and 1200 (1196 ?). 1 leaf.
1° (41 × 27,5 cm). Parchment. Ink, cinnabar, paints, gold. 


uncial hand in two columns, 23 lines in each column.
Church Slavonic. Spelling is typical of manuscripts produced in the Zeta and Hum region.


Two large interlaced initial letters executed in paints, using gold:
initial «В» on fol. 1 includes a bust-length depiction of a man dressed in a tunic of shades of red;
initial «В» on fol. 1v is composed of images of a fantastic animal and a figure of a naked man straddling on its back.
Days in a Menologium (Liturgical Calendar), liturgical instructions, as well as headlines of the Gospel readings are marked with cinnabar. 


The Menologium (a service-book arranged according to the months) (for 6–10, 14, 16–18 January) with selected Gospel readings.  


The parchment leaf is attached to a sheet of cardboard which carries an inscription written by hand of Bishop Porphyrius Uspensky (see below). Shortly after the receipt of the collection of Bishop Porphyrius by the Imperial Public Library, the leaf, together with the cardboard sheet to which it was attached, was iclosed in the binding.

The binding of the Imperial Public Library is made of cardboard covered with red marbled paper, the spine and corners are of red morocco (size: 44,3 × 32 × 0,8 cm). A label of red morocco is pasted on the top cover: it contains the gold-embossed coat of arms of the Imperial Public Library and an inscription with the title and shelfmark of the manuscript, 'Leaf from the Miroslav Gospel. F.п.I.83. (From Bishop Porphyrius' collection)'

Inscriptions and Seals:

1) made before entering the Imperial Public Library:

a) on the bottom margin of fol. 1, there is a faded pencil inscription by hand of Bishop Porphyrius — «From Prince Miroslav's Gospel (Hilandar)»;

b) on the cardboard sheet to which the leaf from the Gospel is attached, there is an inscription in black ink by hand of Bishop Porphyrius — «A fragment from Prince Miroslav's Gospel».

2) made after entering the Imperial Public Library:

a) fol. 1 v. bears a red colour stamp — the coat of arms of the Imperial Public Library;

b) on the back of the cardboard mount is a blue pencil record made by a librarian in the late 19th century (at the time of entering the Petersburg Leaf in the library?) — «One (1) leaf. Librarian I. Bychkov»;

в) in the same place, there is a purple ink record made by a librarian after the return of the manuscript from an evacuation during the Second World War — «1/III. 46 . [a signature in the form of a ligature(?)]». 

* * *

The manuscript came into the Imperial Public Library in 1883 along with the collection gathered by Bishop Porphyrius (Uspensky).

Since the mid-20 century, the main part of Miroslav's Gospel has been kept in the National Museum in Belgrade under inventory number 1536.