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Petersburg Leaf of the Miroslav Gospel

History of the Study of the Manuscript

The Petersburg Leaf of the Miroslav Gospel played a crucial role in the history of the study of the manuscript. It is due to the fact that the list was in Russia, the general scientific community got to know of the existence of Miroslav's Gospel.

Ishmael Sreznevsky. Information and notes on the little-known and unknown landmarks
Bishop Porphyrius was first to discover the Miroslav Gospel on Mount Athos and included one sheet of the landmark in his collection. He did not hide the precious find, but instead, strove to popularize it and to afford the best opportunities for its study. The bishop gave the sheet from his collection to Ishmael Sreznevsky who undertook the first publication of the manuscript in St. Petersburg in 1873. The following year, the church hierarch demonstrated the Petersburg Leaf at the Archaeological Exhibition in Kiev. There Stojan Novaković, then Director of the Serbian Royal Library (now — the National Library of Serbia) became acquainted with it. Novaković took a photograph of the sheet and copied the inscription of the scribe Gregory. In his publication of the leaf, Stojan Novaković first called the manuscript Miroslav's Gospel.

The attention of Slavic specialists around the world to the main part of the magnificent codex stored on Mount Athos, was attracted first in 1877, when the description of Bishop Porphyrius' trip to Athos was issued. Then — in 1884, thanks to the book by the Russian scholar Vladimir Stasov «Eastern Slavic ornament in manuscripts of ancient and modern times", in which a few initials from Miroslav's Gospel were shown.

An important milestone in the study of the Gospel became the first facsimile edition. It was published in Vienna in 1897 through Ljubomir Stojanović's efforts. To take photographs, both parts which were independent and each already had its own history, were brought to Vienna. A year later, after the completion of the work, each portion of the Miroslav Gospel were returned to its place of storage.

In subsequent years, Russian scientists have compiled a detailed description of the Petersburg Leaf, which was included in a number of prestigious catalogues and reference books at the library shelfmark (see Bibliography).

To celebrate the centenary of the first facsimile reproduction of Miroslv's Gospel, the second edition, accompanied by two volumes of research, came out in 1998 in Johannesburg. It, like the edition of 1897, also contained the Petersburg Leaf.