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The Greek Biblical Manuscripts in Albania The Purple Codex of Berat and the Golden Codex of Anthimos

Dion Tushi


The aim of the article is to underline some of the characteristic features of two of the oldest biblical manuscripts found in Albania and more specifically of “The Purple Codex of Berat” and “Anthimus’ Golden Codex”, or as they are known in scientific circles the “Codex Purpurseus Beratinus Φ” and “Codex Aureus Anthimus”, dating back to the VIth and IXth centuries respectively. The Purple Codex of Berat (known also as Beratinus – 1), in spite of its indisputable values related to its age, is of great importance for the technological critique, which deals with the historical study of the biblical texts. Meanwhile, the second Codex is known as the “Golden Codex Anthimus”, so called by Batiffol in honor of the Bishop of Berat during the mid-nineteenth century. The Golden Codex of Anthimus carries uncommon artistic values. The description made to each codex implies specific data, graphical ways of writing, decorations and of each codex. At the same time, there are mentioned the first researchers of these codices who have spoken to them. There are also concisely described other valuable manuscripts which do not exist anymore. In this article, we provide important clues about the history of these manuscripts, the risks and challenges they have undergone to survive, as well as the environment in which they are held and continue to be held. In conjunction to that, the reader will also be acquainted with some recent data mainly provided by Italian manuscript specialists, who have declared themselves mainly about "The Purple Codex of Berat". This article aims at providing a complete description of these codices as well as the story they carry.

Keywords: The Purple Codex of Berat, Anthimis’ Golden Codex, Batiffol. 

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