The Mount Athos Manuscripts and their Cataloguing

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William R. Veder, Slavisch Seminarium, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Postbus 19188, 1000 GD Amsterdam (Holland)

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The libraries within the monastic republic of Mount Athos contain about 14,500 Greek manuscripts at the present day. Taken as a whole they constitute the largest single collection of Greek manuscripts in the world. This enormous body of material, amassed during the course of ten centuries, cannot be properly studied until it is fully and satisfactorily catalogued. Yet, as anybody can see, the cataloguing of so many thousands of codices is a very difficult undertaking. This problem of cataloguing the manuscripts of Mount Athos is in fact a question that merits discussion. The possibility of solving the problem by new methods also deserves consideration. Litsas attempts to present the material concerned, and to describe some of the difficulties which arise in cataloguing it. He begins with a brief historical survey of the libraries of the Holy Mountain, followed by a short description of them, of the manuscripts they contain, and of the quality of the catalogues that already exist.


Efthymios K. Litsas, Patriarchal Institute of Patristic Studies, Thessaloniki, Greece
This paper was presented at the "International Data Bases for Medieval Manuscript Studies" conference at Katholieke Universiteit, Nijmegen, September 1987.


Manuscript Description, Cataloging manuscripts, Greek Manuscripts, Mount Athos


Polata Knigopisnaia: an Information Bulletin Devoted to the Study of Early Slavic Books, Texts and Literatures, v17-18 (December 1987), 106-118