Medieval manuscripts blog

Bringing our medieval manuscripts to life

22 December 2011

An early Christmas present

World chronicle from the Creation to AD 1574, 17th century: London, British Library, MS Harley 5742, f. 1r (detail)

Okay, it's not exactly the latest gadget, or that diamond ring you've been admiring for the last month; but the British Library can give you (drum roll, please) another 79 fully digitised Greek manuscripts, available on our Digitised Manuscripts site.

Regular readers will know about our Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project, generously funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The most recent upload contains some 29,000 new images, and concludes phase two of this project. The manuscripts in question range in date from the 11th century to the 18th century, and include copies of Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, Aesop's Fables, and a world chronicle from the Creation to AD 1574.

New Testament, 16th century: London, British Library, MS Harley 5552, f. 227v

Digitised Manuscripts now contains 589 complete items from the British Library's collections, among them such gems as the Theodore Psalter (Add MS 19352) and a magnificent copy of the Four Gospels (Add MS 11300). Here is a list of the most recent additions to the site:

Harley 5536

Aristotle, Analytica Posteriora, 16th century

Harley 5541

Horologion, Psalms, Prayers; Basil of Caesarea, De legendis libris gentilibus, 15th/16th century

Harley 5543

150 Aesopic fables, 15th century

Harley 5545

Formulary for letters to patriarchs and archbishops, 16th-17th century

Harley 5546

Sabaitic typicon, 15th century

Harley 5548

Euchologion, 16th century

Harley 5551

John VI Cantacuzenus, Apologia for Christianity against Islam, 1720

Harley 5552

New Testament, 16th century

Harley 5553

Psalter, 14th century

Harley 5555

Collection of Prayers; Nomocanonical Treatises and Questions with Answers, 14th-16th century

Harley 5563

Psalter, 14th century

Harley 5566

Letters of Synesius, Phalaris, Alciphron, Brutus and others, 14th century

Harley 5569

Works of Manuel Chrysoloras, Philip of Macedon, Hesiod and Pythagoras, 15th century

Harley 5578

Plutarch and Theorian, 16th century

Harley 5580

Dionysius Periegetes, Orbis descriptio, 16th century

Harley 5582

Psalms and Odes, 14th century

Harley 5587

Xenophon, Cyropaedia, 15th century

Harley 5595

Georgios Sphrantzes, Chronicon maius, 1714

Harley 5601

Homer, 15th century

Harley 5604

Heron, Geoponica, 15th-16th century

Harley 5606

Christophoros Kontoleon, Περὶ ἀρχῆς, 16th century

Harley 5615

Hilarion Cigalas, Archbishop of Cyprus, Compendium of the New and Old Testament, 17th century

Harley 5616

Philotheos Kokkinos, Patriarch of Constantinople, Πάρεργα, 1721

Harley 5617

Manuel Moschopoulos, Τεχνολογία, or Scholia on Iliad I and II, c1453-70

Harley 5621

Scholia on the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, 15th-16th century

Harley 5622

St Basil of Caesarea, Commentary on Isaiah, 11th-12th century

Harley 5624

Letters, Theologica, Astrologica, 14th-15th century

Harley 5625

Galen, De pulsibus, 16th century

Harley 5627

Homilies on the Gospels, 15th century

Harley 5628

Pietro Bembo, Πρὸς ἐνέτας περὶ τοῦ βοηθεῖν τοῖς τῶν ἑλλήνων λόγοις, 16th century

Harley 5629

Grammatica, 15th century

Harley 5632

Works of Manuel Malaxos and Ps.-Methodius, 1574

Harley 5634

Lycophron, Alexandra, 15th century

Harley 5635

Letters and philosophical treatises, c 1453-1457

Harley 5639

Patristic miscellany, 14th century

Harley 5641

Theodore Gazes, Γραμματικὴ εἰσαγωγή, 15th century

Harley 5649

St John of Damascus, 14th century

Harley 5651

Galen, De locis affectis, with scholia, c 1490-1510

Harley 5652

Galen, De usu partium, 1508

Harley 5659

Musaeus, Hero and Leander, 15th century

Harley 5660

St Basil, Isocrates and Plutarch, 15th century

Harley 5661

Photius, De spiritus sancti processione, 1722

Harley 5664

Aristophanes, c 1490-1519

Harley 5665

Sophronius and the Second Council of Nicaea, 13th century

Harley 5667

Olympiodorus, Commentary on Plato’s Phaedo, 16th century

Harley 5669

Liturgies, 15th century

Harley 5670

Demosthenes, Speeches, 15th century

Harley 5671

Proclus Diadochus, Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, 16th century

Harley 5673

Homer, Odyssey, 15th century

Harley 5674

Homer, Odyssey, 13th century

Harley 5676

Thomas Stanley, Notes on Callimachus, 17th century

Harley 5681

Hermogenes, 15th century

Harley 5687

St Augustine, De trinitate, 1609

Harley 5688

Works of Marcus Eremita and others, 11th-12th century

Harley 5693

Homer's Iliad, and grammatical treatises, 14th century

Harley 5696

Proclus of Athens, Commentary on the First Alcibiades of Plato, 16th century

Harley 5723

Psalms and Odes, 16th century

Harley 5726

Geoponica in 20 books, 16th century

Harley 5728

Rhetoric, Demosthenes, 16th century

Harley 5729

Elias Meniates, Petra Offensionis, 1689-1717

Harley 5730

Grammatical miscellany, 16th century

Harley 5731

Four Gospels and Apostolos, 16th century

Harley 5732

Apollodorus of Athens, Bibliotheca, 16th century

Harley 5733

Pindar, Olympia and Pythia, 1492

Harley 5736

Four Gospels, 1506

Harley 5737

Psalter, 1478

Harley 5738

Psalter, 16th century

Harley 5739

Synesius, 16th century

Harley 5740

Syropoulos, Council of Florence, c 1700

Harley 5741

Constantine Lascaris, Grammar, Book 1, 15th century

Harley 5742

World chronicle from the Creation to 1574, 17th century

Harley 5743

Sophocles and Euripides, 15th century

Harley 5760

Maximus of Tyre, Φιλοσοφούμενα, 15th century

Harley 5778

New Testament, 12th century

Harley 5788

Photius, 1720

Harley 5789

Nectarius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, Περὶ τῆς ἀρχῆς τοῦ πάπα ἀντιρρήσεις, c 1700

Harley 5791

Nicetas, Metropolites of Heraclea, 1682

Harley 7522 A

Old Testament, c 1640

Harley 7522 B

Notes and collations of Patrick Young, c 1646


First, thank you so much for making these amazing manuscripts available. I have one quick suggestion: would it be possible to post more in depth about specific special manuscripts in the project? Such a manuscript might be the Theodore Psalter etc... a bit more background of the highlighted manuscripts would be great. I know you can't do this on all the manuscripts in the project but a few select ones would be helpful. Thank you

It may seem ungrateful to ask for even more when such an extraordinary resource has been placed in the public realm, but I would like to ask whether these mss. could be made available as pdf files for downloading, as this would make them much easier to use and study. I notice that a number of libraries [Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the Bavarian State Library in Munich and the Laurenziana in Florence] have already made a number of Greek manuscripts available in this way.
With many thanks for giving this your consideration.
John Raffan

Dear John Raffan, At present there are no plans to make these images available as PDF files. The British Library is investigating ways in which our images can be accessed and re-used (see for example but for the time being this does not extend to Digitised Manuscripts.

The comments to this entry are closed.