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1: Washington Manuscript I - Deuteronomy and Joshua (Codex Washingtonensis)

Washington Manuscript I - Deuteronomy and Joshua (Codex Washingtonensis)

Historical period(s)
early 5th century
Ink on parchment
30.6 x 25.8 cm
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
This parchment codex comprises one hundred two leaves divided into quires (booklets). Each quire is numbered on the first page. Because the numbers begin with 37 and continue through 60, it is clear that the first thirty-six quires are missing-likely the books of Genesis through Numbers.

Chapter divisions of irregular length are signaled by an enlarged initial letter outside the left margin. The manuscript also offers an early example of rubrication (from the Latin rubricare, "to color red"), writing in red ink to give visual emphasis to the divisions of a text. Rubrication became a common practice in European manuscripts beginning in the seventh century.

Various scribes worked on this manuscript, but only two hold much interest. One, probably contemporary with the original scribe, made some corrections. A century or two later, another scribe noted in a cursive script where a reading was to begin and end, and when the reading was to be done.

To 1906
Ali Arabi, Giza, Egypt, to 1906 [1]

From 1906 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Ali Arabi in Giza, Egypt, on December 19, 1906 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Miscellaneous List, Biblical Mss. Section, S.I. 1456, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
C.L. Freer source: Ali Arabi
On View Location
Currently not on view
Christianity, Egypt, Old Testament
Collection(s) Area
Biblical Manuscripts
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

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