Purple codex leaf

Purple codex leaf
  • Code:  ΒΧφ 1
  • Type:  Parchment codex
  • Chronology:  6th c.
  • Dimensions:  Height 31 cm; width 27 cm
  • Materials of Construction:  Parchment
  • Origin:  Samursakli, Saint Nicholaos church

The sheet of parchment in purple dye contains an excerpt from the Gospel of John (6.31-39), written in capital letters of gold and silver, in two columns. It comes from the four-gospel Codex Purpureus Petropolitanus N 182 located at the State Public Library Saltykov Ščentrin in Saint Petersburg. Written in Constantinople, the codex was first unbinded possibly at the time of the Crusades. In 1773/5 it was found at the Byzantine Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin in Kerkemiz village and was transferred to the church of Saint Nicholas in the town Sarmousakli of the Archdiocese of Caesarea in Asia Minor. There it was identified by the Russian archaeologist James Ivanovich Smirnov and was purchased for 1,000 Ottoman gold pounds that the Tsar Nicholas II offered. One folio, however, was kept behind in Samursakli as a memento and brought to Greece in 1922 by a family of refugees, from whom the Archaeological Service purchased it in 1966.