This week I’ve started work on the microfilms from the Istanbul Patriarchate Library which were made during the Dumbarton Oaks-Andry expedition in the early 1960’s. The Patriarchate Library seems to have a prodigious collection of manuscripts containing works of John Chrysostom. It was at the beginning of one of these (Istanbul, Patriarchate Library, Panagia Kamariotissa, ms. 5, a tenth-century copy of some of Chrysostom’s exegetical texts on the New Testament) that I found a delightful illustrated note left by a monk called Ignatios from the early 17th century.
I am transcribing Ignatios’ note as diplomatically as I can because his Greek is very charming:
ἐν μηνή μαρτηω ἐν έτη ͵ζρκ
ἐγυρτα ὴς τω μοναστηρη
εγό ω γιοανάκης
κ(αὶ) με ἐκαμα καλώγερο
καὶ ωνομάσαση με
+ ιγνατήον μοναχόν+
In the month of March, in the year 1619,
I stood at the monastery
and they made me a kalogeros
and called me Ignatios the monk.
The best thing about Ignatios’ note is probably the accompanying portrait in which a bearded man (a monk, likely) stretches out his left hand at the text. As Sarah pointed out, the hand also serves as a manicule. Ignatios (or perhaps someone else) did two little test drawings of a face and a hand. I think it’s not unfair to say that the faces turned out a little better than the hands.
See also Kouroupou and Géhin’s catalogue, vol. 1, pp. 73-4, for their very thorough entry on this ms.
My thanks to Elena, Deb and Sarah for their help.