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Codex Vercellensis - Gospel of John 16:23-30
The title Codex Vercellensis (the "Codex of Vercelli") refers to two manuscript codices preserved in the cathedral library of Vercellimarker, in the Province of Vercelli, Italymarker, in the Pianura Padanamarker, between Milanmarker and Turinmarker.

Old Latin Codex Vercellensis

Old Latin Codex Vercellensis, preserved in the cathedral library, is a purple vellum codex that is typically dated to the fourth-century, and is believed to be the earliest manuscript of the Old Latin Gospels. Its standard designation is "Codex a" (or 3 in the Beuron system of numeration). The order of the gospels in this Codex is Matthew, John, Luke and Mark, which is also found in some other very old "Western" manuscripts, such as Codex Bezae. It does not now contain the last twelve verses of the Gospel of Mark. Tradition has it that it was written under the direction of bishop Eusebius of Vercelli.

It was restored and stabilised in the early twentieth century. Having been used for the taking of oaths in the early Middle Ages, much of it is either difficult to read or even destroyed, so that we are frequently dependent on the earlier editors for knowledge of its text.

Textual features

In Matt 27:9 in the sentence fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, the Codex omits the word Jeremiah (Ieremiam), just like in the manuscripts: Codex Beratinus, Minuscule 33, Old-Latin Codex Veronensis (b), syrs, syrp, and copbo.

In Luke 23:34 it omits the words: "And Jesus said: Father forgive them, they know not what they do." This omission is supported by the manuscripts Papyrus 75, Sinaiticusa, B, D*, W, Θ, 0124, 1241, Codex Bezaelat, syrs, copsa, copbo.

It also has several omissions called Western non-interpolations.


  • J. A. Irico edition (Sacrosanctus Evangeliorum Codex Sancti Eusebii Vercellensis, 2 volumes, Milan, 1748)
  • Bianchini edition (Rome, 1749; reprinted in Migne, Patrologia Latina, xii, cols. 141-338)
  • J. Belsheim edition (Codex Vercellensis, Christiania, 1897)
  • A. Gasquet edition (Codex Vercellensis, Collectanea biblica Latina, iii; Roma, 1914)

Anglo-Saxon Codex Vercellensis

Another, utterly distinct Codex Vercellensis, is also known as the Vercelli Book and is likewise preserved in the cathedral library of Vercelli (as Codex CVII). This is an Anglo-Saxon parchment manuscript of the end of the tenth century, containing a miscellany, or florilegium, of religious texts that were apparently selected for private inspiration. It includes besides twenty-three homilies, a number of poetic and six imaginative pieces in Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse: Andreas, Address of the Soul to the Body, Falseness of Men, Dream of the Rood, two poems by Cynewulf, Elene and The Fates of the Apostles, and a prose Life of Guthlac The meticulous hand is Anglo-Saxon square minuscule. It was found in the library by Friedrich Blume, in 1822, and was first described in his Iter Italicum (Stettin, 4 vols., 1824-36). The presence of the volume was explained by a hospice catering especially to English pilgrims that was founded by Jacopo Guala Bicchieri (d. 1227), bishop of Vercelli, who had been papal legate in England 1216–1218. However, its presence in Vercelli has been ascertained before that, in the eleventh century.


  • "The poetry of the Codex Vercellensis", John Mitchell Kemble, ed. (Issue 14 of Aelfric Society, London, 1843)
  • The Vercelli Book. Ed. by George Phillip Krapp. New York: Columbia University Press, 1932

See also


  1. UBS4, p. 311.
  2. Available in Google Books, Full view: Volume 1; Volume 2

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