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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Argenteus, Codex

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(silver manuscript), a MS. of part of the N. T, so called from the silver letters in which it is written. This codex is preserved in the University of Upsal, and is a copy from the Gothic version of Ulphilas, which was made in the fourth century. It is of a quarto size, is written on vellum, the leaves of which are stained with a violet color; and on this ground the letters, which are all uncial, or capitals, are painted in silver, except the initial letters, which are in gold, of course now much faded. It contains fragments of the four gospels (in the Latin order, Matthew, John, Luke, Mark) on 188 (out of about 320) leaves, so regularly written that some have imagined they were impressed with a stamp. This MS. was first discovered by Ant. Morillon in 1597, in the library of the Benedictine abbey of Werden, in Westphalia, but by some means it was deposited in Prague, and was taken to Stockholm by the Swedes on the capture of the former place in 1648. Queen Christina appears to have given it to her librarian Vossius prior to 1655, and while in his hands a transcript of it was made by one Derrer. Through the agency of Puffendorf, it was purchased by Count de la Gardieu for the Swedish library, where it still remains. Vossius had previously placed the MS. in his uncle Junius's hands for publication; and in 1665 the text of the Gothic gospels, so far as contained in this codex, was edited at Dort under his care, accompanied by the AngloSaxon version, edited by Thos. Marshall. This edition was in Gothic characters cut for the purpose, and for it Junius employed the transcript made by Derrer. Tregelles, in Horne's Introd. 4, 301. (See GOTHIC VERSIONS).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Argenteus, Codex'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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