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Home World News One of the oldest books in the world was put up for auction: what makes it special

One of the oldest books in the world was put up for auction: what makes it special

by alex

На аукцион выставили одну из старейших книг в мире: чем она особенная

This rare manuscript revolutionized the study of Christianity.

In London, Christie's auction house put up for sale one of the oldest books , written at the dawn of Christianity. We are talking about an ancient biblical manuscript from Egypt.

Mail Online reports this.

London auction house Christie's will sell on June 11 the Crosby-Schoyen Codex, an ancient biblical manuscript from Egypt. The owner of one of the oldest books, written at the dawn of Christianity, can be anyone who has 3 million pounds sterling.

The manuscript is dated 1700 , it contains five early Christian texts,written in Coptic, which is derived from ancient Egyptian.

Among the texts are the oldest texts from two books of the Bible – the Book of the Prophet Jonah and the First Epistle of Peter.

Although the valuable manuscript is no longer intact, Christie's expects it to sell for £3 million ($3.8 million).

The auction house called the book “the very first known book in private hands” (not in a museum) and “one of the oldest books in existence.”

This is a “codex”, essentially an ancient book consisting of sheets of papyrus, the main material for writing in Ancient Egypt.

This is an early example of the transition from scroll to book as we know it today. The 104 pages of the manuscript (52 separate sheets) are not sewn together, but each is placed under protective plexiglass.

“This is precisely the period, that transition period, when the papyrus scroll begins to turn into the form of a codex. There is evidence that codes existed before, but none have survived. This makes it a unique object in the history of Christianity and information technology,” said Christie senior specialist in medieval and Renaissance manuscripts Eugenio Donadoni.

The Crosby-Schoen Codex contains five different texts, originally compiled by five completely different authors. But all five were copied by one “scribe”—the person who made written copies of documents—in Art. n. e. This is probably an Egyptian monk who used “freshly cut reeds” dipped in ink to write on sheets of papyrus.

Senior Lecturer in Biblical and Religious Studies at the University of Sheffield, Dr Meredith Warren has called the work “a key example of the birth of Christian culture and literature.”

The Crosby-Schoyen Code was found in Egypt in 1952 among other manuscripts, inexplicably buried in a jar in the sand. Donadoni attributed its preservation to the dry climate of Egypt.

This manuscript was acquired by the University of Mississippi in 1955, and in 1988 the book was purchased by Norwegian businessman and collector Martin Schoen. He is now selling the piece along with other pieces from his manuscript collection.

By the way, earlier an acoustic guitar by The Beatles vocalist John Lennon was sold at an auction in New York. The musical instrument went under the hammer for $2.85 million.

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