Commentary on the Divine Eucharist


This 18th-century Arabic manuscript contains a commentary on the Orthodox liturgy. The work was compiled from earlier ecclesiastical authors by Yūḥannā Nāṯānā'īl, presumably an Arab monk about whom little is known. A chart at the beginning of the codex presents basic information on the first seven ecumenical councils, which took place between the years 325 and 787 in the cities of Nicaea (325), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), Chalcedon (451), Constantinople (553), Constantinople (680), and Nicaea (787). The text, which is in Arabic, is rubricated throughout. There are many water marks but with little loss to legibility. The manuscript is from the library of the Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, an Antiochan Orthodox monastery located on a plateau about eight kilometers south of Tripoli, in present-day Lebanon. Founded in 1157 as an abbey for French Cistercians, Our Lady of Balamand derives its name from the French bel mont (beautiful mountain). In 1604, the monastery came under the authority of local Orthodox monks.

Last updated: October 3, 2014