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The Codex Alexandrius (London, British Library, MS Royal 1. D. V-VIII) is a 5th century manuscript of the Greek Bible, containing the majority of the Septuagint and the New testament. Along with the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus, it is one of the earliest and most complete manuscripts of the Bible. It derives its name from the Alexandria where it is believed to have been made. In 1627 the Patriarch of Constantinople, Cyril Lucar, who had previously been the Patriarch of Alexandria, presented the codex to King Charles I of England.
It is written in uncial script. The text is written in two columns. There are between 46 and 52 lines per column and 20 to 25 letters per line. The beginning lines of each book are written in red ink. Sections within the book are marked by a larger letter set into the margin.
There are 773 vellum folios (630 in the Old Testament and 143 in the New Testament). The manuscript measures 12.6 by 10.4 inches. Most of the folios were originally gathered into quires of 8 leaves each, but the manuscript was rebound in modern times with quires of 6 leaves each.
The manuscript's Old Testament includes the deuterocanonical books including 3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees and Psalm 151. However several folios are missing. As a result the books of Genesis, 1 Kings, and Psalms have gaps. The "Epistle to Marcellinus" attributed to St. Athanasius and the Eusibian summary of the Psalms are inserted before the Book of Psalms.
The manuscript contains all of the books of the New Testament. The letter known as 1 Clement and the homily known as 2 Clement are appended to the New Testament, and were apparently considered canonical by the scribe. The New Testament is also missing folios. About 25 folios from the beginning of Matthew, 2 folios from John and 3 folios from 2 Corinthians are missing. One folio from 1 Clement and two folios from 2 Clement are also missing.
The only decorations in the manuscript are decorative tailpieces at the end of each book. (see illustration).
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