news flash on the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania:
The Codex of Korça 93 is part of the collection of one hundred Byzantine and post-Byzantine manuscripts preserved today in the Central State Archives of Tirana, Albania. The Codex is from the 10th century and is written in the form of a cross, a fairly rare occurrence in the Byzantine manuscript tradition and is one of the oldest examples of this category on an international level.
The publication of the Facsimile of this very important Codex was made possible by the contributions of the Inter-confessional Bible Society of Albania, the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania, and the General Directorate of Archives of Albania. The Facsimile is accompanied by an exhaustive study of the Codex as a paleographic transcription of the Gospel of Luke with the corresponding translation in English.
It is worthy to be note the fact that a Facsimile edition of this type is the first in the history of documentary publications in Albania, and has been prepared with the cooperation of local institutions. The field of publication of these kinds of historic resources is of limited circulation in Albania, whether due to the isolation of the past or to the lack of experience and opportunities. The publication of this Codex, as universally representative of the intellectual activity during one of the most thriving cultural periods of Byzantium, in addition to its scientific importance, serve as a contribution to the promotion of cultural heritage in Albania.
Here is a news story covering the presentation of the facsimile edition to Sali Berisha, the Prime Minister of Albania and Jozefina Topalli, Chairwomen of the Parliamant, to whom it is handed over by the Archbishop Anastasios of Albania.
You can also watch a 30 minute long reportage featuring one of the editors, Andi Rembeci, Lecturer in Palaeography and History at the University of Tirana who presents the fascimile alongside the original in great detail (in Albanian). At the end of the clip you can see Rembeci putting the Gospel codex back in its place in the archive.
Thanks to Simon Crisp of the United Bible Society who drew my attention to this new publication. Crisp pointed out that my own article on Papyrus 72 was referred to in the accompanying volume of studies – I wonder what they wrote.
As usual there is the infected issue of dating. The Kurzgefasste Liste indicates 13th century, whereas the Albanian scholars dates the codex to the 10th century.
This codex and many other were photographed by the CSNTM in an expedition in 2007 when they rediscovered many MSS which had not been registered by the INTF – read about this expedition here.
On the CSNTM webpage you also find a description and selected images of the Korça codex.