Considerations about the “Codex Angus”

On 29 August 2023, the AIOCS founding director, Doru Costache, gave a talk at Library Seminar Room, Fisher Library, the University of Sydney. The event was part of the Studies in Religion Research Seminars series, and focused on “Considerations about the ‘Codex Angus,’ A Byzantine Manuscript in the University of Sydney Library.”

The audio recording below includes the introductory remarks of Ms Julie Sommerfeldt, Rare Books and Special Collections manager, as host, and of the event’s moderator, Prof. Carole Cusack, Studies in Religion. Costache spoke of the manuscript in his capacity as Selby Old Fellow in Religious History of the Orthodox Christian Faith, the University of Sydney Library (2023-2024). The attendees were able to look up close to the Codex Angus.

Abstract: As the double recipient of the Selby Old Fellowship in Religious History of the Orthodox Christian Faith at the University of Sydney Library (2021-2022, 2023-2024), I was given the rare opportunity to work on a twelfth-century Byzantine manuscript, the “Codex Angus.” The codex is found in the Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) Library as Add.Ms. 40. The library description shows that it is a Gospel lectionary meant for liturgical use. I corroborate this description. But this is, in fact, where my findings differ from what researchers earlier asserted about its use (see Gerber 2017). There is clear evidence of the manuscript’s heavy usage, which indicates a public not a private setting. In this talk, which summarises a lengthy article in preparation, after a brief description of the manuscript I point out various peculiarities about its content and appearance, all of which suggest, in my view, a small rural community as its original owner and user. And so, together with introducing the codex, I also hope to cast some light on the religious community that might have used it. The audience will be able to see the manuscript at the conclusion of the talk, with Julie Sommerfeldt (RBSC manager) briefly presenting several other gems of the collection.

Audio recording

Bio: Doru Costache is an Associate Professor in Theology at the Sydney College of Divinity’s St Cyril’s Coptic Orthodox Theological College and the ISCAST Research Director (in which capacity he coedits Christian Perspectives on Science and Technology). He is the current Selby Old Fellow in Religious History of the Orthodox Christian Faith at the University of Sydney Library, while he also undertakes research for his second doctorate, in Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney. Together with over eighty journal articles and book chapters published, more recently he authored a monograph, Humankind and the Cosmos: Early Christian Representations (Brill 2021), and coauthored Dreams, Virtue and Divine Knowledge in Early Christian Egypt (Cambridge University Press 2019).