Two Italian Kontakaria at the Vatican Library

Vat. gr. 345

1185812713?profile=RESIZE_710xVerso side with palimpsest, beginning of the kontakarion with 1 September (f.53r)

XIII-XIV • Kontakarion-Psaltikon (ff.1r-126r) and Nenanismata (f.127v), the second contrasted reproduction makes a hidden palimpsest visible (patriarchal writings by Gregory the Theologian in majuscule script).


  • Prokeimena (ff.1r-19r);
  • Allelouiaria without refrain (ff.19r-40v);
  • Hypakoai anastasimai kata echon (ff.40v-44v);
  • Hypakoai with an annual cycle of the important feasts (ff.45r-52v):
  • Kontakarion in menaion order with the movable cycle inserted after Hypapante, kontakion for Meatfare Saturday f.81v (ff.53r-126r).


Vat. gr. 1606


Kontakion-prosomoion τὸν ἐν πρεσβείαις θερμότατον for St Philipp (12 May) following the kontakion τὰ μεγαλεῖα σου παρθένε (8 May) (I-Rvat Vat. gr. 1606, f.132r)

XIII • Kontakarion-Psaltikon of the Archimandritate of Messina (kontakion for Philipp, 12 May) combined with the Asmatikon according to the calendaric order of the whole proper cycle (kontakion with oikos, allelouiarion, prokeimenon and koinonikon, or hypakoe). The reproduction is an almost unreadable print of a microfilm (signatures in red ink are sometimes invisible). Fortunately, I have once studied the original manuscript. It is not only unique and local in its form (Messan. gr. 120 and 129, and crypt. Γ.γ.V are organised in an identical way), but also written by a beautiful and careful hand.


  • Small doxology kata echon (ff.1v-2r);
  • calendaric cycle of proper chant in menaion order with the movable cycle inserted after hypapante, only allelouiarion for Sunday of Pharisee and the Publican f.67v, kontakion of the prodigal son f. 68r (ff. 3r-154v);
  • psalmodic allelouiaria and allelouiaria refrains (of protos echos ff.154v-156v), dochai of prokeimena and biblical odes kata echon (ff.154v-181v);
  • appendix with kontakia: kontakion parakletikon προστασία ἄμαχε with oikos (ff.182r-183r):
  • kolophon (f.185r).


About the mixed form of a Psaltikon-Asmatikon in Southern Italy

Bucca, D., 2000. Quattro testimoni manoscritti della tradizione musicale bizantina nell’Italia meridionale del secolo XIII. Musica e storia, 8(1), 145–168. doi:10.1420/12488.

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