The Emperor of Russia sends a gift to Maynooth
Woods, Penny (2009) The Emperor of Russia sends a gift to Maynooth. Liffey Champion (7 Nov. 2009) . p. 25.
Late in August 1864, the President of Maynooth College, Dr Charles Russell, returned at the end of the vacation to find four books waiting for him, sent by Alexander II, Emperor of Russia. These splendid volumes, printed in 1862, reproduced a substantial part of one of the most important books in the world, the Codex Sinaiticus or ‘the Sinai book’, one of the two earliest manuscripts of the Bible, including the earliest complete New Testament in existence. The original 1600-year old hand-written text, written in Greek on parchment or animal skin, had lain in the Monastery of St Catherine at Mount Sinai until 1844 when, as the leading German Biblical scholar Konstantin von Tischendorf writes, he found a few leaves of it in a basket there. He later persuaded the monks to present a substantial part of the Codex to the Emperor of Russia who in turn had it published in St Petersburg in 1862, at his own expense and in facsimile – with the text as it appeared in the original.
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