Efthymios K. Litsas
The library and the manuscripts
of Xeropotamou monastery
This study deals with the history and the manuscripts of the Xeropotamou Monastery Library on MountAthos. The library is a typicalAthonite library. From the time of its creation and beyond it was continuously enriched with manuscript books that were donated or acquired by various means, while during the 17th century manuscripts were also being copied within the Monastery. In the course of this same history, there were all manner of losses of manuscripts, whether on account of disasters or by attrition. Nevertheless, in the final analysis a large proportion of its codices have survived. The content of the overwhelming majority of its five hundred and fifty (550) manuscripts is liturgical, theological and musical. Of these, only four hundred and twenty-five ( 425) are catalogued in known, old Athonite catalogs.The study contains the following parts:
1. The Libraries of the Holy Mountain (general overview).
2. The Library ofXeropotamou Monastery in historical perspective.
3. The "copy workshop" of the Monastery (17th century).
3.1 The Library of the Monastery today. Its manuscripts and their
3.2 Catalogued manuscripts of the 10th-15th centuries.
3.3 Catalogued manuscripts of the 16th-19th centuries.
3.4 Uncatalogued manuscripts.
3.5 Illustrated and illuminated manuscripts.
The study does not occupy itself with the musical manuscripts (with the exception of their decoration) because the analytical descriptive catalog of Grigoris Stathis [ see p. 163] addresses that need.
Note: In approximately May of 2012, after the present study had been completed, Συμπληρωματικός κατάλογος ἑλληνικῶν χειρογράφων ἱερᾶς μονῆς Ξηροποτάμου Ἁγίου Ὄρους (426-557), περιγραφή μον. Ζαχαρίας Ξηροποταμηνός, Π. Σωτηρούδης Thessaloniki 2012 was published. The number of described manuscripts in the catalog has grown from 125 to 151, because a single additional codex was added, no. 508a, and because in addition, notebooks of the 20th century as well as fragments are described under a separate numbering.