The Crosby-Schøyen codex, one of the oldest books in the world, up for auction in London

The Crosby-Schøyen codex, one of the oldest books in the world, up for auction in London
The Crosby-Schøyen codex, one of the oldest books in the world, up for auction in London

London, June 10 (EFE).- The Crosby-Schøyen codex, one of the oldest books in the world, will go up for auction this Tuesday in London with a maximum estimated price of 3 million pounds (about 3.5 million euros) .

The London auction house Christie’s will be in charge of offering to the public the oldest complete text of the biblical books of Jonah and the first epistle of Saint Peter, written in Alexandria in the 3rd century.

The codex consists of 52 papyrus leaves of the 68 that originally composed it, all of them written in Coptic Egyptian by a single scribe, as the senior specialist in books and manuscripts at Christie’s in London, Eugenio Donadoni, explained to EFE.

For Donadoni, the relevance of the document goes beyond the technological, as it is the oldest known book in private hands, and one of the first examples of the technological innovation that gave rise to the book as we know it today.

Furthermore, the codex, which is part of the Bodmer papyri, is among the manuscripts that transformed the way of studying the Bible and the beginnings of the Christian religion.

“This is a unique opportunity to secure one of the earliest witnesses to the expansion of Christianity in the Mediterranean,” emphasized the expert, in charge of the auction.

Despite not daring to give an estimate of the final price he will obtain, Donadoni reported that the characteristics of the object that goes on sale this Tuesday means that it has not only caught the attention of the private buyer but also of the institutional one.

This June 11 at 2 p.m. local time (1:00 p.m. GMT), Christie’s will put this manuscript from the Schøyen collection on sale along with others of outstanding historical value, covering around 1,300 years of history.

Among them, the Holkham Hebrew Bible also stands out, with an estimated value of up to 3 million pounds (about 3.5 million euros), the Sinaiticus Rescriptus codex, around 1.5 million (or 1.8 million euros) , and the Geraardsbergen Bible, with a maximum estimated value of 1 million pounds (1.2 million euros).

(c) EFE Agency

 
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