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  • Lecture

The Monastery of Saint Catherine in the Sinai and its Manuscripts

Crossroads of Culture in the Medieval Mediterranean

Claudia Rapp, University of Vienna

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February 5, 2021, 1:00pm - 2:30pm
The Monastery of Saint Catherine in the Sinai.

Founded by the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century in a place where the Burning Bush and the Mountaintop where Moses received the Ten Commandments signal the possibility of human encounters with God, the Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine has been a destination for monks, pilgrims, and other visitors from many regions of the Christian world. It is not only the oldest Christian monastery in continuous operation, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its extensive collection of icons and its rich library holdings in multiple languages.

After an overview of the history of the Monastery and its association with manuscript production and manuscript ownership, this lecture will explore how the library holdings reflect the presence of Christians from several different language traditions. A special focus will be on the recent work of the Sinai Palimpsests Project (

Photograph above by Joonas Plaan (permission details)