Codex bibl. Ambrosianae F 128

This codex (Ambrosianus 370) is an early surviving record of Josephus’ mention of Jesus Christ. It contains both the Testimonium Flavianum and the passage about James the brother of Christ.

Location: Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Italy[1], [5, p.314]

Date: 1000’s (uncertain)[2], [5, p.314]

Language: Greek[2]

Material: Parchment[4], [5, p.314]

Pages: 389 (379)[4]

Contents: Josephus, Antiquities 11-20 and Vita (with lacunae)[1]

Previous Owners: Gabriel Severus (d.1616)[2]



Here is the link to the Ambrosiana’s website:

This MS is from a larger collection which has been split into 5 parts. Three of these parts (A, B, and C) are held in the Biblioteca Ambrosianus. Codex bibl. Amrosianae F 128 exists in part B from the larger collection.

There are three names of which I’ve seen this MS referenced as:
– Ambrosianus 370 (A)[4]
– Ambrosianus 370 (F 128 sup.)[4]
– Codex Ambrosianus (Mediolanensis) F 128 sup. = Gr. 370[5, p.314]
– Codex bibl. Ambrosianae F 128[1]
– F 128 sup. (gr. 370)

Gabriel Severus (c.1540-1616) was an, “*Orthodox Church theologian. He was consecrated Metropolitan of Philadelphia, now Ala-Shehr, in Asia Minor, in 1577. As the see was in Turkish hands he acted as bishop to the Greek Christians in Venice. His best-known work is a defense of the custom of venerating the Eucharistic elements at the *Great Entrance”.[3, p.G]

It appears to me that upon the death of Gabriel Severus, a collection of his MSS (including Codex bibl. Ambrosianae F 128) were transferred to the Biblioteca Ambrosianus (Ambrosian Library). This library was founded by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, just 7 years prior to Severus’ death.


What methodology was used to date it to the 11th century?

Why is the dating uncertain?

Is there any chain of ownership prior to Gabriel Severus?



[1] – Pearse, Roger. Josephus: the Main Manuscripts of “Antiquities” (24 May 2002). Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

[2] – Pinacoteca Accademia Ambrosiana Library. F 128 sup. (gr. 370). Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

[3] – Livingstone, et al. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2013).–eahqPnAhWVKM0KHWk4BU4Q6AEwDXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=gabriel%20severus%201540-1616&f=false. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

[4] – Pearse, Roger. Josephus: all the Greek Manuscripts (27 Mar. 2004). Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

[5] – Chapman, Honora Howell, and Zuleika Rodgers. A Companion to Josephus (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World). 1st ed., Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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