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Bell Tower in the Morning Light

The top of the bell tower, photographed from the south side of the monastery, across a tile roof. The crosses are favourite perches for grackles and doves and pigeons in the early morning.

Winter Sun

The first rays of sun strike the parapet along the north wall.

The Inscription on the Box

The wooden box given by Agnes Smith Lewis in 1893 for the protection of Sinai Syriac 30 has a silver plate set into the centre of the lid. The inscription, engraved in Greek majuscule, was composed by Charles Walter Moule, who succeeded Agnes’s husband Samuel Savage Lewis as librarian of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.


The Wooden Box

Upon her return to Cambridge in 1893, after her second visit to Sinai, Agnes Smith Lewis commissioned a mahogany box to further protect Syriac 30, the Sinai Syriac palimpsest.

Agnes wrote a book, In the Shadow of Sinai, published in 1898, in which she herself described the box:

I had sent out a box […]

Mrs Bensley’s Silk Cover

In 1892, Agnes Smith Lewis and her twin sister Margaret Dunlop Gibson visited Sinai, to study the Syriac and Arabic manuscripts. Syriac 30 is a palimpsest, where the original writing was erased, and a second text written over the first. The upper writing contains the lives of women saints, written in the year 778. […]