The text was originally composed between the years 547 and 549 in Alexandria, and only three illuminated copies survive today. The author sailed all the way to Ceylon, and possibly the Indies, and wrote down his impressions while interpreting the Octateuch, the First eight books of the Old Testament.

The Sinai manuscript, created in the monastery, possesses the richest collection of illustrations: cosmological data, maps, diagrams such as the World (p. 65r), a map of the world with Paradise (p. 66r), the movements of the stars (p. 181v), and other drawings that were initially made for the original, now lost, manuscript based on older maps, and reflect the Byzantine world view, which is earth-centered rather than sun-centered.


Parchment, 211 sheets
Eleventh century
25,2 Χ 18,3 cm
Cod. 1186
St. Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine, South Sinai Governorate