What is the earliest manuscript of the Gloria in excelsis Deo (Greater Doxology) hymn?

1 Answer 1


According to Adrian Fortescue's The Mass: A Study in the Roman Liturgy, "§6. Gloria in Excelsis", p. 238, the Gloria in excelsis

is found first [in Greek] in St. Athanasius' treatise: de Virginitate [sive de ascesi]1 as part of morning prayer (with Ps. lxii, and the Benedicite) and in the [Greek Old and New Testament manuscript, the] Codex alexandrinus (Vth cent.).2

1. C. 20 (P.G. xxviii, 275). The authenticity of this work, long disputed, now seems more generally admitted. See Eichhorn: Athanasii de vita ascetica testimonia (Halle, 1886) pp. 27 seq., and especially von der Goltz in Texte und Untersuchungen, N.S. xiv, 2 a.
2. As an appendix to the psalms at the end.

cf. also "Psalter" and my answer to the question "How did the Catholic Church function logistically/liturgically prior to the invention of the printing press?"

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