With the chrysobulls, he generally catalogued their Greek, Slavonic and Latin titles, but where he considered the text to be of critical significance to the foundation of the monastery, its endowment or its acquisition of an important relic, the entire text is transcribed in the original language and provided with a Church Slavonic translation.25 The treatment of monastic libraries varies, reflecting both Bars'kyj's evaluation of their importance and the access that he gained to them. Sometimes he simply estimates the number of books and manuscripts in a library's holding, usually noting the number written on parchment and listing authors' names preserved in handwritten manuscripts. At other times he discusses specific manuscripts, disputed attributions and transcribed colophons. Apart from the main church and its treasures, Bars'kyj frequently goes on to list the chapels, both inside and outside the monastery, sometimes describing their decorations and miracle-working icons as well as the history of the important sketes. He usually concludes his account by relating a number of legends associated with the monastery.

Bars'kyj left the actual compilation of this material from Athos until 1745 or 1746, when back in Constantinople he had access to the library of the Russian Resident, Aleksei Andreevich Vishniakov, and his successor Nepliuev.26 The material is arranged systematically, both within and between entries. The monasteries are discussed one by one in order of their location, first those on the eastern side of the Athos peninsula and then those on the western side. The monastery of Lavra is selected for the key entry, which is so massive that it takes up about a quarter of the entire volume dealing with Athos.27 About a third of this entry deals with a detailed liturgical investigation and an account of church procedures and monastic rites. Many of the subsequent entries refer back to the Lavra entry, indicating the extent to which church buildings, economic management, monastic administration and liturgical rites followed or departed from the Lavra model. Bars'kyj occasionally makes reference to recent editions of books to which he had access in Constantinople and which to him unlike other chains of the period that he had seen in Rome and, therefore, he doubted the authenticity of this relic: Bars'kyjMs., fol. 471v.

25 For example, the entry on the Xeropotamou monastery contains a detailed transcription of the Greek text of the chrysobulls housed there: Bars'kyjMs., fols. 449v-463r.

26 A. A. Vishniakov arrived in Constantinople in 1729 and replaced I.I. Nepliuev as the Russian resident in late 1734. He remained in this post until 1745, when he was succeeded by A. I. Nepliuev, his predecessor's son. The exact date of Bars'kyj's return to Constantinople is unknown. He was there in 1746, as attested in correspondence, but may well have arrived in 1745. See his letter of October 31,1746, Barsukov, Stranstvovaniia, iv, 67-8.

27 The entry on the Lavra runs to over sixty-three folios, while his account ofthis monastery during the 1725 visit to Athos occupies merely a folio and a half, see Bars'kyjMs., fols. 332v.-395v., cf. fols iiov.-iiir.

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