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Ancient book expected to bring in more than $2.6M at auction

People bidding, holding up paddles in front of auctioneer.

One of the oldest books known to still exist is going on the block and is expected to bring in millions of dollars.

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The Crosby-Schøyen Codex is not only one of the oldest books, it is also the earliest book of Christian liturgy, CNN reported.

The Coptic writing on papyrus came from Egypt and is being sold by Christie’s on June 11 in London.

It is believed to have been written by a single person, who wrote 52 leaves/104 pages over 40 years proclaiming the first epistle of Peter and the Book of Jonah.

The scribe worked at a monastery in upper Egypt where it was eventually discovered in the 1950s. It was acquired by the University of Mississippi until 1981. It was acquired by Dr. Martin Schoyen, a manuscript collector, in 1988. He is auctioning it off now, Reuters reported.

The codex, according to carbon dating, dates to between the middle of the third and fourth centuries.

“It’s right at that period, that transitional period, when papyrus scroll starts turning into codex form,” Eugenio Donadoni said, according to Reuters. “So, books as we know them today. And what we have in this book is the earliest known texts of two books of the Bible.”

Donadoni is Christie’s Senior Specialist, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.

At the low end, Christie’s predicts that someone will pay $2.6 million for the codex. It could go as high as $3.8 million.

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