JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, Saint, Archbishop of Constantinople (c.347-407). Besedy na Evangelista Matfeia. [Discourses on the Evangelist Matthew.] Russia, ?Vologda, 1592. Illuminated manuscript on paper in two parts, 345 x 220mm., in Church Slavonic, 20 + 718 leaves, comprising 2 blank leaves, 4 leaves of introduction, one blank, 10 leaves of index and colophon, 2 blanks, one protective leaf with green taffeta (slightly torn), 372 leaves of text, 3 blanks, one protective leaf with green taffeta, leaves 373-714 of text including final colophon leaf, 3 blank leaves, TWO VERY FINE ILLUMINATED INITIALS AND HEADPIECES AND BORDER ORNAMENTS IN COLOURS AND GOLD, with opening lines in gold letters, 30 lines per page, text in red and black in semi-uncial script, head-lines and marginalia in red, gatherings with signatures in Cyrillic alphabetic numerals and with pagination to first leaf of each gathering, these also with the colophon in Slavonic and Discourse number in lower margin. (Some minor staining and smudging, a few minor marginal tears.) Contemporary Russian blindstamped calf over wooden boards, with inset panels stamped in gilt, engraved foliate clasps (loss to gilt, rubbed, straps weakened). Provenance Dementii Vasil'evich Pisherev (folio bi-folium noting the purchase of this and two other books on 27 December 1827'). A MAGNIFICANT EXAMPLE OF RUSSIAN CALLIGRAPHIC ART FROM THE REIGN OF FEODOR IVANOVICH, last Rurikid Tsar of Russia, with the year of composition given in the final colophon, and with the further details on the verso of final introductory leaf: 'the Year 7101  May 18 this Holy Book of Discourse on the Evangelist Matthew was placed in the House of the Birth of the Most Holy Mother of God and the Holy Great Prince Alexander Iaroslavovich the Warrior known as Alexander Nevskii. John Archbishop of Vologda and Great Perm [sic] blessed the book and was paid 50 rubles for prayers', and continuing in the usual manner. The colophons at the foot of the text and on the final leaf also mention prayers for Archimandrite Zakharii of the monastery, the monks, living and departed, including St. Kornelii of Komel (d.1537), for the translators and proofers of the text in Moscow, for those who work in the monastery, and all Orthodox believers. The illuminations are typical of the period and bear resemblence to those used by the first Moscow printers Ivan Fedorov and T. Nevezha. At the foot of the last leaf of text is a small oval in elaborate Viaz script which might indicate the scribe. The last Rurikid tsar, Feodor Ivanovich, was the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible, who succeded to the throne at the age of three in 1584, dying childless in 1598. His reign was dominated by his 'regent' Boris Godunov, who ascended the throne on his demise, thus opening the Time of Troubles which lasted until the election of the first Romanov Monarch, Michael Feodorovich, in 1613.