Thursday, October 27, 2005
Vowels in Voelz
Peter mentioned the following article on another thread: James W. Voelz, 'The Greek of Codex Vaticanus in the Second Gospel and Marcan Greek', Novum Testamentum 47 (2005) 209-249. What caught my attention about this article was nothing to do with its main point, but rather its list of itacisms within Vaticanus for Mark on p. 211. What do Γαλειλαιας (1:16), θλειψεως (4:17), ατειμος (6:4), μεικρων (9:42) and all the other examples he gives have in common? They have in common the fact that the ει is used where etymologically there is a long i. He gives twelve examples of this, though he does not mention vowel quantity. Is it the case generally that this type of itacism in manuscripts correlates with the presence of etymologically long vowels? If so, this could tell us interesting information. One thing that fascinates me is the high incidence of the ει spelling for Semitic names (David, Pharisees, Galilee, etc.). Either the scribes were familiar with the vowel quantity of Semitic names (through knowing Hebrew/Aramaic or through hearing the names clearly enunciated in public Scripture reading) or the presence of ει comes from the authors themselves. Possible counter examples could be λειαν (6:51), which could apparently have short or long quantity, ανακλειθηναι (6:39), for a verb whose vowel quantity changes between various tenses, and εξεισταντο (6:51), whose vowel quantity I would have to do more work to discover. Does anyone out there know its quantity?