Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Minuscule Manuscript Seminar 5

Here is the next instalment of the minuscule manuscript seminar sample. For earlier samples see Seminar One (ms 461; AD 835), Seminar Two (ms 1582; AD 949), Seminar Three (ms 623; AD 1037), Seminar Four (ms 2138; AD 1072).
I am sorry that this is again a fairly small excerpt. I shall see what I can do in terms of finding a full page. But while I am looking what do you make of this?



18 Comments:

Peter M. Head said...

Sorry about the wrong date. I was actually trying to get it to publish automatically tomorrow. It is actually still Monday where I am.

Eric Rowe said...

It's Luke 19:33ff.

In v. 34 this text lacks the οτι that is found in NA. None of my NT's have MSS information about this variant. But I notice that this MS agrees with Robinson and Pierpont's text here.

I notice that after τον ιν in v. 34 this MS uses a symbol for και that doesn't look quite like any of the examples Metzger lists in his table on p. 30 of his Manuscripts of the Greek Bible. Perhaps this detail will be of significance for those who have more paleographical knowledge than I.

This MS uses round breathing marks, indicating a date no earlier than A.D. 1000.

This MS uses two rho's in its spelling of επιριψαντες.

The branches on the psi don't curve up at all. In fact, the left one curves down. From Metzger's table on p. 23 of MOTGB, it looks like this feature betrays a date of no later than the 11th century.

So, it looks like we can nail down the date to the 11th century.

Eric Rowe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric Rowe said...

This MS reads εαυτων instead of just αυτων in v. 35. But it reads simply αυτων in v. 36. This agrees with Byz. and f13 in both cases, but disagrees with f1, 700, 892, 1241, and 2542 in the former case. So about all this tells us is that the MS is not one of those MSS.

The last line has a theta in the word πληθος (v. 37) with the cross bar extending well outside of the circle. This also looks like a relatively early feature according to Metzger. So it's probably a MS from right around the year 1000.

Peter M. Head said...

Yes, it is clearly Byz at just about every possible variant:
v34: EIPON, - OTI
v35: EPIRRIPSANTES, EAUTWN
v36: AUTWN

Identification on the basis of the text doesn't seem possible as their is nothing idiosyncratic in this sample.

Other things worth noting:
a) we have some traces of the top line, enough to show that KURIOI was written out in full and not written as a NS
b) Initial epsilon out dented into margin. Somewhat decorated. Other material cut off in photo is presumably the Ammonian/Eusebian numbers
c) There is also something else cut off in the right hand margin after line 10
d) two different forms of alpha: simple normal minuscule alpha and then another type with pronounced diagonal
e) ETA is consistently written in majuscule style
f) no iota subscripts
g) few ligatures; only obvious and rudimentary ones (except for one KAI)
h) Mostly (horrible) PIs like an infinity sign and extended upper horizontal; but in line 17 there is a different PI: more like majuscule. Scribe relapsing? Or space consideration in this line?
i) Pretty subjective warning: I don't like this script much. It has no real flow; it seems rather too carefully done; overly studied, no life or freedom
j) Not at all sure about the page layout; could be small book or two columns in a bigger book from what is available here.

Eric Rowe said...

I'm not sure how to interpret your observations, Peter.

Since you selected the MS, you presumably already know exactly what and from when it is. And you had certain reasons for selecting it. There must be something noteworthy about it. As you say, the readings are all Byzantine. But something you said about the script caught my attention:
"Pretty subjective warning: I don't like this script much. It has no real flow; it seems rather too carefully done; overly studied, no life or freedom." Just what kind of a warning is this--a warning of a fellow participant, or a warning of the referee given for the purpose of keeping people off of false trails?

It sounds like you're suggesting that what we are seeing might not be the scribes natural hand, but rather an imitation of something. The first thing that comes to my mind in that regard is another line from Metzger's MOTGB, "Sometimes a scribe took an earlier hand as his model and consequently his work presents an archaic appearance that is not charateristic of his time." (p. 50).

Since I had mentioned several observations of features that would indicate a date from around 1000, I wonder if your warning is a suggestion that these features are examples of archaizing, and that this MS is from significantly later (something that the rounded breathing marks and the occasional stray Majuscule might betray).

I revise my guess to the range of 1250-1350.

Peter M. Head said...

Eric, you are too suspicious! It was only meant as a subjectivity warning, an expression (partly) of personal taste, rather than something that is easily categorised.

I would have thought that the basis for the selections could by now have been figured out.

Peter M. Head said...

Eric said:
"I'm not sure how to interpret your observations, Peter. Since you selected the MS, you presumably already know exactly what and from when it is."

They are simply observations. There is more to any manuscript than simply its contents and its date. And in general I would think about the date either on first glance (i.e. the general impression of the hand in relation to a set of impressions about the development of such a hand over time) or only after making a complete set of observations.

You may be right that because I already know some things about the ms (since I selected it), that I am then interested simply in observing what is actually there, and not observing primarily with a view to coming up with a dating.

maurice a robinson said...

Rowe: "after τον ιν in v. 34 this MS uses a symbol for και that doesn't look quite like any of the examples Metzger lists."

There is nothing particularly unusual about that form of KAI; it is quite common in MSS of the 11th and later centuries (along with other forms).

PMH: "Mostly (horrible) PIs like an infinity sign and extended upper horizontal"

Also not unusual (and beauty or horror, I suspect, is in the eye of the beholder -- you probably wouldn't like my handwritten "f" or other English letters either).

PMH: "in line 17 there is a different PI: more like majuscule. Scribe relapsing?"

Also a quite typical interchange, one that generally, but not always, depends upon the ligature involved.

PMH: "I would have thought that the basis for the selections could by now have been figured out."

Far less than obvious to me, I am afraid.

But (if I may venture a guess, without having looked further), might this be the 11th/12th century MS 2 of the gospels, used as typesetter's copy by Froben for the first Erasmian edition? The primary negative to that speculation is the lack of words crossed out or inserted by Erasmus' own hand.

Peter M. Head said...

Thanks Maurice,

But this is not ms 2.

Tommy Wasserman said...

PMH: "I would have thought that the basis for the selections could by now have been figured out."

Without checking the other seminars, my impression is that we have been going from the earliest dated minuscules and forward century by century . . . ?

Eric Rowe said...

"Without checking the other seminars, my impression is that we have been going from the earliest dated minuscules and forward century by century . . . ?"

Aha. Of course!
And from the one picture I can find of MS 165, dated AD 1292, I'd say this could well be it.

Peter M. Head said...

Thanks Eric,

But this is not ms 165.

Eric Rowe said...

Interesting. Unfortunately, finding more plates of dated NT MSS would require more time in the library than I'm willing to spend.

Fortunately, there's an interesting resource available online that lists NT minuscules along with references to places where pictures of them are available, either in books or online.

It's a handy table hosted at the Tyndale House website, and authored by somebody who is coincidentally also named Peter Head.

It seems that there is a MS dated to 1197. Its NA # is 877. And, lo and behold, there is an image available of precisely Luke 19:33-37, according to Dr. Head's table.

He cites the following:
Barbour, GLH 25 [fol. 161r = Luke 19.33-37]

Not only is the minuscule the next dated one chronologically after the previous 4 minuscule seminars (as far as I am able to tell). But the fact that Dr. Head's table lists a picture of the exact passage that his picture for this post has, together with the fact that his original post indicates that this precise picture is the only one he has available for this minuscule, provide sufficient circumstantial evidence for me to take a stab in the dark and say that what we have here is MS 877, dated 1197.

Peter M. Head said...

Very sneaky,

but don't look there again else the rest of the series of minuscule manuscript seminars will be very boring.

Peter M. Head said...

So Tommy was right: they are all dated minuscules.
And Eric is also right: I have previously noted most of them in my list.

Peter M. Head said...

Of course, knowing the source of the information and the identification of a manuscript, may actually help us to hear the story of each manuscript more attentively.

Eric Rowe said...

"but don't look there again else the rest of the series of minuscule manuscript seminars will be very boring."

It started as an innocent Google search for images of dated NT minuscules. How was I to know what I was about to find?

"Of course, knowing the source of the information and the identification of a manuscript, may actually help us to hear the story of each manuscript more attentively."

One question I have is what to make of the shapes of psi and theta. Is it true that these are older forms? If so, does this indicate the scribe's attempt at an archaizing script?