Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Putting the Distigmai in Their Place: Payne Strikes Back pt. 2

This is the second part of the series in which Payne responds to Peter Head's recent SBL presentation "Putting the Distigmai in Their Place." For background, read part 1 here.

Head argues for the originality of diple as follows: “The consistent and careful placement, the colour and faded nature, and the consensus of observers place these in the production stage of the codex.” Since Head regards the color and faded nature of the diple as important evidence for placing the diple in the production stage of the codex, it is inconsistent for him to dismiss,[1] without any alternative explanation, the analogous argument that the color and faded nature of some distigmai indicate their dating in the production stage of Vaticanus. The latter argument is based firmly upon Canart’s careful documentation of fifty-one distigmai matching the color of the original ink of Vaticanus. One of them (1309 A 23) appears to match the color of a diple less that 2 mm from it. Willker asks appropriately, “why should some umlauts [distigmai] fade and the neighbouring text not?... The different colour is a serious objection [to late dating of distigmai].”[2]

Since 2001 I have argued publicly, just as Head does, that most diple were added to Codex Vaticanus prior to the original distigmai. I still argue that mirror-image distigmai matching the color of the original ink of Vaticanus imply that a scribe penned the distigmai after the binding of the codex at least provisionally.[3] Even my first NTS article on the distigmai in 1995 (p. 256 n. 58) pointed out that the distigme matching the original ink color of the codex at 1309 A 23 lies to the left of a diple identifying an OT quotation and that this distigme’s unusually far left position is evidence that the diple marking OT quotations on this page may have been written prior to it. Furthermore, unlike diple, distigmai are usually placed in the far right margin of the sixth column of the open codex. On the basis of these differences, I have argued that, for the most part, the addition of the distigmai and diple were separate steps in the original production of the manuscript. Head apparently thought he was undermining my position with this evidence, when in fact he was confirming my judgment.

I agree that Head provides excellent evidence that diple were penned prior to distigmai in three instances, and in each of these three instances other factors indicate that the distigmai may be a later addition. The distigme at 1238 B 27 is in darker ink than both the apricot color diple whose point it obscures and the surrounding chocolate brown re-inked text. Furthermore, the NA27 lists no textual variant here. It is unlikely the original scribe would partially obscure his own diple, or that an already re-inked distigme would be re-inked again. Similarly, the distigme at 1255 A 39 is in darker ink than both the apricot color diple whose point it obscures and the surrounding chocolate brown re-inked text. Furthermore, its dots are not circular, its left dot being particularly elongated, and its left dot is noticeably higher than its right dot. Consequently, I believe that neither of these distigmai should be attributed to the original scribe nor to the re-inking process in the Middle Ages. Similarly, the distigme at 1255 B 3 significantly obscures the diple, its dots are not circular, nor do they match the apricot color of the original ink, and the NA27 lists no variant on the line, so I agree with Head that it, too, should not be attributed to the original production of Vaticanus.

I also agree that Head’s evidence is compelling that the diple must have been present prior to small number ΠΗ at 1252 C 13 and where small numbers overlap a diple at 1249 C 36, 1379 B 18, and probably 1274 B 27. These, however, have no bearing on the dating of any distigme.

Nevertheless, Head’s assertion that there are “sixteen places of interference between diple and distigme” is clearly an overstatement. Three of Head’s sixteen examples have no diple.[4] One has no distigme.[5] Eight[6] lie within the normal range for distigme separation from adjacent text, and so should not be regarded as “accommodating to the prior existence of the diple.” Furthermore, even positioning to the left of a diple is not particularly surprising since there is significant variation in the separation of apricot color distigmai from text even without competition for space.[7] In any event, we are agreed that, in general, diple were written prior to distigmai, so in such cases, where both precede the same line of text, of course the distigme is written either the outside or the inside of the diple. The only clear instances of interference are the three cases where a distigme partially obscures a diple, and, as identified two paragraphs above, each shows other evidence of addition by a later hand, so should not be assumed to imply a late date for all distigmai, and certainly not the fifty-one distigmai that match the apricot color of the original ink of Vaticanus.

Furthermore, Head’s assertion that “the diple never appear accommodated to a distigme. … [T]here is no evidence for the distigmai interfering with any” diple, is questionable. While not conclusive, there is some evidence that diple positions may have been influenced by a distigme at that line. The diple at 1311 A 39 is considerably farther left than each of the immediately preceding 9 diple, and it is the only one where a distigme follows that line of text.[8] Furthermore, although most diple are at approximately the middle of the typical character height of the adjacent line of text, in two cases where there is a distigme between the diple and the text, the diple is either at the very top of the typical character height of the adjacent line of text (1386 A 35) or mostly below the bottom of the base line of the adjacent text (1237 A 1). In both cases the diple’s unusual position places it farther from the distigme, and in 1237 A 1 this keeps it from intruding on the distigme’s space. These instances do not prove that these diple were accommodated to the distigmai. They do, however, raise doubt about Head’s absolute assertion that “there is no evidence for the distigmai interfering with any” diple.

Head affirms “The consistent and careful placement” of the Vaticanus diple and says, “[T]he placement of the diple are [sic.] quite consistent.” By my count, there are 123 isolated diple or sets of diple on contiguous lines in the Vaticanus NT where each diple is aligned with the others in a remarkably straight line and all have comparable shape, size, apricot color, and intensity of ink. There are also, however, 22 sets of diple where there is a pronounced difference between consecutive diple regarding shape, size, apricot color, and/or intensity of ink.[9] In one instance, 1455 C 30, a diple points backwards. Even among diple, there are demonstrable differences not only of position, shape, size, ink color and intensity, but also of the time of their writing. For instance, the diple at 1387 B 30 is a lighter color than the previous seven diple, bleeds through the page less than the previous seven diple, has a more open angle and is farther left than the previous seven diple. What is most instructive, however, is that this diple at 1387 B 30 is farther left apparently in order to avoid the ω that bleeds through from 1388 B 30.

There is similar bleeding through of ink from the Υ at 1388 B 28 below the sixth diple at 1387 B 28, but that diple overlaps the bleed-through ink and is exactly in line with the other seven original diple. These factors together constitute clear evidence that the sixth diple, and presumably each of the first seven, was written before page 1388 was written, but the eighth diple was evidently written after page 1388 was written and positioned farther left to avoid the ink that bled through. In spite of the differences and especially the different position of the eighth diple at 1387 B 30, its apricot color and the artistic diple shape characteristic of the original scribe supports that it was penned by the same calligrapher as the ones above it, but at a time after writing the text on the other side of the vellum. The calligraphic beauty of the text of Vaticanus[10] still visible in apricot color ink (e.g. at 1479 B 33-36) and of most of the apricot color diple, supports the view that the same scribe who wrote the text also wrote most of the diple. The evidence that at least the diple at 1387 B36 was written prior to the text on the reverse side of this page makes it highly probable that the same skilled scribe who penned the NT text of Vaticanus also penned at least some of the diple concurrently with the text.

The diple that differ significantly from standard diple are the most likely to have been added later. Some diple are so different in shape and position from all of the original diple that it is virtually certain that one or more different scribes wrote them, including all of the diple at 1455 C 27-32, 1455 C 34-42, 1456 A 1, and 1456 C 1-2, each of which is far closer to text than any of the original diple. Each of these looks like a greater-than sign and lacks the calligraphic quality of the original diple. Other diple also show signs of being added later. The typical diple with a small sharp hook curling back to the right from their upper left corner on 1491 B 40-42 and on 1491 C 4 and 15 appear to have been supplemented with larger diple lacking the small upper hook on 1491 C 1-3 (each noticeably farther left than 1491 C 4) and 1491 C 12-14. The ink color of these larger diple closely resembles that of the original diple.

This constitutes evidence that a separate scribe[11] added these diple as part of the original production of Vaticanus. It also strongly supports that the original scribe of Vaticanus wrote at least some diple shaped like those at 1387 B 23-29 concurrently with the text and others (like the one at 1387 B 30) after the text was written. Other evidence supports that another scribe apparently assisted in this task, penning diple shaped like those at 1491 C 1-3 and 1491 C 12-14. A different scribe with less calligraphic skill probably penned the simple diple that look like a greater-than sign and are far closer to the text than all the other diple, such as those at 1455 C 27-32, 1455 C 34-42, 1456 A 1, and 1456 C 1-2. Based on the close correlation between diple of all shapes and OT citations, the function of diple appears to be consistent, which is not surprising since many of the citations are explicitly introduced as such.

Head asserts: “the small numbers are also secondary to the diple.” While this is true as a generalization,[12] there is significant evidence that some diple were penned after a small number, as the following examples demonstrate.

Of the three diple Head cites on the outside of a small number, the one at 1311 A 4 is noticeably farther left than the preceding two diple at 1311 A 2-3, apparently because the small number ΚΗ occupies the position below the other two diple. This diple was probably penned after the small number ΚΗ and is placed farther left to avoid overlapping it. Compared to the previous two diple, the diple at 1311 A 4 is also much smaller, lacks the graceful curves of the previous ones, and has a wider angle, confirming that it is secondary.

Closely analogous is 1310 C 7-9, where two normal position diple are followed by a third at 1310 C 9 that is smaller, simpler, and farther left than the other two diple, apparently in order not to be too close to the small number ΚϚ.

Of the two diple Head cites on the inside of a small number the one at 1244 A 20 is noticeably farther right than each of the three immediately preceding diple. If it were in line with the preceding three diple, it would overlap the small number NA. The unusual shape of the diple, its almost horizontal top stroke, its bottom stroke curving the opposite direction from typical diple, its lack of a top hook, its simpler less calligraphic style, and its darker ink all point to it being added at a different time. Its position favours a time after the small number ΝΑ was written.

Surprisingly, Head cites all three of these instances to show that “the numbers are secondary in relation to the diple … at moments of interference,” which is the opposite of what these examples indicate. If Head had limited his assertion to the priority of original diple to small numbers, he would have been correct. His errors come from treating diple like he does distigmai, namely as a unified system: “all are the product of the same process and of approximately the same date.” These examples, however, indicate that a scribe wrote at least some of the smaller, simpler diple after small numbers were in the text.

At 1358 C 31 there are three dots in the margin near the baseline that resemble a diple, in ink matching the color of the dark chocolate brown of the adjacent re-inked text. Just above it is a short line or two dots at mid-character height. The mark resembling a diple is farther to the right and lower than most diple, and it does not precede an OT citation, but rather a citation of Jesus, “I have come down from heaven” from John 6:42. Did a later scribe misunderstand the purpose of the diple pen this? This would explain the atypical ink color and location, simpler form, and different purpose. If so, it, too, illustrates the danger of assuming that all diple-like marks, or for that matter distigme-like marks, have the same date and purpose.

The lesson is clear: evidence that one or more diple were written later than others does not constitute proof that all diple were written late and certainly not that all diple were written at the same late time. Since this is true even of diple, which display far more consistency in positioning than distigmai, it should not be surprising that some distigmai were also written later than others.


TO BE CONTINUED

Notes
[1] “Needless to say, I am not persuaded that purported similarities of colour (even indeed actual similarities of observed colour) are a particularly good guide to the dating of dots.”

[2] Willker, “Codex Vaticanus Graece 1209, B/03: Umlauts: Dating.” Though Willker was objecting to dating apricot color distigmai to the Middle Ages, the objection would apply even more strongly to dating them to the 16th century.

[3] I argue this in “Distigmai” and in Man and Woman, One in Christ, page 242.

[4] 1402 A 38 (perhaps Head misinterpreted the dots that bleed through from 1401 C 38 as a diple), 1459 A 28, and 1514 A 10 (which bleeds through from the other side of the vellum).

[5] 1518 A 33. Perhaps Head meant 1518 A 37, but it is in a normal distigme position and so does not evidence interference.

[6] Only four of the nine he lists as “inside diple” are between a diple and Vaticanus text: 1237 A 1, 1386 A 35, 1449 A 17, 1459 A 26. The eighth, 1455 B 31 L is not inside a diple but outside. Three: 1402 A 38, 1459 A 28, and 1514 A 10 33 have no diple, and one, 1518 A 33, has no distigme. 1518 A 37, which Head may have intended, is also in a normal distigme position.

[7] Documented in footnote 72 of this paper.

[8] Whether the distigme influenced the diple position is uncertain since they are not competing for the same space, but there are no other marginalia in this passage that could have influenced the different position of the diple at 1311 A 39.

[9] Size and intensity of ink: 1435 B 13, 1456 B 38-42. The last diple is farther left: 1447 C 30. The last diple is farther left and has a different shape: 1387 B 30, 1454 C 18, 1463 A 8. The last diple is farther left and has a different size: 1311 A 39. The last diple is farther left and has a different shape and size: 1310 C 9. The last diple is farther left and has a different shape, size, and intensity of ink: 1311 A 4. The last diple is farther right: 1341 A 12, 1392 A 26. The last diple is farther right and has a different shape, size, and intensity of ink: 1491 C 4. Instances where all the diple have an atypical shape, vary in intensity of ink, and are also unusually close to text: 1455 C 27-32, 1455 C 34-42 and 1456 A 1, 1456 C 1-2. Instances where the color of the ink approaches more closely the dark chocolate brown color of the ink used to re-ink Vaticanus in the Middle Ages: 1352 A 8-9 (contrast the original ink apricot color at 1352 A 19); 1358 C 31 (if this is a diple), 1361 A 31-34 (probable), 1361 B 8-9 (ambiguous), 1455 B 31 (not completely clear), 1455 C 38 (probable).

[10] T. A. Brown wrote in an e-mail to Philip B. Payne dated May 29, 2003, “the original Vaticanus hand is the most beautiful and well-balanced uncial script I have ever seen in a Biblical manuscript, having an excellence in form approaching that of monumental inscriptions.

[11] Both forms of the diple occur side by side where both replicate every letter (even the old spelling of ωδεινουσα) of the Vaticanus LXX text of Isa 54:1 cited in Gal 4:27 (1491 B 40–1491 C 4), so the other possible explanation, that a different shape of diple was used to identify different versions of the text, e.g. LXX vs. MT, cannot explain these differing diple shapes.

[12] Small numbers that overlap diple prove this, e.g. 1249 C 36, 1379 B 18, and probably 1274 B 27, as does one number written around a diple at 1252 C 13, as Head correctly observes.

7 Comments:

The White Man said...

Payne:
"Although Vaticanus does not include John 7:53–8:11, its distigme is the earliest evidence for this text after John 7:52. Similarly, although Vaticanus does include 14:34–35, its distigme here is the earliest manuscript evidence for a text that omitted these verses."

Thus a major leg on which the Interpolation Theory rests is the ancient nature of the distigmai.

maurice a robinson said...

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I differ sharply from Payne's repeated claim that the umlaut at Jn 7:52 is intended to indicate the absence of the PA (which has its own umlaut at the end of GJn, indicating comparison with something along the line of a fam.1 MS).

The umlaut at Jn 7:52 (opposite the line -FHTHS OUK EGEIRETAI) more likely indicates the known majority variant EGHGERTAI.

Ulrich Schmid said...

Payne:
"The lesson is clear: evidence that one or more diple were written later than others does not constitute proof that all diple were written late and certainly not that all diple were written at the same late time. Since this is true even of diple, which display far more consistency in positioning than distigmai, it should not be surprising that some distigmai were also written later than others."

While I am very much interested in the diple discussion, I fail to get this lesson as outlined above.

1. The diples to mark OT quotations in Vaticanus is a remarkably consistent feature. Moreover, diples of that sort are found in all the other Greek Bibles from the 4/5 th centuries (Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Ephraeimi rescriptus) as well as in many later Greek and Latin NT mss.

In sharp contrast to that, up to now distigmai to indicate places of variation have not been identified in other mss as far as I am aware of.

2. The diples in Vaticanus have not been retraced as far as I can see. Hence they display the faint "original", i.e. pre-retracing appearance.

In sharp contrast to that, the distigmai in Vaticanus are largely in a dark ink, either by the reinforcer or by somebody even later. Moreover, it is hotly debated, if and to what extend fainter distigmai can be ascribed to a phase prior to the work of the reinforcer.

3. Even, if there is evidence (most clearly in Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus) that some of the diples were probably added by different hands, the feature itself is old and most hands belong to the original scriptorium (certainly in Sinaiticus).

In sharp contrast to that the overwhelming majority of distigmai in Vaticanus have prominence in later phases of the manuscript's history (given their ink color).

In sum: The comparison between diple and distigmai as advanced by Payne appears to me like comparing apples to oranges.

EdGravely said...

Robinson:
(which has its own umlaut at the end of GJn, indicating comparison with something along the line of a fam.1 MS).

My research has found the connection between the umlauts in the gospels of Vaticanus and Family 1 to be significant.

Aside from the umlaut found at the end of John, somewhere between 33% to 50% of the umlauts in the gospels mark lines which contain variants with Family 1 (50% if a variant with *any* F1 manuscript is considered, 33% if only variations which represent all of the primary manuscripts in F1 are considered). This is a significantly higher percentage of variation than the percentage of variation between Vaticanus and the F1 tradition on a random sample of lines when tested in Matthew (only about 18% of the twenty lines following each umlaut contained variants between B and any F1 manuscript).

C. E. Hill said...

Phil,
First, on a minor but somewhat irritating point, since the word 'diple' is Greek (first decl.), I think it would be good to distinguish singulars from plurals: singular diple (e here = eta), plural diplai (like distigme and distigmai); or, to Anglicize, diple and diples.

Second, from your footnote 9 and the text it appears that a high proportion of the atypical diplai you mention, as evidence of a later hand, are also the last in a series. Are there any instances which you claim show a diple accommodating a (previously written) distigme which are also the last diple in a series (e.g., 1311 A 39)?

Philip Payne said...

Thank you, C. E. Hill, for your thoughtful, indeed excellent, questions. Head’s usage of diple for both singular and plural bothered me initially as well, but in light of our many differences I did not want to add any unnecessarily. Consequently, I explained in footnote 1 of the Part 1 of this series, “In order to be consistent with Head’s use of “diple” to identify both singular and plural instances of citations from Scripture, this paper follows his convention, respecting his usage, which in practice works well.”

I would be delighted if you or anyone else in this discussion is aware of a convention for spelling the singular and plural of diple. It is always helpful to follow established nomenclature. I wish everyone would use distigme and distigmai instead of “umlaut,” since it has inappropriate connotations. If there is no established nomenclature, I welcome your input and anyone else’s and will be happy to change my usage in this paper to whatever is, or should be, standard.

Here are the pros and cons of each of the three uses you mention:

Diple has the advantage that you never need to think which spelling fits the context. It has the disadvantage that from it a reader cannot tell if the intent is singular or plural.

Diple as singular and diplai as plural has the advantage that it parallels distigme and distigmai, which has already been accepted by a large group of highly respected textual critics and codicologists. This is probably the best for international usage. Is anyone aware of any negatives to this other than that it makes the user think which form fits the context?

Diple as singular and diples as plural has the advantage that it is easy for English speakers to understand and requires no Greek knowledge for lay people to distinguish.

The first question should be, “Is there already an established standard?” I welcome input.

As I mention above, the diple at 1311 A 39 is considerably farther left than each of the immediately preceding 9 diple, and it is the only one where a distigme follows that line of text. Whether the distigme influenced the diple position is uncertain since they are not competing for the same space, but there are no other marginalia in this passage that could have influenced the different position of the diple at 1311 A 39.

Other cases I noticed where is it possible, but not certain, that a distigme may have influenced the position of a diple are instances where the diple is either higher than usual or lower than usual whereas if it had been in a more typical location it would have been closer to an adjacent distigme. Whereas most diple are at approximately the middle of the typical character height of the adjacent line of text, in two cases where there is a distigme between the diple and the text, the diple is either at the very top of the typical character height of the adjacent line of text (1386 A 35) or mostly below the bottom of the base line of the adjacent text (1237 A 1). In both cases the diple’s unusual position places it farther from the distigme, and in 1237 A 1 this keeps it from intruding on the distigme’s space.

Mike said...

The plural of 'diple':
'diples' is a Greek pastry.
'diplai' is an Arabic name.

Perhaps Pete Head's decision to stick with 'diple' for both singular & plural was a good one...