My palaeography/TC class has been assigned a GSI MS this semester, and we are having a lot of fun working on it. It is an early minuscule, extant only in 9 leaves.
We are working on trying to explain why the 9 leaves are separate. There is not a single double fold, though there are two sets of two leaves that are connected by use of a reinforcement. In addition, one of the single leaves has a strip of parchment (contiguous with it) surviving on the other side of the hinge.
The leaves come from Mt, Mk, and Jn, and there is (later) numbering that implies around 400 sides (every recto and verso has a number), so it must have been a complete four Gospel codex at some point. If single folia were joined with strips of parchment, that would have been terribly bulky in the binding, wouldn't it? Does any of you know of a codex which may have consisted entirely of single folia?
There are also no gathering numbers on the upper or lower corners, in other words very little evidence that this codex ever had gatherings (though it may simply be that none of the first or last sides of a gathering survived among the nine).
Or, on the other hand, Hugh suggests that a normally produced codex was at some point torn apart into single leaves to repair another?
Does anyone know of another situation like this or have any suggestions as to how this situation may have come about?
Glad for shared experience or ideas.