Monday, July 11, 2016

Manuscript Quiz

25
I’ve just returned from a week in Ferrara, Italy presenting on the CBGM. It was a great time despite the heat. While there I had the chance to look at Ferrara’s complete collection of Greek New Testament manuscripts. Okay, it’s only two, but one of them is a complete copy of the New Testament—a relative rarity. I will have more to say about this interesting manuscript in the future hopefully. But I thought I would share one particular image I took and see if astute readers can tell me its text-critical significance. Hint: it involves both of our blog editors.

GA 582, fol. 17v. 14th cent.

25 comments :

  1. It preserves the true accurate original reading

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    1. Yes, you are right, and the same is true of its single exemplar.

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    2. 'Original reading'? It looks like an omission due to homoioteleuton to me ;)

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    3. I only agreed with Pete that the MS preserves the earliest reading, albeit in the margin.

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  2. It's a totally ordinary Family Π manuscript that has two parablepsis errors involving nomina sacra: the famous υιου του ΘΥ one at v1 and a longer one at vv14-15. CBGM folks will cite this as a good example of the omit υιου του ΘΥ variant having arisen more than once.

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  3. Peter Head: "It preserves the true accurate original reading"

    Indeed, it does read "in the prophets" at Mk 1:2....

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  4. I would certainly not be the best one to determine this—but the corrections, both at 1 and 15 seem to be in the original hand of the manuscript. The second one is clearly a scribal mistake as it is an easily explainable in those terms and the sentence makes no sense without the dropped words. While only a more thorough examination of the manuscript as a whole would enable this to be stated with any certainty, it seems, at least based on this page, that at least the scribe of the manuscript thought that he had a tendency to omit from his exemplar. It is therefore quite possible, at least as far as I can see, that that exemplar had the reading , υιου του ΘΥ, though of course that doesn't by itself determine the correct reading of the verse.

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    1. There seems to be more likelihood that the corrector at both instances is different from the first hand, as the letter formations are a bit distinct, especially the Beta, Rho, and Epsilon :) just a thought

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    2. I'd be interested to hear what others think about this question of the corrector vs. the original hand. I've gone back and forth on it myself.

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    3. FWIW, cf. Turner's general thoughts on this: “The corrector's work will be revealed by different handwriting, different ink (often not easy to detect in a photographic reproduction), and the ‘secondary’ placing of his work in relation to the principal handwriting” (GMAW2, 16). Obviously, Turner's talking about ancient Greek papyri, so the situation is not entirely analogical, but in my view the handwriting looks close enough (one would have to study a few dozen marginalia from the MS to establish "distinct letter formations" (pace Edgar) as does the ink colour. (The latter at least would need an autopsy for more precise confirmation.) The placing of the correction is clearly secondary, but that could just indicate that it wasn't made in scribendo, which is most likely the case here. Ceteris paribus, I think that—unfortunately (*Tommy jumps in excitement, opening a Champagne bottle*)—we have the same hand.

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    4. The ink is almost certainly the same. There are some later corrections which are clearly different.

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    5. In fact, even a later correction by a different scribe does not bother me too much; when it comes to the likelihood of the longer reading in the exemplar the general textual character must be analyzed. In this case I think the text is clearly Byzantine, and therefore the likelihood of an omission is great. And, yes, if it is the same hand, the likelihood is even greater.

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    6. The scan isn't really high enough resolution (or a large enough sample) to analyze the handwriting in detail. Two things I would note: 1. the sigla used for the insertion seem to be to be of a piece with the overall style of the handwriting in the document. I would guess, based on what Peter Gurry said that the later corrections are somewhat different in the manner of their insertion into the text. 2. Even if certain letters are slightly different, that doesn't necessarily demand a completely different hand as one tends to write in the margin (even when there is sufficient space) in a slightly more cramped hand than when one is writing a continuous text. Others more knowledgeable than I could easily correct me here of course as I am going more off of my own experience as a "scribe" than an extensive acquaintance with marginal notations in manuscripts.

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    7. The betas are what give me the most hesitation. It it weren't for those I wouldn't have much doubt.

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    8. Indeed, Turner's observations are insightful, Peter (Malik)... and they apply both to whether you think it's the first hand or the second hand :)

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    10. "in my view the handwriting looks close enough (one would have to study a few dozen marginalia from the MS to establish “distinct letter formations” (pace Edgar) as does the ink colour. (The latter at least would need an autopsy for more precise confirmation.)"

      Yes, autopsy is needed for the other marginalia in this manuscript (perhaps Peter [Gurry] can supply them as well :) )... before we can say that the "handwriting looks close enough" (pace Pater) :)

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    11. "2. Even if certain letters are slightly different, that doesn’t necessarily demand a completely different hand as one tends to write in the margin (even when there is sufficient space) in a slightly more cramped hand than when one is writing a continuous text."

      One way to test this, Peter (Montoro), is to look at the other (right) end of the page, observing how the letters were formed in this side of the page :)

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    12. There are so many "Peters" in this thread :)

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    13. @Peter Gurry. I took a look at the betas—I can certainly see what you mean. It would still be necessary to look at the manuscript as a whole I think in order to see if there is uniformity in the manuscript itself, and in the corrections themselves, in the way in which the letter is written. @Edgar Others would likely know this better—but I would think that a correction written in the margin of a handwritten document would also be altered by the scribe not wanting his hand to make contact with what had already been written, so as not to smudge it. Perhaps someone more knowledgable could speak to this as it is somewhat speculative on my part. @Peter Gurry Do you have a higher resolution copy of this picture or a picture of any additional pages? The VMR images are an odd negative (presumably because the (vellum?) was too shiny to microfilm normally ?). If they have not already, perhaps CSNTM could make a trip to Ferrara :-)

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    14. "Others would likely know this better—but I would think that a correction written in the margin of a handwritten document would also be altered by the scribe not wanting his hand to make contact with what had already been written, so as not to smudge it."

      Peter (Montoro), this will only be the case if the correction is in scribendo (which may not be he case here, as already noted by our friend Peter [Malik]) :)

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  5. I am explaining this on pp. 7-8 in this article: http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/v20/TC-2015-CBGM-Wasserman.pdf

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    1. Tommy,
      Thanks for the link, this article certainly was helpful to me on the issues addressed here, but was also the clearest explanation of the pre-genealogical process of the CBGM I have read.

      Tim

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  6. Thank you very much Tim; your response makes me very glad!

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