Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Tischendorf’s ‘Wounded Vanity’?

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In 1858, Hort reviewed the latest editions of both Tischendorf and Tregelles. He was much more positive about the latter than the former. In closing, he says this about Tischendorf:
Both editors in fact deserve the praise of conscientiousness in their actual work. But Tischendorf is becoming less careful than he used to be. We must add that the merits of his labours would be at least equally appreciated by duly qualified judges, if he were less given to proclaiming them himself. Even his title-page deserves reprobation: what he calls his seventh is to all intents and purposes his third edition: he has presumed far on his readers’ ignorance in reckoning his two Paris editions, which we should have thought he would have been only too glad to have forgotten. His old ungenerousness to every other editor is worse than ever: such an absurd effusion of wounded vanity and spite against his friend Dr Tregelles as he has prefixed to his third number will do him no good in the eyes of candid men.*
Now, in my experience, the British have a noticeable distaste for anything much beyond self-effacement. But this still seems a bit harsh from Hort. I’d like to hear from readers who have read more of Tischendorf than me: Is there some truth to what Hort says here or is he being unfair?

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*F. J. A. Hort, “Notices of New Books,” The Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology, 4 (1858): 201–211 (211).

8 comments :

  1. 1) I don't know much about Tischendorf. A brief search shows, for what it may or may not be worth, that vanity came up elsewhere. E.g., in a letter from Germanos to Archbishop-Elect Cyril (according to Sisters of Sinai by Janet Soskice p. 112) Tischendorf was described as spreading news of his acquisition "either out of vanity or for some other reason." And Abbot, "The Late Prof. Tischendorf," 236, "Freedom from vanity was not his most conspicuous virtue, and it may be that he valued somewhat too highly such titles and distinctions; but who shall say that he did not richly deserve them all?"

    2) While I'm here, a comment on the questioned (by Christopher Rollston et al.) recently-published "Jerusalem papryus." It's been noted about the possibly "too good to be true" aspects are a confirmation of a King in First-Temple Jerusalem (not that I doubt such a king then and there), and an attestation of a highly-ranked women. But would it be in vain to further speculatively add that the place from which wine was intended to be sent (perhaps not famous for wine, as, more or less, David Stacey noted at rollstonepigraphy.com comments) is a location in Judaea called by some, these days, the West Bank?

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  2. According to Harvard Crimson:
    Director of the Ancient Ink Laboratory Jim T. Yardley said the lab created a “totally unprecedented” method of dating manuscripts by analyzing tiny ink samples with a “scanning electron microscope.”

    Typical radiocarbon dating involves cutting off an actual portion of the document and measuring the isotopic ratios of carbon atoms found in the carbon dioxide.

    Both tests were performed on the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” and conflicting results emerged.

    “There’s a problem,” Yardley said. “The ink is from 200 AD, while the carbon 14 test says the document is from 700 AD. The age of the ink could be younger than the substrate, but it can’t be older.”

    No peer-reviewed article on ink dating is cited.
    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/11/11/papyrus-christianity-divinity-school/

    ReplyDelete

  3. Following publications on ink research, including HTR 2014 by Yardley and Hagadorn, NTS 2015 by Krutzsch and Rabin, and hints of new tests in Boston Globe April 10, 2014 by Wangsness, Live Science August 24, 2015 by Jarus, The Atlantic Sept. 10 2015 by Baden and Moss, etc., might the following online abstract be relevant? It is by Dr. Sarah Goler, a member of the Columbia Nano Institute Ancient Ink Laboratory (Prof. Yardley, head; Prof. Bagnall, member)? Relevant, possibly, that is, for the method, though this April 2015 abstract reports on mss of "known provenance."
    In-depth Study of Raman Spectroscopy on Carbon Black Ink as a Potential Method for Non-Destructive Dating of Ancient Manuscripts (Abstract)
    Micro-Raman spectroscopy is a non-destructive light scattering technique that can be used to distinguish physical and chemical properties of materials. We have performed micro-Raman spectroscopy experiments on the black ink from Egyptian manuscripts of known provenance ranging in date from 300BCE to 1000CE. All the black ink showed the typical spectrum of carbon black ink with broad D and G bands. The D band is a forbidden Raman transition that occurs when the lattice symmetry is broken. The D band at approximately 1350cm-1 is associated with disorder, vacancies crystalline edges, etc. The G band at 1585cm-1 is a Raman allowed transition that arises from the E2g in-plane vibration of sp2 bonded carbon. These features in the Raman spectrum of carbon are assigned to the crystalline and amorphous carbon content. The carbon black spectra observed showed clear changes with the age of the ink. The significance and number of peaks to fit the Raman spectrum of carbon black is not well understood. We selected to fit our data with two, three, and four peak fits to try to extract quantitative and qualitative insight from the spectra. We found that all the parameters from our two peak fits show correlations with the age of the ink that could potentially be used to non-destructively date ink of unknown date.

    *If* the above abstract is the sort of research proposed--which I do not know--then it would be appropriate to note that the contribution by Ira Rabin 2015 mentioned above has already offered reason to question the potential of such approaches to deliver reliable dating. Further--reportedly--two lectures at the September 1-5, 2015 8th International Congress on the Application of Raman Spectroscopy in Art and Archaeology in Wrocław, Poland may include explanation why such approach to dating would be unreliable.

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  4. Commentary on the Harvard Crimson "...Frenzy Distracts..." article, "The Gospel of Jesus' Wife redux," by Harvard Classics Prof. Emeritus Christopher Jones:
    https://www.academia.edu/29812018/The_G ... o=download

    As you may know from the SBL program:
    James T. Yardley, Columbia University, Sarah Goler, Columbia University in the City of New York and David Ratzan, New York University
    Dating Ancient Egyptian Papyri through Raman Spectroscopy: Concept and Application to Fragments of The Gospel of Jesus's Wife and the Gospel of John (60 min) - See more at: https://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/Congresses_ProgramBook.aspx?MeetingId=29#sthash.yfN3uHDO.dpuf
    Roberta Mazza, presiding

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  5. I was behind, bibliographically; there is a publication (though I haven't got a full copy):

    Sarah Goler, James T. Yardley, Angela Cacciola, Alexis Hagadorn, David Ratzan and Roger Bagnall. "Characterizing the age of ancient Egyptian manuscripts through micro-Raman spectroscopy." Journal of Raman Spectroscopy. Article first published online: 6 MAY 2016 DOI: 10.1002/jrs.4945.

    And now (apparently) in paper vol. 47 issue 10, October, 2016, pages 1185–1193,

    ISSN 1097-4555


    The first page:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... .4945/epdf

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  6. Tregelles, after collating many mss and noticing errors in Tischendorf's editions, sent corrections to Tischendorf who refused to publish or accept many of the corrigenda, even though Tregelles apparently was the more accurate. So Tregelles pointed out the readings that Tischendorf refused to correct. Tischendorf was hurt, even though this kind of correction is exactly what Tischendorf does to others all the time in his works. He could dish it out but couldn't take it. So he harshly attacks Tregelles on p. cxvii of his prolegomena to the 7th ed. crit. maj. (or 3rd according to Hort!): "Ut autem praeteream quibus post prodesse eius studiis mihi contigit, non possum quin hoc loco dicam quam aegre feram recenti memoria tanta illum videri invidia ac malevolentia laborare, ut officium detrahendi de laboribus meis in se recepisse credendus sit." Also, Hort wrote the prolegomena to Tregelles' edition (vol. 7) and so obviously was sympathetic to it.

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  7. Speaking of forgery and San Antonio, a reminder of a proposed--not proven, as far as I know!--hint of a forgery source, here's a link to discussion of the faked Demotic version of parts of the Gospel of Thomas supposedly reprinted from an 1875 New Orleans publication and offered to Discussions in Egyptology in 1990:
    http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/search?q=batson
    Robin Lane Fox, in his second Financial Times article (linked at the above) promptly acknowledged the hoax and hinted at a potential source:
    "There is, however, a clue: the editress who received his first letter happens to have kept the envelope. Its stamp is post-marked San Antonio, Texas, on November 16 1990. Batson's letters have never mentioned a Texan connection. San Antonio happens to be the home town of the journal by which the next article by Batson is supposed to have been accepted: is it a coincidence or somehow a clue to the fake's academic home? A rivalry, perhaps, between scholars or editors or their periodicals, with Oxford receiving a Texan time-bomb?"
    This (unproven) hint apparently suggests the hoaxer was someone associated with Varia Aegyptiaca, edited and published in San Antonio by Charles Cornell van Siclen III.
    Is this true or false?
    And, does anyone have a copy of the twelve page offprint of "Three unrecognized Demotic texts," Batson D Sealing; R S Walker, as listed in WorldCat (formerly listed by the Brooklyn Museum)?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Speaking of forgery and San Antonio, a reminder of a proposed--not proven, as far as I know!--hint of a forgery source, here's a link to discussion of the faked Demotic version of parts of the Gospel of Thomas supposedly reprinted from an 1875 New Orleans publication and offered to Discussions in Egyptology in 1990:
    http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/search?q=batson
    Robin Lane Fox, in his second Financial Times article (linked at the above) promptly acknowledged the hoax and hinted at a potential source:
    "There is, however, a clue: the editress who received his first letter happens to have kept the envelope. Its stamp is post-marked San Antonio, Texas, on November 16 1990. Batson's letters have never mentioned a Texan connection. San Antonio happens to be the home town of the journal by which the next article by Batson is supposed to have been accepted: is it a coincidence or somehow a clue to the fake's academic home? A rivalry, perhaps, between scholars or editors or their periodicals, with Oxford receiving a Texan time-bomb?"
    This (unproven) hint apparently suggests the hoaxer was someone associated with Varia Aegyptiaca, edited and published in San Antonio by Charles Cornell van Siclen III.
    Is this true or false?
    And, does anyone have a copy of the twelve page offprint of "Three unrecognized Demotic texts," Batson D Sealing; R S Walker, as listed in WorldCat (formerly listed by the Brooklyn Museum)?

    ReplyDelete