Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Textual Division Markers in Codex Vaticanus


I enjoyed teaching some seminars for the Logos online program this year. In our seminars we looked at Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2 in a variety of manuscripts. We had a very close look at this passage (the end of Hebrews 2 and the start of Hebrews 3) in Codex Vaticanus to try and figure out the temporal relationships between the seven different actions involved in the marking of this textual division. 


  1. This would be my take:
    1. Scribe B (Milne & Skeat) leaves a large mid-line space (possibly a high dot later reinforced) and a paragraphos.
    2. The numerator, working just after the inscribing of the text block, places a Ξ (60) in the left margin (just visible beneath the B). These operations so far are part of the original page production (this will be argued in a new book soon...).
    3. In probably the ninth century (Versace), but possibly earlier, the book is given a new numbered capitulation. The numerator erases and writes over the original Ξ, inscribes a B, and then writes a replacement Ξ to the right. It is probably this scribe or another at about the same time who reinforces part or all of the text, including the original paragraphos.
    4. In the 16th c. (so Versace), the text is reinforced again with a darker ink. This scribe reinks the B and either places or reinks the high dot.
    5. Somebody else, probably in the 16th c. (Versace), adds the internal division marker and the Arabic number 3.

  2. Thanks Chuck, that has some interesting complications!

  3. I would distinguish the two parts of your 1 into two "layers" - the scribally original space and the subsequent paragraphos.

    Also, although I can see the temptation to figure out what is under the BETA, I don't think that over-writing and then re-writing the XI is the best explanation.