Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Minuscule Manuscript Seminar 4

Here is the next instalment of the minuscule manuscript seminar sample (after a quiet pause). For earlier samples see Seminar One (ms 461; AD 835), Seminar Two (ms 1582; AD 949), Seminar Three (ms 623; AD 1037). So what do you make of this?


  1. Looks like its part of Acts 5, for starters. -John Quant

  2. Acts 5:4-9.
    The words before idou on the third line from the bottom are hard to make out. It should read pneuma kuriou. I can make out parts of pneuma, but not enough to tell if it's written in full or as a nomen sacrum (it looks like it takes up too much space to be a NS-but I can't make out enough letters to tell for sure). Kuriou was probably there as a NS , and has all but disappeared. I can only make out faint strokes where it should be.

  3. Scratch that last bit. Pneuma is definitely NS, and is spelled pma instead of pna, which is what Metzger lists as the norm. Kuriou is ku, as expected. Enough of it is there to tell that, even though the letters are faint. I was previously mistaking the punctuation mark that follows the upsilon as part of a letter. I notice that the letter forms used in this manuscript seem to follow the pure forms of the vetustissimi codices very well (in comparison with the handy table in Metzger's "Manuscripts of the Greek Bible).

  4. The ink appears to be bleeding through from the other side. Is this the flesh side of the parchment (which is more apt to be the recipient of bleeding)?

    Also, someone has written the Arabic numeral 13 in the upper right which, I will guess, numbers the pages of Acts in this text for the modern reader. It is handy that the medieval scribe thought of this for us. : )

  5. I believe part of the problem is due to the fact that it is scanned from a small printed photograph.

  6. Rowe: "Scratch that last bit. Pneuma is definitely NS, and is spelled pma instead of pna"

    As a matter of damage control (lest this further encourage the erroneous POMA/PMA claim of Ehrman): the abbreviation in minuscule characters is PNA and not PMA. The minuscule Nu happens to resemble the minuscule Mu to a very close degree, but there is a tittle of difference between them. Cf. the "real" minuscule MU in EIPE MOI (line 7 from bottom).

  7. Robinson: "the abbreviation in minuscule characters is PNA and not PMA"

    I second that observation. The "tittle" that he points out can be seen jutting, ever-so-slightly from the bottom right of the letter. if Dr. Robinson's comments need any support! :-)

    Robinson: "lest this further encourage the erroneous POMA/PMA claim of Ehrman"

    What is his claim with respect to this?

  8. Forgot...with respect to PNA KU, I see the nomen sacrum marker above the upsilon, but where is the marker above PNA? Is it perhaps just worn away like a portion of the kappa?

    Also, in miniscule, were these markers usually written over the last letter alone, as in the case of KU above?

  9. It is tricky with this quality photo to get into details about letter formation and ligatures.
    A couple of observations
    a) Occasional majuscule N (e.g. PESWN line 4)
    b) uses both KAI (e.g. line 4, bottom line) and a ligature for KAI (e.g. line 9): perhaps space considerations a factor (maintaining right justification)
    c) the blob in the left-hand margin (at line 9) must be a T, completing the EGENE of line 8, with large T and then O in line 9. This would then mark a new paragraph (as also currently in NA27). I'm not sure what explains the damage. (I presume the letter in the right hand margin is bleed through from the previous page.)
    d) This manuscript marks the sentences with clear punctuation (the numbering of verses in 1551 didn't necessarily do the distinguishing, as it was primarily a referencing tool).
    e) I am not sure what is going on in the top margin. It looks like something has been erased.

  10. As regards text it seems largely Byz, except for two items which may help identification:
    v5: AKOUWN DE ANANIAS (line 3)
    v8: APEKRIQH O PETROS (line 11)

  11. I'm having trouble making out enough detail in most parts of the ms to tell if it has square or round breathing marks. However, there is one on the eis at the beginning of line 11 that is clearly enough square, that I'll go with that. There is an intrusion of an uncial theta at the beginning of the next-to-last line; but that's the only one I see. I'm going to take a stab at the 11th or 12th century and leave it to the veterans to correct me or narrow it down.

  12. Speaking of posts that provoke reader interaction....
    what ever happened to the 2006 TC awards?
    I remember the nominations, but I don't remember the actual decisions.

  13. This manuscript is minuscule 2138 (Moscow, Univ. 2), dated to AD 1072; containing Acts & CE, Paul, Rev.
    The photo is from Barbour, GLH 43 [fol. 13r = Acts 5.4-10]

    There are also plates in Vaganay, Initiation (2.d ed Amphoux, 1986).

    For some more info see

  14. Eric Rowe said: "There is an intrusion of an uncial theta at the beginning of the next-to-last line..."

    Well, that is where one would "intrude", since it is the initial form of the letter; the closed-theta is the medial-and-final form.

  15. But the theta starting that line looks closed to me, not "uncial", so this wasn't written in the time-period of that difference.