Friday, May 15, 2009

Transcription Practice



  1. I can't see it (when I try to blow it up)! Though from what I can see it looks like a 12th century ms I just finished transcribing.

  2. Yes, it is twelfth century, during the reign of Manuel I Komnenos.

  3. Tommy,

    Would it be possible for you to put up a higher resolution image?

  4. Christian, we will have to ask Pete, since he posted it. I just confirmed anon's observation. Manuel Komnenons is mentioned in the typical embellished dedication.

  5. Sorry,
    I thought it would blow up bigger, but it doesn't have sufficient resolution it just pixelates.
    Don't kill your eyesight on it.

  6. I've seen worse. Most of it is visible.

  7. No problem, how did you do that, another portrait?

    To continue with some pieces, we see here one of the concluding pages of a tetraevangelion. The scribe indicates with red ink how many stichoi John contains, after a standard formula that this Gospel acc. to John was copied and compared to the same manuscripts (as indicated at the end of Matthew, etc). The numbers of kefalaia are noted. This section concludes with an amen, which is written in black ink.

    The bottom section in black ink is the colophon, where the scribe "John the Monk" introduces himself humbly as the servant of God, then gives the date of the MS and indicates that in the reign of Manuel Komnenos Porphyrogennetos (accompanied by standard honorary titles "king and lord").

    I think I can see on line four from the bottom that the month is February. The year I think begins with the last letter on that line followed by the next three on the third line from the bottom.

    There are many more details, but I will leave it with that now. After all it's Friday.

  8. Hmm, maybe not the three next letters, but characters, so stigma 6000, chi 600, vu 50, but the problem is that this gives the year 1142 before the guy was born. I have to think some more. Off to floorhockey.

  9. I had the honor of working with Dan last year. He sent me a list of ‘second century’ manuscripts and asked me to calculate how many of the verses of the NT are attested in these early manuscripts. The actual number is 43 percent. If anyone is interested in receiving a few files that show how I arrived at this number, just send me a request at

    By the way, the list of ‘second century’ manuscripts that Dan sent me had this note next to the ‘second century’ manuscripts: “(MSS that are possibly prior to 200 are in italics; the rest are in regular type). Of the 12 manuscripts on Dan’s list, 8 were in italics and 4 were in regular type.

    Brett Williams

  10. Brett, thanks a lot. I think maybe your comment ended up on the wrong post (this one is about Transcription Practice). Feel free to post it in the next post on Dan's article in JETS.

    Can Peter Head please inform us which MS this is, date, etc. Unfortunately I don't have time to work more on this MS, but I am still curious.

  11. The photo is from GA 2145 as listed by Tommy:

  12. Thanks Pete! I should have payed more attention to my own post. So this MS has the Jerusalem colophon. However, some of those MSS, like this one, do not mention "Jerusalem" in all Gospels. (This doesn't here in John.)

    MEGALHS EKKLHSIAS (line 5-4 from bottom) apparently refers to the church in Constantinople.

    According to the website of the National library the MS is dated to 1144 (then there is probably a typo in the text indicating 1114). Manuel Komnenos was born in 1118, but began his reign in 1143. (I initially mixed up the date of his inauguration with the birth date.)

    I still wonder about the date 1144. I think I can see 6650, and since 1 Sept, 5509 B.C. is the date of creation, 6650-5508 (for an MS dated in February) = 1142 A.D.

    The English translation of the note, according to the website is "6752", which is wrong. It has to be 6652 in order to be 1142 A.D. I haven't checked the K. Liste since it is at the office.