Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Edoardo Crisci and Greek Christian manuscripts

Edoardo Crisci, the Italian paleographer, kindly sent me some fascicles of his writing which I was unable to acquire in my university library (which typically has everything). I am pleasantly surprised not only by the author's generosity, but also by the quality of research which I will outline here, as it is relevant to those of us studying ancient Christian manuscripts.

Edoardo Crisci. “Riflessioni paleografiche (e non solo) sui più antichi manoscritti greci del Nuovo Testamento.” In Oltre la scrittura: variazioni sul tema per Guglielmo Cavallo, edited by Daniele Bianconi and Lucio Del Corso. Dossiers Byzantins 8. Paris: Centre d'études Byzantines, 2008.
In this chapter, Crisci surveys some scholarly debate concerning the manufacture of Christian scriptures in the early period and reviews some of the earliest witnesses, offering comments on their historical relevance and suggestions on their dating. E.g., the author argues that P⁶⁶ is better dated to the first half of the third century than to the late second century (79–81).

Edoardo Crisci. “Papiro e pergamena nella produzione libraria in Oriente fra IV e VIII secolo d.C. Materiali e reflexioni.” Segno e testo 1 (2003): 79–127.
In this article, Crisci makes a simple but important point. Early Christian scribes tended to use parchment in higher quality manuscripts. By circa 600, parchment became the standard medium for biblical and liturgical texts.

Edoardo Crisci. “Note sulla più antica produzione di libri cristiani nell'Oriente greco.” Segno e testo 3 (2005): 93–145.
Basically, the prior article, but on steroids. Crisci has developed and nuanced his earlier analysis of the tradition, including further patristic and statistical evidence.

Edoardo Crisci, Christoph Eggenberger, Robert Fuchs, and Doris Oltrogge. “Il Salterio purpureo Zentralbibliothek Zürich RP 1.” Segno e testo 5 (2007): 31–98, DVD.
I am keen on publishing manuscripts in electronic formats, and those journals with electronic publication seem like a great option for this. Although Segno e Testo does not have electronic access, the publication more than makes up for this by offering a DVD with fine images of the purple Psalms parchment. Additionally, the print publication has excellent color images.

Recommend Segno e testo to your librarian, if your institution is even vaguely interested in manuscript paleography! While the series is primarily Italian language, articles in the other major research languages are also common.


  1. Perhaps you can now finally learn som Italian in the process... we did miss you in Rome the other year ;-)

  2. Io posso parlare un po d'italiano, but, sadly, no Norwegian!

  3. Va bene cosi Christian. Anch'io parla un po' italiano, och lite norsk!

  4. CA:
    Io posso parlare un po d'italiano,

    I can speak a little Italian,

    "Va bene cosi Christian. Anch'io parla un po' italiano, och lite norsk!"

    That's okay, Christian. I also speak some Italian, as well as a bit of Norwegian!