Tuesday, February 28, 2023

New Book on Greek Palimpsests at Saint Catherine’s


An email informs me of a new, open-access book that will be of interest to readers here. It’s called Greek Palimpsests at Saint Catherine’s Monastery (Sinai): Three Euchologia as Case Studies. The author is Giulia Rossetto. You can read it online here

The Monastery of Saint Catherine in the Sinai peninsula preserves one of the largest collections of manuscripts in the world, which include a significant number of palimpsest manuscripts (over 170). This book deals with Saint Catherine’s palimpsests in Greek language and offers their first-ever inventory. Three selected cases studies are then extensively described in order to showcase the richness and heterogenity of Sinai palimpsest books.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Codex Sassoon Heads to Auction


Sotheby’s has announced the upcoming auction of Codex Sassoon. They are dubbing it “The Earliest, Most Complete Hebrew Bible” and anticipating that, at $30–50m, it could be “the highest valued manuscript or historical document ever offered at auction.” From their description:

The earliest, most complete copy of the Hebrew Bible is actually a book known as Codex Sassoon, named for its most prominent modern owner: David Solomon Sassoon (1880–1942), a passionate collector of Judaica and Hebraic manuscripts. Dating to the late 9th or early 10th century, Codex Sassoon contains all 24 books of the Hebrew Bible – missing only 12 leaves – and precedes the earliest entirely complete Hebrew Bible, the Leningrad Codex, by nearly a century.
It all sounds quite impressive, but that’s what you would expect from someone about to make money off of it. I wonder if our readers could say more about this manuscript. I admit this is the first I’ve ever heard of it. (Wikipedia seems to have it confused with the Damascus Pentateuch.)

Update (2/22/23): Kim Phillips addresses some of the exaggeration about Codex Sassoon over at the TCI website and points to some other helpful sources here.

Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Martin Heide on Erasmus


Some of our readers may know that Martin Heide, one of our blog members, has written on Erasmus. His book Der einzig wahre Bibeltext? Erasmus von Rotterdam und die Frage nach dem Urtext (The Only True Bible Text? Erasmus of Rotterdam and the Quest for the Original Text) is now in its fifth edition. Martin has worked extensively in the languages over the years, contributing to and producing numerous critical editions of the versions. 

For those who don’t read German, you can sample his work on Erasmus in his new article at the Text & Canon Institute website: “Erasmus and the Search for the Original Text of the New Testament.” Here’s a taste:

The Novum Instrumentum was the only printed and published Greek text available at the onset of the Reformation and it has done the church a great service. The success and deep impact of the Reformation and its aftermath would be unthinkable without this new spiritual and intellectual basis of the New Testament text. Moreover, no cardinal doctrine is jeopardized by its obvious shortcomings. However, the Greek of the Novum Instrumentum, or the “Received Text,” as it was later called, “soon became, as it were, stereotyped in men’s minds; so that the readings originally edited on most insufficient manuscript authority, were supposed to possess some prescriptive right, just as if … an apostle had been the compositor” (Tregelles).

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Subgrants for Paratext Research in Glasgow


A note from Garrick Allen about new research opportunities that includes two partially-funded PhDs:

Dear friends and colleagues,

I'm writing to make you aware of a unique opportunity coming from our recently funded project Paratexts seeking Understanding here at the University of Glasgow, led by me, Christoph Scheepers, and Kelsie Rodenbiker. We are planning to make multiple subgrants (36 months from 1 October 2023) with budgets of up to £121,328 for research on the paratextuality of manuscript cultures in and represented by the Chester Beatty collections, with special attention to questions of aesthetics and knowledge (aesthetic cognitivism).

We hope to make subgrants that address manuscripts cultures preserving Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, and other religious traditions.

Subgrantees are to propose a plan for philological research on a specific tradition and be willing to work with our Scientific Team here in Glasgow to operationalize empirical studies on their tradition. Applicants must hold a PhD and have the support of their host institutions. No experience with empirical research is required.

More information on the project, its application materials, and support for applicants can be found at www.gla.ac.uk/paratext. Questions can be directed to paratexts@glasgow.ac.uk.

Applications (which are not too onerous) are due 15 April 2023. Outcomes will be communicated 15 May 2023. Applications will be evaluated by our advisory board, project leaders, and external reviewers.

A video overview of the project can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAUjNjrkTis

Information on early stages of this project can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIykXTuZ5nE&t=1s
Glasgow University