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Manuscript Walkthrough 2

In the first post of our manuscript walkthrough, we had just finished looking at the first line of miniscule script in manuscript 1432 when the post became a bit unwieldy. Let's pick back up with the walkthrough on the second line of miniscule. Here, again, are the preparatory links for the analysis (refer to the first post for more information):

Beginning on the second line, the first word is ὡσ. You may recognize the sigma since it looks identical to sigmas found in the greek print of modern critical editions, but the miniscule omega is different and resembles the mathematical infinity sign (), or the number 8 laying on its side (refer to the letter chart link above). Incidentally, if you are following along in the Parallel Greek New Testament, you will notice that ὡσ is the Byzantine Majority reading, whereas καθὼς is the Alexandrian reading.

Next we come to another set of challenging ligatures in γέγραπται. The word begins with an uncial form of gamma (here's the mixing of the Vetusti period again) whose top bar is linked to έγ. Referring to the ligature chart, we see that έγ is a combination found in later miniscule manuscripts. In this ligature, the leftmost portion of the gamma forms part of the epsilon's cursive middle crossbar (though somewhat "loose" in this instance). The top bar of the second gamma is then linked to the following rho.

Next, you will notice a good example of the miniscule form of alpha whose tail, as I have previously mentioned, curves back up to the top line. The tail of the alpha is linked with the top bar of the following pi. The pure miniscule pi resembles the form of omega found in modern critical editions, only it is topped by a long horzontal stroke (refer to letter chart). This pi forms a ligature with the letter tau which shares the top bar of the pi and only reveals itself by the vertical stroke touching the right side of and extending below the pi. Following this is the final letter combination, αι. It simply consists of the miniscule alpha followed by a iota that falls vertically from the end of the alpha's tail.

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In the above image, I have highlighted some of the more difficult ligatures and attempted to blend the color of the shared portions of the letters.

Visiting the next word, ἐν, we see good examples of the miniscule forms of both epsilon and nu (refer to letter chart). Though the pure miniscule form of epsilon may look very odd if you are familiar with the uncial form, it may become more recognizable when you realize that it was formed by not lifting the pen at the bottom of the "c" portion of the uncial epsilon when looping back into the letter to create the crossbar. Was that clear as mud? Be aware that nu and mu look very similar (look back up at the mu of Mark in the decoration above) and can be easily confused.

In προφήταισ, note the phi with its extra top loop (vaguely resembling a reversed musical treble clef sign), the uncial eta, and the combination of αι (it is often difficult to see the iota if the tail of the alpha ascends almost vertically...look for a slight vertical protrusion at the bottom).

Again, if you are following along in the Parallel Greek New Testament, you will notice, here, that the phrase ἐν τοῖσ προφήταισ (in the prophets) is the Byzantine Majority reading, whereas ἐν τῷ Ἠσαΐᾳ τῷ προφήτῃ (in Isaiah the prophet) is the Alexandrian. The relatively late date of this manuscript means that its text, as we are already seeing, will more than likely follow the Byzantine Majority textual tradition.

In the third line, note the miniscule delta in ἰδοὺ. Its form should also be recognizable if you are familiar with the modern greek script in critical editions. The right-hand stroke, following the apex, usually flows into the next letter, in this case an omicron.

Next, we run across the now familiar ligature for ἐγ in the word ἐγὼ (found in the Byzantine but not the Alexandrian).

Stepping yet one more word, ἀποστέλλω contains a common and early ligature (refer to ligature chart) composed of sigma and tau.

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For review, you should be able to recognize the miniscule alpha, connected to the pi, connected to the omicron (connected to the hip-bone...sorry...). Note the slight criss-cross in the legs of the two consecutive lambdas. Finally, the miniscule omega should also now be recognizable.

Well, we're at the end of line three now and the post has become rather large again. I'll break here and pick up with the the next portion of the text hopefully sometime this week. Stay tuned... There are some interesting abbreviations coming up.

If you are finding this interesting or think I should stop wasting my time because nobody cares, please let me know. ;-) Or, if you have any comments, suggestions, or corrections, just drop me a comment or email. I'd love to hear if others find miniscule script as interesting, fun, and challenging to read as I do.


Blogger Stephen C. Carlson said...

Keep at it!

6:19 AM  

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