Assorted Short Definitions

[ ] (square brackets)
A symbol found in the majority of critical editions, including e.g. Westcott & Hort and the UBS edition. The purpose of brackets is to indicate a high degree of uncertainty whether the text found within the brackets is original. For example, the UBS edition, in Mark 1:1, has the final words [υιου θεου] in brackets because they are omitted by, among others, ℵ* Θ 28.
The one problem with the bracket notation is that it can only be used for add/omit readings. Where two readings are equally good, but one substitutes for the other, there is no way to indicate the degree of uncertainty expressed by the brackets. This has caused some editors (e.g. Bover) to avoid the use of brackets; these editors simply print the text they think best.
The third course, and probably the best in terms of treating all variants equally, is to do as Westcott and Hort did and have noteworthy marginal readings. But this policy has not been adopted by modern editors.
German for "copy, duplicate," and used to refer to manuscripts that are copies of other manuscripts. Normally symbolized by the superscript abbreviation abs. Thus 205abs is a copy of 205, and Dabs1 (Tischendorf's E) and Dabs2 are copies of D/06. Only about a dozen manuscripts are known to be copies of other manuscripts, though more might be recognized if all manuscripts could be fully examined (it is unlikely that there are any other papyrus or uncial manuscripts which are copies of other manuscripts, but few minuscules have been examined well enough to test the matter, and the number of lectionaries so examined is even smaller.)
In the usage of Nelson Goodman, a document whose original can be perfectly reproduced, as opposed to a work such as a painting which cannot be exactly recreated. For more discussion, see Archetypes and Autographs.
Atlantic Bible
So called not because it was written near the Atlantic but because of their large size -- a bible for the Greek giant Atlas. The term refers to extremely large Bibles produced in northern Italy starting in the eleventh century, with the format later copied elsewhere. The Codex Gigas (gig of the Old Latin) is regarded as an Atlantic Bible, although the contents are not entirely Biblical. It is said to have required two men to carry!
For another example of an Atlantic Bible, see the so-called Great Bible of Richard II, which was in fact probably owned by Richard II's successor Henry IV (reigned 1399-1413). This book, British Library MS. Royal 1 E IX, is .63x.43 meters (25x17 inches) and has 250 folios. The text is a Vulgate of the complete Bible plus the Gospel of Nicodemus, with colored decorations on most pages and some beautiful illustrations; the illuminations are thought to be by Herman Scheerre. The British Library has placed digital images on the web, to be found at
Not all large, heavy volumes were Biblical. The Vernon Manuscript of Middle English romances and poetry (some of it religious, but not Biblical) currently weighs about 22 kg/49 lbs; it has lost quite a few leaves, and very likely been trimmed, so it originally must have weighed at least 27 kg/60 lbs. It gives us some indication of the format of these works: it is about 37 cm. by 57 cm., written mostly in three columns per page but with some parts in two, making for very wide columns; there are about 80 lines per page. Frankly, Atlantic volumes were not just a pain to carry, they were a pain to read. But they stored a lot of information in a relatively small space.
A banderole is a feature of an illuminated manuscript allowing for comments beside the text. It is much like the "speech balloons" in a modern comic strip. The illustration at right shows an example. This is a portion of a page of "the Rheims Missal," originally written shortly before 1300 and now in Saint Petersburg. The illustration is of church ritual, and in the margin we see the New Testament prophet Simon (Symo⋅) and the Old Testament prophet Micah (micheas). Micah is holding a banderole.
Although we usually use the word "bibliography" for a list of books cited, in textual criticism it has a different use -- for the "study of books." In recent years, the "new bibliography" has resulted in a great deal of insight into printed books such as the works of Shakespeare. The amount of detail this work requires is amazing. Bibliographers study the paper used in printing (something that New Testament critics might want to imitate more closely), the way the quires are organized and bound (ditto), the amount of text on each page (which can tell us something about the order the pages were typeset and perhaps about who typeset them; see casting off copy), the differences between individual printed copies (since books were often corrected in mid-run but the bad pages still used), the way the distinct impressions of pages were collated (e.g. if copy A has the first version of page 34, and copy B has the second version, does that mean that A has an "older" text? What if, on page 36, it's B that has the older copy?), the way they were bound, and much more. If author's manuscripts exist, the paper of those may be examined (e.g., although the author's draft of Frankenstein is now formed into loose sheets, examination of the paper and signs of binding marks show that these pages originally formed two notebooks). This sort of work sometimes influences textual decisions in the books studies, and it consistently reveals more about the printing history. Not all of the tools of bibliography are useful in New Testament criticism, since many apply only to printed editions (and, often, in printed editions of which we have multiple copies), but it is a field that New Testament critics perhaps should be more aware of.
Carpet Page
A characteristic feature of illuminated Celtic manuscripts. A carpet page is a page with no text, just an elaborate pattern like a carpet. Some carpet pages are built around a cross motif, but most of the more elaborate ones are not. The Book of Durrow (7th century) has a carpet page of spirals within wheels. The Lindisfarne gospels has a carpet page which actually looks like a carpet: A rectangular outline (although with ornaments at the cornets and images of birds at the center of each side), a border, and a circle-within-a-square motif in the center.
Cast Off/Casting Off Copy
A term from the era of printing rather than the manuscript age, but it has significance for textual criticism of relatively modern works, and perhaps also for early editions of fathers and the like. It refers to a method of typesetting a book in quires, in which the pages were set out of order.
Consider, for instance, a standard four-sheet quire, which has pages 1-16. If you examine the page numbers, pages 1 and 16 are on the same side of the same sheet. On the other side of that sheet are pages 2 and 15. The next sheet has pages 3 and 14 on one side, 4 and 13 on the other. The third sheet has pages 5+12 and 6+11; the innermost sheet is 7+10 and 8+9.
Now imagine that you want to set this page from front to back. First you set page 1, then page 2, and so on. When do you get to start actually printing? Depending on whether you are doing single-sided printing or double-sided, you won't get to start until you've set at least the first nine pages, if you print single-sided, or when you're through page 10 if you're printing double-sided. That's because it's not until you've finished page 9 that you've completed an entire side of a sheet (in this case, 8+9), and not until you've completed page 10 have you completed both sides of a single sheet (8+9 and 7+10).
This has two problems -- or did, in the days of hand typesetting. First, you can't start printing until the compositor is more than half done, so your printers may be sitting around doing nothing. Second, ten pages of type (plus enough extra type to do pages 11-16) is a lot of type, and type, which required lead and antimony and tin (the last in particular being expensive) wasn't cheap. Most printers didn't have enough type to allow them to print an entire quire all at once.
The solution was to "cast off copy." That is, instead of setting the pages in the order 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6..., to set whole sheets at a time -- so to set pages 1+16, which go on the same sheet, and then 2+15, the reverse of that sheet -- and then typeset 3+14 and 4+13, and print them, and while that's going on, disassemble the type used for pages 1+16 and 2+15 and prepare it for the next job. And so on.
The obvious advantage of cast off copy was that it meant that the printer needed far less type; it was often more efficient for the pressmen as well (although a really good shop manager could see to it that they were kept busy -- the real problem was the lack of type). The disadvantage is probably obvious: Someone had to estimate exactly how much material would go on each page, and assign it to the compositor, and, somehow, the compositor had to make it all fit. If the estimate was off, the compositor either had to find ways to fit extra copy on his page (tricky) or make a shortage of copy fill the sheet without looking too spread out.
Note that this is the same problem that we see scribes have in estimating the size of a single-quire codex.
We see signs of both these problems in the First Folio of Shakespeare, e.g. -- if there is too much copy to fit on a page, the compositor may shorten speech prefixes (letting him get more type on a line), or combine lines of verse on a single line; if there is too little copy, he may spread the words out and break lines that do not need to be broken. In a few cases, it may even be that the compositor omitted a few lines, or made up new ones (it has been suspected that this happened in King Lear, where we have two very different versions of the text). For the sort of textual scholar who is trying to reconstruct Shakespeare's autograph right down to the punctuation and line breaks, this problem obviously has serious implications!
To minimize this as far as possible, it appears to have been the practice in at least some cases to start with the middle sheets of the quire -- so, e.g., in the case above, of a 16-page quire, to first typeset pages 8+9, then 7+10, then 6+11, and so forth. This had the advantage that one never had to guess the length of the full sixteen pages, just the first eight, and it also meant that pages 8-16 (more than half the quire) would be properly typeset and all the text on those pages at least would fit the available space properly. This also meant that, once the first page of the quire was set, it would be easy to give different parts of the master manuscript to two different typesetters (since the pages would not overlap), allowing the type to be set more quickly. The down side is that it means that the first page of the quire -- the one a potential customer would see first! -- was the last one typeset, and any mistakes in determining how much copy to set on each page would be likeliest to show up on the first page. An example where this may have taken place is the National Library of Scotland copy of the "Gest of Robyn Hode;" this work (badly typeset by a compositor who very likely was not fluent in English) is a metrical romance, in verse, and most of it is set as poetry, but the first page is set in continuous type as if it were prose -- clearly because there was more copy than would fit on the page.
Another obvious case is the Shakespearean First Folio edition of Much Ado About Nothing. Pages 120-121, the last two pages of the play, are on the last page of quire IL and the first page of quire L. Page 120, the last page of a quire, appear to be properly set; much of it is set as prose, but there is a song set as such, and a number of blank lines. Page 121, the first page of a quire, is incredibly compressed; there are no blank lines at all, and stage directions are almost all on the same line as text; in some cases, the compositor seems to have left out space after punctuation. Even at a distance, you can tell the difference between the pages; page 121 is a much darker page.
There are of course many variations on casting off copy. In the Shakespearean First Folio, for instance, the quires were of three sheets rather than four, reducing the potential amount of error per sheet (fortunately, since the folio pages were large and contained a lot of type -- a four-sheet quire might have been too long to be managed); this was feasible only because the Folio was printed on paper, not vellum, so there was no issue of assuring that hair and flesh sides faced each other.
An important concept in bookbinding, which can matter when trying to reassemble a damaged manuscript. Codices were, of course, copied off in quires, and it was the task of the binder to put the quires in order. The catchword was intended to help with this process. When a scribe finished copying a quire, he would write, at the bottom of the last page of the quire, the first word of the text on the next quire. So if, for instance, someone were copying "Hamlet" (for whatever reason), and the great soliloquy were at the bottom of the page, so that "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to" were the last words on one quire, and "suffer" the first word of the next, the bottom of the last page would look something like this (catchwords were often written vertically in the far margin:
Enter Hamlet
To be, or not to be -- that is the
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to
The process of writing in gold -- mixing powdered gold with some sort of binder and using it as an ink.
Classes of Errors
Errors are everywhere. Humans are fallible; that's just the way it is. But errors fall into different classes or types. The most obvious classes are "deliberate" versus "accidental" -- that is, where a scribe thinks there is something wrong with his text and consciously tries to correct it, versus where a scribe just goofs.
But another set of classifications that doesn't get as much attention is classification based on the means of copying. A text may be copied in many different ways. It may be copied from one manuscript to another. It may be copied orally in either of two ways: the speaker may be working from memory or from a written text, and the hearer may be copying it down or memorizing it. Or a text may be typeset, or it may be typed on a typewriter. Each of these will produce different classes of error. By classes of error I mean the sort of error most likely to occur. As an example, there is a line in Shakespeare's King Lear (III.vii.63 in the Riverside edition; III.vii.65 in the Signet; III.vii.71 in the Yale; in the New Pelican, which prints two versions, it's III.vii.66 of the quarto text, III.vii.62 of the folio) where the quarto reads dearne (derne, a now-forgotten word meaning "hidden") while the folio reads sterne (stern). Both readings make sense. (All the editions I have accept "dearne;"; but Signet mis-glosses as "dread"; Yale prints "dern" and glosses as "dreary," so it has both the spelling and the meaning wrong; the New Pelican quarto version also spells it "dern" and mis-glosses as "dreadful.") I too think "dearne" much more likely to be original, but the point for our purposes is that neither error (that is, dearne being replaced with stearne or vice versa) is likely to happen in either oral tradition or manuscript copying -- no Elizabethan would change "stearne" to the rare word "dearne"; and while the typesetter might have been tempted to change "dearne," the word he would think of probably wouldn't have been "stearne." Where this error does make sense is in early typesetting -- in the earliest known English typesetting box, the ligature st was located in the type case right next to d. So a typesetter reaching for a d could easily pull an st, or vice versa. Thus the derne/sterne confusion is a very reasonable accidental error in typesetting, and completely unreasonable (at least as an accidental error) in any other form of transmission.
So when we see a particular error, it is worth considering how it came about.
• If the means of copying is Oral Transmission, we can expect to see errors of hearing, e.g. ημας and υμας being confused.
• If the means of copying is Manuscript-to-Manuscript copying -- widely believed to be the norm for New Testament manuscripts -- we are likely to see more errors based on easily confused letters, e.g. ΑΛΛΑ being read as ΑΜΑ or vice versa.
• If the method of copying involves manual typesetting, common mistakes involve letters next to each other in the type case. The example derne/sterne, desrcibed above, is typical.
It's worth noting that, in these instances, it matters whether the word is in upper or lower case. For instance, it is easy to interchange lower case "tap" and "top," because the letters a and o are next to each other in the case. But upper case A and O are not next to each other, so "TAP" and "TOP" are not accidental versions of each other (although the compositor might have misread an a as an o, or the reverse, in his manuscript source). In the case of "TAP," reasonable mistakes are MAP and SAP, since M and S respectively directly above and to the left of T (LAP and NAP are at diagonals to T, so those are also possibilities, although somewhat less likely). We might also see TIP (I is to the lower right of A); there are no likely errors for P.
• If one is copying on a typewriter, obviously the most likely errors are Errors Involving Adjacent Letters, so we might e.g. see "five" and "give" confused. This raises the interesting thought that such errors might even occur in the autographs of authors who typed their words.
This point may seem esoteric in the context of copying manuscripts, but this does not automatically follow, since we have reason to believe that there were some manuscripts copied from dictation. So any given manuscript may contain errors based both on easily confused letters and on errors of hearing. If we see a manuscript which contains several errors of hearing (say, ημας for υμας and τε for δε), and we come to a situation where we are not sure of the source of an error, we should be more willing to attribute the harder-to-explain errors to that cause; but if we come to an instance where we see a series of errors likely based on errors of sight (e.g. ΑΜΑ for ΑΛΛΑ and Κϲ for Κϵ), we should be more willing to suspect other errors of sight.
Plural codices. As used in NT circles, the characteristic format of Christian literature. The Christian church adopted this format almost universally in its early years, at a time when both Jews and pagan writers continued to use scrolls. Among known Christian manuscripts, all but four are written in codex form (the four exceptions, P12, P13, P18, and P22, are all written on reused scrolls; there is thus no known instance of a scroll being deliberately prepared for use in Christian literature).
The codex was in fact what moderns think of as a book -- a series of leaves folded and bound together, usually within covers. Codices could be made of parchment or papyrus (or, of course, paper, once it became available). Whichever writing material was used, a series of sheets would be gathered and folded over, meaning that each sheet yielded four pages. These gatherings of leaves are normally referred to as quires.
Many of the earliest codices consisted of only a single quire of many pages. Examples of single-quire codices include P5 (probably), P46, and P75. Single-quire codices, however, are inconvenient in many ways: They do not fold flat, they often break at the spine, and the outside edges of the page are not even. Also, it was often difficult to open them enough to read the text near the inner margin of the middle pages. Still more troublesome is the fact that the scribe had to estimate, before the copying process began, how many leaves would be needed. If the estimate was inaccurate, the codex would be left with blank pages at the end, or -- even worse -- a few extra pages which would have to be somehow attached to the back of the document. (Compare the problems involved in typesetting using cast off copy.) As a result, it became normal to assemble books by placing smaller quires back to back. This can be seen as early as P66, which uses quires of from four to eight sheets (16 to 32 pages). Quires of four sheets (16 pages) eventually became relatively standard, although there are many exceptions (B, for example, uses five-sheet quires).
It is sometimes stated that the Christians invented the codex. This is of course not true; the word itself is old (Latin caudex properly refers to a tree trunk, hence to anything made of wood, and hence came specifically to mean a set of waxed tablets hinged together. E. Maunde Thompson, An Introduction to Greek and Latin Palaeography, p. 51, notes that Ulpian in the third century makes reference to literary codices). Indeed, we have quite a few examples of pagan literature on codices in the early centuries of the Christian Era; David Diringer (The Book Before Printing, p. 162) surveyed known manuscripts from Oxyrhynchus (as of half a century ago), noting that of 151 pagan documents known to him from the third to sixth centuries, fully 39 were codices. And Jerome mentioned a number of pagan codices in his possession (Thompson, p. 53).
It has been suggested that, prior to the church's adoption of the form, the scroll was for literary works intended to be read while the codex was for reference works. This is supported by the fact that a large fraction of the earliest pagan codices are reference works (medical manuals, legal treatises, grammatical books). C. H. Roberts in fact suggested that the author of the Gospel of Mark was used to these sorts of reference manuals, and so wrote the original copy of his gospel in codex form -- and hence popularized the format.
But if the church did not invent the codex, it does seem to have been responsible for the popularity of the codex format (e.g. in Diringer's example, of 82 Christian documents, 67 were codices), and scrolls seem to have remained the preferred format for pagan literary works after codices were adopted for most other purposes. There is even an instance (in the Stockholm Codex Aureus) of an illustration in which Matthew the Evangelist is shown holding a scroll and an angel carrying a codex; this is thought to mean that Matthew is holding the Law of the Old Testament but is being handed a codex which will represent the New.
We should also note that a sort of proto-codex existed in the form of the orihon.
We observe that the codex has both advantages and disadvantages for literature, especially when dealing with papyrus codices. It requires less material (which may be why the Christians adopted it), and it's easier to find things in a codex. But it's rather harder to write (since one must write against the grain on a papyrus, or on the rough side of a piece of vellum), and one also has to estimate the length of the finished work more precisely. The latter disadvantages probably explain why the Christians were the first to use the codex extensively: They needed a lot of books, and didn't have much money; pagans didn't need so many books, so they felt the disadvantages of the codex more, and the advantages less.
Codices have another advantage, though it wasn't realized at the time: They survive abuse better. Being flat, there are no air pockets to collapse, and they protect their contents better. At Herculaneum, thousands of scrolls were discovered, rolled up and damaged by the conditions that buried them. Centuries of efforts to open and read them accomplished little except to ruin the documents involved. Had the documents been stored in codex form, their outer leaves would have been destroyed but the inner would likely have been in much more usable shape.
The sections of codices were usually numbered. But unlike modern books, it was not individual pages that were numbered, but whole quires. This suggests, to me at least, that the primary purpose was not to make it easier to find things in the volumes but rather to tell the binder the order of the quires. It was not until about the fourteenth century that actual page numbering became common, and even then, it was tied to quire numbering (e.g. the first page would not be "1" but "A.i" and the seventeenth, which would be the first of the second quire in a typical book, would not be "17" but "B.i").
Complutensian Polyglot
For more than half a century after the first printed Latin Bible, there was no printed copy of the Greek New Testament. The first to take the matter in hand was Cardinal Francisco Ximénes de Cisneros.
It is worth noting that the Complutensian was not the first attempt at a polyglot. It appears that the great printer Aldus Manutius set up samples for some sort of an edition, and in 1516, a Pentaglott Psalter was published in Genoa with texts in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, and Arabic. (Why start with a psalter? Don't ask me.) But Ximenes deserves credit for both attempting the first New Testament, and the first full Greek Bible, and the first polyglot with the New Testament. Cisneros started the project in 1502; some say it was in celebration of the birth of the heir to the Habsburg dynasty, the future Emperor Charles V.
The place of the printing was Alcalá (Complutum). The Old Testament was to include Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, with Aramaic (the Targum of Onkelos) as a footnote to the Pentateuch; the New Testament was given in Greek and Latin, with additional scholarly tools. The editors were an interesting and distinguished group -- Ælius Antonius of Lebrixa, Demetrius Ducas of Crete, Ferdinandus Pincianus, Diego Lopez de Zuñiga (Stunica, the fellow who eventually had the controversy with Erasmus over 1 John 5:7-8), Alfonsus de Zamora, Paulus Coronellus, and Johannes de Vergera (the last three converted Jews, and Ducas presumably the descendent of Byzantine Christians, so they represent a wide range of viewpoints. It is interesting to note that different modern texts give different lists of editors -- not just spelling the names differently but adding or omitting various people; I've included every name I've found).
The planning for the volume began in 1502, though it took almost a dozen years for printing to begin. There were six volumes, and the whole thing is estimated to have cost 50,000 ducats -- a large fraction of the revenues of the entire diocese of Alcalá.
The printer was Arnald William de Brocario. It is reported that 600 copies were printed, of which three were on vellum, the rest on paper. Almost a hundred of them still survive. Volume V, containing the New Testament, was finished early in 1514 (it is worth noting that Paul precedes the Acts in this volume). Volume VI, with a lexicon, index, and other aids, was completed in 1515, and the other four volumes, containing the Old Testament (with, of course, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books) came off the press in 1517. Ximenes unfortunately died late in that year. Papal approval was much delayed (some have said the Pope wouldn't approve the book until borrowed manuscripts were returned, or that the death of Ximenes caused problems, but we don't really don't know the reason); the imprimatur came in 1520, and the volumes were finally made available to the public apparently in 1522.
The appearance of the Greek New Testament has sparked much discussion. (Interestingly, the Greek of the Septuagint is in a more normal Greek style, and uses a font similar to those produced by Aldus Manutius for his Greek books.) It is sometimes said that nothing like the font used for the New Testament has ever been seen. This is exaggerated. What is unusual is not the font but the orthography. There are no rough or smooth breathings, and the accents are peculiar. (Make you wonder if Demetrias Ducas spoke an odd dialect or something. Scrivener, to be sure, denies this, pointing out that Ducas composed some Greek verse which was perfectly well-written and pointed, so he could write "proper" Greek.) The font itself is not particularly unusual. Metzger-Text, p. 85, says the "type used in the New Testament volume is modelled after the style of the handwriting in manuscripts of about the eleventh or twelfth century, and is very bold and elegant." Bold and elegant is certainly is -- but also much simplified from hand-written models. It is very much closer to an earlier Greek typeface, used by Sweynheym and Pannartz in 1465 to print Lactantius. There are differences, to be sure (the delta in the Polyglot is more uncial, while the Lactantius is like a minuscule delta; the Lactantius uses only one form of the letter sigma, the Lactantius uses an uncial gamma and a very strange beta). But the feeling of the two is very similar; the Complutensian is simply a much more refined version of the same style.
The interesting question is why the compositors changed fonts; why, after using such a beautiful Greek face for the New Testament, did they shift to the ugly Aldine fonts for the Old? The Aldine fonts were immensely complicated (see the article on Books and Bookmaking); was it merely that they hadn't managed to cut such a font in time? Were there complaints about the modern-looking fonts? (And if so, why, given that no one except the publishers had seen the books?) Was it something about the source manuscripts? (This seems unlikely, but since the manuscripts are unknown, it's perhaps possible.) Did the publisher bring in new typesetters who could set the more elaborate Aldine faces and keep track of the accents? My guess is the latter, but it is unlikely that we will ever now.
As mentioned, the manuscripts underlying the Complutensian Polyglot have never been identified, though there is no doubt that the text is largely Byzantine. (Scrivener, p. 180, says that there are 2780 differences from the Elzevir text -- 1046 in the Gospels, 578 in Paul, 542 in Acts and the Catholic Epistles, 614 in the Apocalypse -- which about the same as the number of differences between Elzevir and the true Majority Text. And Scrivener says there are only about 50 typographical errors.) The editors did thank the Pope for use of manuscripts, but there are chronological problems with this; it is likely that, if the Vatican supplied Greek manuscripts, they were used only for LXX, not the NT. (Several scholars say explicitly that two Vatican manuscripts were used for LXX, perhaps those numbered 108 and 248.) Stunica makes explicit reference to one Greek manuscript in the New Testament, but this manuscript (Tischendorf/Scrivener 52a) is lost.
Scrivener notes some interesting and unusual readings of the polyglot's Greek text (e.g. Luke 1:64 αυτον διηρθρωθη και ελαλει with 251 and a handful of other manuscripts; Luke 2:22), and observes that some have seen similarities to 4e, 42, 51. There seems to have been no real attempt to follow up these hints, probably because the Polyglot had no real influence on later printed editions. I strongly suspect that, if anyone really cared, we could identify most of these manuscripts now, simply because we have much more complete catalogs of variants.
It may be that relatively little attention was devoted to the Greek text by the editors. That the Latin was considered more important than the Greek is obvious from the handling of 1 John 5:7-8 (and even more from the comment on the Old Testament that they had placed the Latin in the middle column, between Hebrew and Greek, like Jesus between the two thieves), but Scrivener denies that the Greek was systematically conformed to the Latin -- he believes (Plain Introduction, fourth edition, volume II, p. 177) that the crack about the two thieves was an indication that the editors though the Greek and Hebrew corrupted, and so trusted the Latin more.
The Greek text of the New Testament isn't the only peculiar attribute of the Polyglot. The Hebrew of the Old Testament is not pointed according to the usual method; rather, it appears to conform to the Babylonian pointing. Manuscripts of this type are now few; it is likely that the Polyglot used some now-lost sources (unless, as with the Greek, the editors simply adopted their own pointing system). This would seem to imply that the Complutensian is more significant for Old than New Testament criticism.
Alexandrian Critical Symbols
The scholars of the ancient Alexandrian library are often credited with inventing textual criticism, primarily for purposes of reconstructing Homer. This is a somewhat deceptive statement, as there is no continuity between the Alexandrian scholars and modern textual critics. What is more, their methods are not really all that similar to ours (they would question lines, e.g., because they didn't think Homer could write an imperfect line). But their critical symbols will occur on occasion in New Testament works as well as (naturally) classical works. In addition, Origen used some of the symbols in the Hexapla.
In fullest form, the Alexandrians used six symbols:
-ObelusOldest and most basic (and occasionally shown in other forms); indicates a spurious line. (Used by Origen in the Hexapla to indicate a section found in the Hebrew but not the Greek. For this purpose, of course, it had sometimes to be inserted into the text, rather than the margin, since the LXX, unlike Homer, was prose rather than poetry.)
DipleIndicates a noteworthy point (whether an unusual word or an important point of content). Often used in conjunction with scholia, e.g. to note a word used only once, or to mark errors in the text. This role was also played by a marginal chi, χ, which E. G. Turner calls the most common of all the critical symbols.
(dotted diple)
Largely specific to Homer; indicates a difference between editions
AsteriskosA line repeated (incorrectly) in another context (the location of the repetition was marked with the asterisk plus obelus). (Used by Origen to note a place where the Greek and Hebrew were not properly parallel.)
- Asterisk plus
Indicates the repetition of a passage which correctly belongs elsewhere (the other use, where the passage is "correct," is also marked, but only with the asterisk)
AntistigmaIndicates lines which have been disordered
χ chiSee under the Diple, >.
Cruciform, cruciform text
Text written in the form of a cross (crux). The most famous example of this is probably the gospel manuscript 047, but there are a number of lectionaries which use this format. Those who wish to see examples of the form may consult Jeffrey C. Anderson, The New York Cruciform Lectionary, College Art Association/Pennsylvania University Press, 1992. This include more than sixty illustrations of cruciform texts, with discussion, although unfortunately the commentary is devoted almost entirely to the preparation of the manuscript and its artwork rather than its text.
It is usually explained that cruciform manuscripts are rare because they are wasteful of parchment, and this would certainly be true if they resembled a genuine cross used for crucifixion, which is tall and narrow. But a cruciform manuscript is typically shaped more like a plus sign + than a proper cross. Typically it will look something like this:
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Thus the text, at its narrowest, occupies about 60% of the page, and also about 50% of its height is written at full width. That means that about 80% of the writing area contains text, and only 20% is blank -- and even that 20% can be used for illustrations and such that would otherwise eat into the text. Cruciform manuscripts are inefficient, but not so inefficient as to make them impossibly expensive had there been demand. Clearly there wasn't demand.
Also, although full-blown cruciform manuscripts are rare, it is notuncommon to find parts of a manuscript in cruciform. Often the formatis used for some sort of reader help, such as the table of contents, theprologues to the books, or the Eusebian letter explaining the canon table.Or, if there was room, the last page of a gospel might be written incruciform.
The Irish name for a "book shrine." These were often highly elaborate protective covers. Sometimes the very case was revered, but they could also be effective guards for the contents -- there is at least one instance of a book in its cumdach being tossed into the sea and later being recovered essentially intact. The covers of the most valued manuscripts were often decorated and even inlaid with gold or jewels.
A sort of "document validation" found in some manuscripts where there were supposed to be two copies. This probably doesn't affect New Testament manuscripts very often, but it could involve such things as a Biblical bill of sale. In a cyrograph, the two copies of a writing were written on the top and bottom of the same piace of parchment or paper, like this:
This is the long, elaborate, complicated
and nitpicky text of my document

This is the long, elaborate, complicated
and nitpicky text of my document

When the document was finished, it would be cut in two through the word CYROGRAPH (or whatever word was used to validate the document). If ever there was need to validate the two halves, the two could be placed alongside each other. If the two halves of the cut message matched, then you could be (fairly) sure that you had both halves of the true original.
As time passed, cyrographs became even more elaborate. The indentures used for soldiers in the Hundred Years' War, for instance, didn't just cut the contract in half, they cut it in half in a zig-zag pattern. This made it even harder to forge a contract, and also made the identification of the two halves even more secure.
A term for writing that gradually diminishes in size until it reaches the standard text size for the book in which it is included. The technique is usually used for book headings or other instances where a major headline is used. So a copy of the Gospel of John might look like this:
A particular form of scribal error, in which a scribe accidentally repeats a letter or sequence of letters which should be written only once. Most such readings can be detected instantly, but in some instances where a sequence of letters occurs once in some manuscripts and twice in others, it is not clear whether the double reading is the result of dittography or whether the single reading follows from haplography. A famous example of this is in 1 Thes. 2:7, where we see a variation between εγενηθημεν νηπιοι and εγενηθημεν ηπιοι. A relatively common dittography involves the conjunction μεν, in readings such as οιδαμεν (or οιδα μεν) versus οιδαμεν μεν.
Drollery, Drolleries
A peculiar feature of late Illuminated Manuscripts, though more Drolleries often of secular than biblical documents. A drollery, in this context, was a fantastic creature, often drawn in the margins of a manuscript. At right: Two drolleries from a French manuscript, perhaps intended to be a duck-billed elephant and a bird-horse chimera.
We might note that not all drolleries are strange creatures set in margins. In the Lindisfarne Gospels, for instance, letters may become drolleries. The first two letters of Jerome's preface to the Gospels are P and L (from "plures"). The P is a snake with the head of a dog (I think) but the tongue of a serpent; the L is perhaps intended to be a snake with a bird's head. There are many other instances of these snakes-with-bird-heads. These might not always be called drolleries (they might be regarded as illuminations), but the resulting creatures are generally quite improbable. And they may well be the ancestors of true drolleries; in the Lindisfarne Gospels, although there is much decoration of letters, we see no letters containing miniature pictures. This is thought to have begun about a half a century later (i.e. around 750), and it was in these miniatures that drolleries became commonplace.
Although not generally referred to as drolleries, we see something somewhat similar in Jewish illuminated manuscripts; because of Jewish (and Islamic) representation of anthropomorphic figures, we often see images of humans with bird heads.
Easily Confused Letters
Confusing Uncials Many mistakes in copying arise when a scribe misreads the exemplar. Handwriting being what it is, chances are that, on occasion, almost everything has been read as something else. But some errors are much more likely than others. In Greek uncials, for example, the letters shown at right were frequently and easily confused:
In Greek minuscule hands, with many different styles and vast numbers of ligatures, there were many more combinations which might be confused occasionally. Some of the most common confusions, however, include
β κ μ
μ ν
It will be noted that errors which could occur in uncials are more important for the history of the text, as these errors could have arisen early in the history of copying.
Similar confusions could, of course, occur in other languages. The list for Coptic, for instance, closely resembled the Greek list, as Coptic letters were based on the Greek. Latin had its own list. In uncials, the primary problems were:
(the list for inscriptional capitals is somewhat different, as E, for example, was straight in capitals but curved in uncials. Since, however, there are no known copies of the New Testament inscribed on stone tablets, this is of little concern.)
Easily confused letters in Latin minuscule script include
a u
o e
cl d
n u
s f
c t
In addition, almost any combination of letters with many vertical strokes (such as i l m n t) could cause confusion. Particular scripts might add additional confusions; Beneventan script, for instance, used an odd form of the letter t which closely resembles the letter a!
Also, it's worth remembering that the above lists are based on book hands. In the days when almost all copying was done by trained copyists, one could expect nearly everything to be written in such hands. But as literacy became widespread, this tended to break down. Casual writers could produce almost anything. A book on English letterforms, for instance, gives samples of sixteenth century writing which show forms of the letter a which look like b, n, u, and w; many writers made c resemble t; d and e could both look like a theta (!), and so forth.
A final reminder concerns numbers. In Greek as in most modern languages, a number could be written as a numeral or spelled out (e.g. in Rev. 13:18, the "number of the beast" could be εξακοσιοι εξηκοντα εξ or ΧΞΣ'. It will be evident that this can produce different confusions. (Though this class of error is perhaps more likely in Latin, with its repeated I and X symbols, than Greek.)
Dominical Words
Those parts of the New Testament text -- in particular, of the Gospels -- which are (regarded as) quotations from Jesus himself. Thus the Sermon on the Mount or Jesus's last words are Dominical Words.
A term from paleography, referring to the angle of the strokes of the verticals. Thus a modern italic font has a higher ductus angle than a roman font.
The manuscript from which a manuscript was copied (compare "abschrift," the resulting manuscript, that is, the copy of the exemplar). We know the exemplars of certain manuscripts (e.g. Dp/06 is the exemplar of Dabs1), but generally the term refers to lost manuscripts.
Originally used of scrolls -- it refers to their unrolled state. Used to mark the end of a major section of text, e.g. the end of a particular gospel in a codex of the four gospels.
External Evidence
Evidence based on the readings found in the manuscripts (as opposed to internal evidence, which based on the nature of the readings). External evidence is based on the number and nature of the witnesses supporting a particular reading. For further details see External Critical Rules under Canons of Criticism.
The Fallacy of Number
The belief that frequency of copies indicates authority.
This is one of the arguments often cited by those who favor the Byzantine or the Majority Text. It is, however, simply invalid. Hence the term Fallacy of Number.
To be clear, a fallacy is something which does not follow logically. For example, it's easy to prove that 1=2 if you allow division by zero. But you can't divide by zero. The proof is false because it relies on impermissible methods.
Why is counting numbers of manuscripts invalid? Because it only works if all manuscripts are copied and destroyed at the same rate. If simply counting numbers were sufficient, then the Latin Vulgate would be the original New Testament -- there are more Latin than Greek New Testaments in existence.
We can in fact demonstrate that there are cases where the majority is not the original. Almost all our manuscripts of Euclid are of Theon's recension. It says in the manuscripts that they're rewritten! But they are still the majority. Similarly, the majority of manuscripts of Terence are from an edition by Calliopius -- which shows clear evidence of either bad editing or a bad manuscript base. They are still the majority; it was only luck that preserved any text not from this edition.
There are lots of ways in which an un-original text can become common. It might look more authoritative for some reason. A particularly strong church figure might promulgate it. It might come from a region where persecutions against Christians were few, so manuscripts weren't destroyed. It might be the local text of a region where the Christian population is particularly large. Most of these have been urged as arguments for and against the Byzantine text. We do not, at present, know which of them are true -- if any. We do know that they are sufficient to disallow us from counting manuscripts to determine which text is original.
The fallacy is sometimes called the "Democratic Fallacy." The Democratic Fallacy is that, just because people believe something, it's true. For most of history, the majority of people believed that the sun moved around the earth -- which is, simply, false. The fact that lots of people believed it doesn't make it true. A more recent example, which shows the fallacy even more clearly, is the American war in Iraq. In 2003, most Americans believed it was right. In 2007, most believed it wrong. Was the war right? Wrong? People will probably disagree for as long as it is remembered. What is certain is, if it was right in 2003, it was right in 2007; if it was wrong in 2007, it was wrong in 2003. In one year or the other, the majority was wrong.
Note that the fallacy of number is merely a fallacy. That is, number has absolutely no bearing on what was the original text. The Byzantine text may be original. Most think not, but the fact that the advocates of the Byzantine text cite numbers should not be held against it (except in the indirect sense that, since the Byzantine advocates cite numbers, they imply that they are sorely lacking in valid arguments. To me, the fact that they even cite numerical preponderance is proof of desperation -- they want the Byzantine text, for whatever reason, and so grasp at straws. But this is no more evidence of the falseness of the Byzantine text than is numerical preponderance evidence for it).
But I must emphasize: The Fallacy of Number is a fallacy. It is an argument that should be retired, forever. Most arguments in textual criticism are about data or interpretations. This one is not. It is purely about mathematical logic. There is a right answer -- and the right answer is that counting noses doesn't work.
For more mathematics on this point, see the article on Fallacies in general.
Flyleaf, Flyleaves
More a binding term than a textual term, referring to the leaves added at the beginning or end of a manuscript during binding. They are usually blank, or at least contain content not related to the main content of the book, but sometimes this other content is valuable either for what it says or for the indications it gives about the date of a book. And, of course, flyleaves can help protect the inner pages from damage, especially if the binding is lost or damaged. Thus, ideally, when old manuscripts are rebound, one would like to see the ancient flyleaves preserved as well as the text, although obviously the text comes first!
The Genealogical Method
Considered to be the method practiced by F. J. A. Hort in the preparation of the Westcott & Hort edition of the New Testament. (Though in fact Hort did not use genealogy, just the presuppositions of genealogy.) In theory, the basic procedure resembles that of Non-Biblical Textual Criticism performed in a sort of an abstract way: Examine the witnesses and group them into text-types, then examine the text-types. This evidence then can be used to determine the original text. (It should be noted, however, that if Hort ever really did quantitative study of text-types, he left no evidence of this. He simply assumed the types, without examining them in detail.)
Hort's use of the genealogical method led him to the theory of "Neutral," Alexandrian, "Syrian" (Byzantine), and "Western" texts which formed the basis of the Westcott-Hort edition. This textual theory has been modified in some instances, with the result that the "genealogical method" is now rather in dispute. This is rather unfair; although Hort's results cannot stand, and his description of his method is too theoretical (and was not, in fact, the entire basis of his text), the principle of grouping and editing by text-types has by no means been disproved. See, e.g., the section on The Use of Text-Types in the article on Text-Types.
In broadest terms, the loss of letters in a text. It occurs when a scribe skips ahead one or more letters in a manuscript, omitting the intervening letters. Haplography is thus the inverse of dittography. Haplography may arise from many causes (homoioteleuton and homoioarcton being the most common), and while it can usually be detected by a casual reader, in some cases it may produce a variant which could also be the result of dittography (see the examples in that entry). The phenomenon will sometimes be called "lipography" in manuals of classical textual criticism, though I have never seen that word used in any New Testament manual of criticism.
Homoioarcton, "same beginning," is the inverse error of the better-known (and somewhat more common) homoioteleuton. It occurs when a scribe's eye skips from one occurrence of a word, phrase, or sequence of letters to a similar sequence further down the page. An obvious example comes in Luke's genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:23-38), in which we find the sequence "του [some name]" repeated dozens of times. Small wonder that a very large number of manuscripts missed a name or two! (e.g. the apparatus of the Aland synopsis shows six different authorities, out of some forty to fifty examined, omitting at least one name).
Like homoioteleuton errors, homoioarcton errors can produce nonsense, but can also be sensible (and therefore perhaps difficult to tell from other sorts of errors).
Homoioarcton is noted in the Nestle-Aland apparatus with the notation h.a., but observation shows that this notation is not used nearly as often as it might be (e.g. none of the omissions in Luke 3 are noted as possible homoioarcton errors). Students are therefore advised to note this possibility in examining variants.
Homoioteleuton, "same ending." Perhaps the most common of all forms of scribal error; almost all manuscripts contain at least a few instances of it. Homoioteleuton occurs when two words/phrases/lines end with the same sequence of letters. The scribe, having finished copying the first, skips to the second, omitting all intervening words. An English example of homoioteleuton might be the following trivial instance:
Original reads "Pete went to the store. When he reached the store he bought bread and milk." The scribe, skipping from the first instance of "store" to the second, would write "Pete went to the store he bought bread and milk."
Homoioteleuton errors can occur almost anywhere, and are often easily detected as they produce nonsense. There are, however, exceptions, as e.g. in 1 John 2:23, where the Majority text has skipped τον πατερα εχει...τον πατερα εχει, leaving a text which is incomplete but perfectly sensible.
Homoioteleuton is symbolized in the Nestle apparatus by the symbol h.t. (which indicates either that a manuscript has a homoioteleuton error or that a variant is or might be caused by homoioteleuton). Others such as Merk use a "leap" symbol, , similar to a sideways parenthesis or a musical slur.
Exactly how common are h.t. errors? This is complicated. Examining the NT auf Papyrus apparatus of Philippians shows that the 17 papyri and uncials cited there display a total of 12 clear h.t. and h.a. errors. This is if anything a low rate of such errors -- and there are at least four other errors not directly attributable to h.t. which may result from skipping lines. And skipping lines can be far more common than the above statistics would indicate. Thomas C. Knott and David C. Fowler's edition of the A text of Piers Plowman includes a table of omitted lines. Their text is 2418 lines long. The manuscripts they cite have (apart from defects and long stretches omitted presumably for other reasons) a total of 606 lines omitted. That's out of an average of about fifteen manuscripts for each portion of the text. Thus, the manuscripts average out to omitting about one line in sixty. This rate is naturally higher than in the NT tradition, because these manuscripts aren't as familiar to scribes and aren't as heavily corrected and used. But it's an indication of the potential of haplographic errors.
We might add that different languages are subject to h.t. errors in different degrees. Latin, in which very many words in a sentence will end with the same combination of letters, is said to be unusually subject to h.t. errors. Greek also has many words ending in the same letters, but not quite as many, so it's a little less likely to happen. Uninflected languages, or those in which (say) adjectives and nouns inflect differently, will be less subject still. The extreme would be an ideographic language, where there are no letters to repeat. But it should be noted that this is merely a measure of the opportunity for homoioteleuton. I would not be surprised to find that a higher fraction of these "opportunities" are "converted" into errors in languages wherre repeat endings are rarer, simply because scribes will be less alert for them. If there is any research on the point, however, I am unaware of it.
Horizontal Contamination
Term sometimes used in classical textual criticism for what New Testament critics tend to call "mixture," when a reading from one textual tradition is copied into another textual tradition.
Term sometimes used in stemmatic textual criticism for a group archetype that does not exist in any extant manuscript and so must be reconstructed, but which is more recent than the archetype of the textual tradition. So, e.g., the archetype of family 1 would be a hyparchetype in the tradition of the Gospels. Take, for instance, the following (proposed) stemma for Seneca's tragedies:
        [Seneca's Autograph]                |       ------------------       |                |       ε                α       |                |  -------------     -----------  |     |     |     |    |    |  E     R     T     A    Ps   A1  |  σ  |-----|    |M    N
In this instance, we have three hyparchetypes, σ, which is the ancestor of M N but of little value since it is descended from E, and the two types ε and α from which all manuscripts are descended. Observe that ε and α do not themselves survive; they must bereconstructed. But it is from them that we must reconstruct Seneca's autograph -- or, more correctly, the archetypal copy of all surviving witnesses, which may not be the autograph.
Illuminated Manuscripts
In theory, an illuminated manuscript is one which brings light on the text, i.e. one which makes it clearer. A New Testament manuscript which puts Old Testament quotations in red, e.g., would by this criterion count as an illuminated manuscript. This sense, however, has given way completely to the meaning "decorated manuscript." (One account, indeed, claims that they are called "illuminated" because they contained enough silver or gold to reflect light and brighten their surroundings.) An illuminated manuscript is one which, in some way or other, is more attractive than an ordinary manuscript. Such manuscripts range from the Purple Uncials (written in metallic inks on purple parchment) to manuscripts with illustrations to manuscripts such as 16 with its elaborate scheme of multicolored inks. (It might be noted that the proliferation of such extravagant manuscripts provoked the wrath of Jerome, but even his condemnation did not stop their production. And apparently they did have legitimate uses; an English saint of the eighth century once asked for a copy of one of the Catholic Epistles to be written in gold to make it look like impressive and worthy of worship -- presumably because he was dealing with a pagan audience.)
It is somewhat ironic to note that it was probably cheaper to cover pages of manuscripts with gold leaf than to write them in gold ink. Gold is so malleable a metal that it is said that the amount of metal in a ducat can be pounded into more than a hundred sheets of gold leaf. Thus pages could be gold-plated relatively cheaply. (This might explain why -- amazingly to me -- we find illuminated manuscripts to which the gold has been applied but which were never finished. One of the most elaborate Bibles ever begun, the Winchester (Vulgate) codex, has drawings with the gold inlaid but to which the ink and paint were never applied.) Whereas the golden ink used in purple manuscripts used ground gold, and it was hard to grind it very finely. So there had to be a lot of gold in the golden ink. And it still did not (from what I can tell based on manuscripts which are, to be sure, old and faded) look as bright and shiny as gold leaf.
A common form of illumination was illustrations. Very many copies of the gospels will have drawings of the four Evangelists, or of their symbols. Biblical and non-Biblical manuscripts alike may show a courtier presenting the book to a patron. Or -- they may illustrate Biblical stories. This may be historically the most important, because these manuscripts could then be used to guide those who could not read the Bible (or, indeed, might not even know the language in which it was written). It is likely that certain missionaries will have used the pictures to clarify what they were expounding: They would read the passage and show the picture. We do not know how common this was, but considering how many "illustrated Bibles" are still being printed in a time when most people can read, it makes sense that it was common in the past also. I note that one of the manuscripts St. Augustine is thought to have taken with him to Canterbury -- Trinity College, Cambridge, MS. 1 -- has a series of illustrations which are thought to have been used to illustrate the gospel story to the non-Latin-reading Anglo-Saxons.
Nor should we consider all illumination frivolous. Almost all manuscripts contain at least a minimal level of illumination, in the form of paragraph markings, with (typically) large initial letters. These are more likely to be decorated in Latin manuscripts than in Greek, but in either case, they serve a significant purpose, in that they help find section headings. These large initials have been compared to headlines in a newspaper: they make it easier to locate an decide what you are looking for. Ancient books could hardly be indexed; the pagination would differ from copy to copy. They could have a Table of Contents, but even this would rarely have page numbers. The only way to find things was with markings in the text, and the illuminations could supply these. (To this compare another common form of illumination in modern Bibles: the printing the words of Jesus in red. This isn't very reliable, given that in some places -- notably John -- we aren't entirely sure whether Jesus or the author is doing the talking. On the other hand, I rather like it, because it can make it easier to find passages.)
Illumination could be especially important in commentary manuscripts, where, to begin with, text had to be distinguished from commentary, and where the sheer size of the volume often made finding a passage more difficult. It is not unusual to find text and commentary in different ink colours (usually red and black), but additional aids to finding could only help.
Incidentally, it appears that illustrated manuscripts may sometimes display a very early sort of "mass production." In certain Latin manuscripts, instead of the illustration being done directly in the codex, slips of parchment were pasted in with illustrations. This would seem to imply that an artist was drawing images in large quantities on separate parchment, which was then cut up and distributed across several manuscripts (or, at least, several pages of the same manuscript). Presumably this was easier for the illustrator than always having to work on individual manucripts. It may also have made it possible to work somewhat more cheaply: the illustrations could be done on higher-quality vellum -- or, perhaps, on vellum that had only one side suitable for use. And, of course, it might be a way to use up scraps of vellum too small to be used for a complete book. Plus, if the illustrator did all his painting at the same time, there would be less paint (which could be quite valuable if it used a rare color like lapis lazuli or kermes) lost to drying and waste.
The complexity of the illustration process is probably the main motivation, though; it might take four or even more workers to complete the illustration. First the drawing would be sketched out with a stylus. For a geometric form such as an illuminated letter, this might involve tools such as compass and straight edge. Then the lines would be inked over (since the initial markings would be difficult to see and, if drawn with a lead plummet, would not easily take paint). In manuscripts with gold foil, this would be applied third, because the foil would have to be rubbed down and burnished, and this might damage paint had it been laid down. Then the paint would be applied to finish the drawing. (The third and fourth steps could be reversed if the gold leaf was applied on gesso rather than directly to the manuscript, since the gesso raised the level of the parchment. There seems to be no data on which technique was more common.)
In some manuscripts, we actually find instructions from the original designers to those who came later. Some of these are simply what we might call "paint-by-number" instructions: the individual sections of the drawing will be marked "blue," "green," "crimson." (Such instructions of course are covered over when the painting is done -- but there are manuscripts where the painting was never finished, or where the writing is visible for other reasons). Other manuscripts contain marginal instructions, perhaps in the far margin where it might be expected they would be cut off once the manuscript is trimmed.
It is likely that, toward the end of the manuscript era when professional copyists replaced monks as scribes, the master copyist drew the outlines and the apprentices filled them in. (Christopher de Hamel, Medieval Craftsmen: Scribes and Illuminators, p. 61, actually shows something like this, as Master Hildebertus works at his desk and young Everwinus paints a flourish while sitting on a stool.) Not all painters were mindless servants, however; the painter sometimes changed the original sketcher's plan.
Some English manuscripts, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, hint at even more complex arrangements. The design might first be sketched out on a wax tablet. Then the page intended to be illustrated would be ruled, and holes pricked to guide the artist. (I wonder if perhaps there may not have been special templates prepared to aid in the creation of standard illustrations. But there is no evidence for this.) Then a stylus would be used to rough out the illustration, and the rest would follow.
Illuminated manuscripts had the interesting side effect of allowing the painters more luxurious clothing. At least one illustrator recommended that illuminators wear silk clothing to prevent loose threads from getting into the paint. (Of course, he also recommending not moving the head to prevent getting dandruff into the paint, and it's hard to imagine how that could be kept up for very long.)
An expert can sometimes use illuminations to date a manuscript. Painting styles varied quite a bit over time. For example, in the fourteenth century, it was common to draw walls with a sort of square pattern like a mosaic of tiles. This form does not seem to have been used before this time, and to have been rare thereafter, so it can be used as a date check.
In considering most manuscript illuminations, there is one thing that doesn't get much attention: The large majority of them were made before the invention of oil paint. These earlier paints were almost more like modern pancake makeup than modern paints. This tended to mean that the colors were somewhat more drab (there was no way to make a glossy surface), and that colors did not mix as freely. If you see an illuminated manuscript, odds are that the style will look somewhat un-modern. It's not that the illuminators were bad artists (a few were, to be sure, but most were not). They simply were working in a different medium. For some background on the pigments they used, see the article on Chemistry.
In reading about the chemistry, it is important to keep in mind that certain colors had particular meanings. In particular, blues were associated with holiness and honor and high standing -- so the Virgin Mary was usually shown dressed in blue. Also, because artists had limited palettes, they often used clever color balancing to achieve effects. For example, in a painting that was done mostly in reds and yellows, they might use a grey or black for blue eyes -- because they knew that, on such a background, a grey would appear blue. This would save mixing an expensive color when very little of it was needed.
Manuscript illumination began very early, but the art did not reach its height until toward the end of the manuscript period. There is a tendency to dismiss these manuscripts because the underlying text is Byzantine. It is perhaps important to note that the value of a manuscript is not necessarily solely that of its text -- once in a while, a manuscript's illuminations may include important historical or theological data.
Note also that, though it is not unknown for both a manuscript's text and its illustrations to be copied, the values of the copies may vary. If we have both the parent and child manuscript, the child text has very little value indeed -- whatever the value of the type, it is found entirely in the parent. But the illustrations, which were prepared separately, will almost always undergo some modifications. If so, the differences between exemplar and offspring may have some interest. At least in theory. I know of no cases where this has been demonstrated in practice.
Illustrators, like scribes, have a particular style, and just as scribes can be shown to have written multiple manuscripts, illustrators can be shown to have illuminated multiple manuscripts. Like scribes, the illustrators are usually (though not always) anonymous. Therefore it is common to refer to them by a title -- e.g. the "Bedford Master" is so called because he created the Bedford Book of Hours and other works associated with the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France in the period after the death of the conquering King Henry V in 1422. An artist responsible for a Latin copy of the Revelation and a book of sayings of philosophers is the Apocalypse Master. And so forth. Often a "Master" will be so-called because he inspires imitators (this is said to have been true of the Bedford Master; Mary Stuart's Book of Hours, compiled more than a century after the life of Bedford, is said to imitate the Bedford Master's style).
There is at least one substantial disadvantage of illuminated manuscripts (apart from the fact that they use up a lot of time and writing material). This is that the artwork often occupies the entire margin; a common pattern is to fill the page with wreathes and vines and flowers. These are often very beautiful -- but they leave no room to write in corrections!
A peculiar class of evidence not normally mentioned in the critical manuals, but perhaps of some significance particularly for the more obscure versions.
An imitation is a written work deliberately done in the style of an earlier work. A typical example in English is the "Thou shalt not" stricture: The King James Bible uses this formulation for the Ten Commandments, so moderns may say anything from "Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican" to "Thou shalt not be the first to start a war." These are, of course, trivial examples, but the King James Bible has inspired many non-trivial examples, e.g. the Book of Mormon, which is in a pseudo-Biblical English which is in fact neither Jacobean nor English; similarly, Spenser's Fairie Queen is intended to imitate Chaucer but -- because Chaucerian English was long dead -- instead imitates gobbledigook.
Another example may be familiar to some English readers: Lancelot C. L. Brenton's translation of the Septuagint. This is a more modern equivalent of the Spenser/Chaucer situation: Brenton's translation is in pseudo-King James English, much influenced by the KJV. If one has the Hebrew, the Greek, and Brenton, one can at times retrovert to the KJV text. Brenton's translation is in fact less competent than it could be (as well as irritating to read) because it's so much a KJV imitation.
An imitation is not quite the same as an allusion, though the resemblance is obvious; Spenser, e.g., had spent so much effort reading Chaucer that he took on some of his speech patterns without actually understanding Chaucerian grammar. Extremely careful and cautious use of such references might enable us to occasionally see a hint as to how a damaged passage evolved.
Such a method is probably not needed for the Greek New Testament; the materials available to us are too slight. But I can imagine it coming up with regard to one of the more obscure versions, such as the Gothic or the Palestinian Syriac or perhaps even the Sahidic Coptic.
Originally referred to the outside marking on a scroll. In a codex, it refers to the beginning of a particular book, e.g. the beginning of a gospel in a gospel codex.
Internal Evidence
Evidence based on the logic of readings (as opposed to external evidence, which is based on the readings of manuscripts). Also called "transcriptional probability" or the like. It is based on determining which reading most likely gave rise to the others -- e.g. which reading a scribe would be more likely to change by accident or on purpose; which reading the original author is most likely to have written. For further details see Internal Critical Rules under Canons of Criticism.
Jerusalem Colophon
A colophon found in a number of manuscripts, including Λ/039, 20, 164, 215, 262, 300, 376, 428, 565, 686, 718, 1071, etc. (though some manuscripts apply it only to particular books, and others to all four gospels). The colophon states that the manuscript involved was "copied and corrected from the ancient exemplars from Jerusalem preserved on the holy mountain" (i.e. probably Athos). It should be noted, however, that this colophon does not guarantee anything about the texts of the manuscripts; they are not necessarily related textually (though a surprising number belong to Group Λ: Λ, 164, 262, and perhaps some of the many Wisse does not classify). Presumably the colophon was copied down from document to document independently of the text.
Plural lacunae. From Latin lacuna, gap, pool, cavern. With reference to manuscripts, it means to be defective for a portion of the text (usually short). Notice that a lacuna always refers to a portion of a manuscript which has been lost (due to the disappearance of leaves or the effects of water or trimming or whatever); it should not be used to refer to a section of the text which never was found in a manuscript.
The adjective lacunose may refer to a manuscript with many lacunae.
The Leiden System of Transcription
A system for transcribing defective texts, intended to indicate degrees of uncertainty and reconstruction. It uses several symbols, some of which may be more familiar than others:
[ ] indicates material lacking in a manuscript due to a defect. So a papyrus of John 1:1 that had the words "In" and "was the Word" but lacked "the beginning"would be printed
εν [αρχη] ην ο λογος
Note the somewhat unfortunate difference from the use of square brackets in the usual critical apparatus, where [ ] indicates a reading that the editor considers dubious but is not willing to omit entirely.
( ) indicates an expanded abbreviation. So, to continue with John 1:1, the papyrus και θς ῆ ο λογος (i.e. with θεος shown as a nominum sacrum and ην recorded with a suspension, although this may not show up in HTML) would be recorded as
και θ(εο)ς η(ν) ο λογος
< > is the sign of an editorial insertion. So if some editor thought the Greek of John 1:1 was wrong, and required an article before αρχη, he might give the first words as
εν <η> αρχη ην ο λογος
〚 〛 (or [[ ]]) will be familiar to users of the Westcott/Hort or UBS editions; it indicates a text that is considered to be an interpolation into the original text, as Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11 are considered interpolations in the New Testament text.
` ´ indicates an insertion into the text. Of course, this can often be indicated by a superscript, but the ` ´ pair makes it clear that it is a correction. So suppose that some crazy corrector had taken it into his head that the last clause of John 1:1 was supposed to read και κυριος θεος ην ο λογος, adding that to the existing text which of course read και κυριος θεος ην ο λογος. We could indicate this as
και κυριος θεος ην ο λογος, but instead in the Leiden system we would write
και `κυριος´ θεος ην ο λογος
[...] or [-n-]. The square brackets [ ] indicate a lacuna, but they do not indicate the size of a lacuna. An editor can indicate the approximate length by placing periods inside the brackets. So [.] indicates a lacuna of (apparently) one letter; [....] indicates a gap of about four letters. For longer lacunae, an editor may choose to supply a number of letters, e.g. [-8-] or [±8] indicates a lacuna of eight letters.
[ạạạạ]. Dots below a letter indicate a letter which can be read with some probability but not with certainty -- so ạ represents a probable but not certain instance of "a." Unfortunately, letters with dots under them, or dotted underlines, are not included in most fonts and software, or in unicode or HTML, so this useful convention is sometimes difficult to emply.
Ultimately from Greek λαμβανω, hence "(something) received." The closest common equivalent is probably a "proposition" or perhaps "suggestion, statement." This is the sense in which the term is used in mathematics: A subsidiary proposition, of no great importance in itself, which is used to prove a more important theorem.
In textual criticism, "lemma" usually is used to describe the text of a running commentary or commentary manuscript. So, for example, we might cite Origenlem and Origencomm, with the lemma being the reading found in the biblical text of the manuscript and the commentary being found in the margin.
Since the biblical text seems more liable to correction than the commentary, the value of a lemma is usually less than the reading(s) in the margin. Thus certain editions will only cite a lemma where the commentary is missing or unclear.
A term rarely encountered in New Testament textual criticism (in fact, I've never seen it in a manual of NT TC), but occasionally found in classical manuals. It is simply another word for haplography
Local-Genealogical Method
The method of criticism advocated by Kurt and Barbara Aland, which they describe as "applying to each passage individually the approach used by classical philology for the whole tradition" (Aland & Aland, The Text of the New Testament, p. 34). On page 291 they explain this: "[Arranging the variants in each passage] in a stemma... reflecting the lines of development among the readings, demonstrating which reading must be original because it best explains the rise of the other readings." Thus the "local-genealogical method" is really just another way of saying "that reading is best which best explains the others."
It should perhaps be added that the Alands, in their work on the United Bible Societies Edition, do not appear to have followed this method, as the UBS text is overwhelmingly Alexandrian. A text proceeding purely from local-genealogical work (i.e. from internal criteria only) would without doubt be more eclectic. This leads to the suspicion that the Alands have not correctly described their method, which instead consists of using "local genealogy" as assisted by the history of the text (so, e.g., a reading found only in a late text-type cannot be earlier than one found in an early text-type, no matter how original it may appear on internal grounds). This is, in the author's opinion, the best and most proper form of criticism -- but it requires a truly accurate history of the text, something which the Alands (on the evidence) had not achieved -- or at least had not enunciated in a way usable by other scholars. Which, if one wishes to follow the rules of scientific work, is the same thing.
Local Texts
A term popularized by B. H. Streeter. A "local text" is the style of text typically found in a particular area -- as the Alexandrian text is considered to have been found in Alexandria and the "Cæsarean" text in Cæsarea. As these texts evolved largely in isolation (a manuscript on, say, Mount Athos might be compared with other manuscripts at Athos, but rarely with manuscripts from other places), each local text would tend to develop peculiar readings, and peculiar patterns of readings. Streeter, for instance, thought he might have evidence of five local texts: The Alexandrian, (found in B ℵ C L 33 Sahidic Bohairic etc.), the Cæsarean (Θ family 1 family 13 28 565 700 Armenian Georgian), the Antiochian (Old Syriac), the Italian or Gaulish (D a b), and the African (WMark k e) (see The Four Gospels, p. 26, etc.).
Direct evidence for the theory of local texts is largely lacking; except for the Egyptian papyri, we generally cannot correlate texts with the place of origin of manuscripts. There is some evidence of local texts on a lower level; we tend to find, e.g., that if a particular scribe copies several manuscripts, they tend to be of a single type. (Consider the work of Theodore of Hagiopetros, who is almost single-handedly responsible for Wisse's Kx Cluster 74, or George Hermonymos, who gave us manuscripts of Kx Cluster 17). There is also evidence from non-Biblical manuscripts; in works such as Piers Plowman, we find significant correlation between the place a manuscript was copied and the text it contains. (The vast majority of manuscripts of the "C" recension are found in the general area of Gloucester and the southwest; the "B" recension is common around London; the "A" recension is scattered but has several representatives near Cambridge.)
With the discovery of the papyri and the realization that not all manuscripts from Egypt have Alexandrian texts, the theory of local texts has lost some of its favour. We also find that not all the texts at large ancient repositories (Athos, Sinai) are of the same type. The truth is, however, that even in Egypt a single text (the Alexandrian) is dominant. At the very least, we could expect local texts to flourish in isolated areas, and also to find particular sorts of texts associated with particular localities. There was much commerce in the ancient world, and so not all manuscripts in an area will automatically have the local text -- but this does not invalidate the theory; it merely means that we must investigate manuscripts to see if they belong with their local type.
Still, caution must be used in assessing the value of local texts. If two local texts are indeed independent, then their common readings do have extra value. But the texts must indeed be independent! If, as some have charged, the "Cæsarean" and/or Byzantine texts are the result of editorial conflation of the Alexandrian and "Western" texts, they have no value as diverse witnesses. In addition, we must be alert to the possibility that one local text is derived from another. If, e.g., the texts at Athos are ultimately derived from Constantinople (a real possibility), then the local text of Athos has no independent significance.
A term from parchment-making. It is a round-edged knife, shaped like a partial moon (hence the name), used for scraping parchment. The curved blade of the knife is required to assure even pressure on the parchment as it is scraped; a straight-edged knife is almost certain to cut into the parchment.
A list of the dead, normally in a monastic writing. It is often a list of the dead members of the community, although it may include others for whom the community has agreed to pray. The list will generally include the date of the deaths, in order by calendar day, but without the year. (Presumably this makes it easier to manage commemorations on the anniversary of the person's death.) This information has no direct textual use, but can occasionally be helpful in determining the origin or date of a manuscript.
ο η
Properly written
υ  ν
ο η
Short for οὕτως ἦν -- literally thus it is, so thus it stands. In a carefully written manuscript, a scribe might question a reading in his exemplar. The corrector might check another manuscript, and then write
υ ν
ο η
to say that the peculiar reading was indeed correct. It is somewhat equivalent to modern sic, except that sic is used for quotations, while this usage is used for checking an original.
Old Testament Quotations
Many modern editions of the New Testament highlight Old Testament quotations in some way (typically by the use of boldface or italics). This is not a new idea; we find Old Testament quotations marked from a very early date. Typically such passages are marked with the symbol > in the margin; we see this, e.g., in Codex Vaticanus.
As far at the quotations itself are concerned, it should be kept in mind that most scribes knew them in their own language. Thus copies of the Greek Bible tended to use the Septuagint text, and scribes would tend to conform passages to the Septuagint if by some chance they differed. This phenomenon doubtless occured also in the other versions (e.g. a Vulgate quotation might be assimilated to the Vulgate Old Testament), though this is not normally a matter of great concern for textual critics.
The name means "back-writing," and is descriptive. An opisthograph is a writing written on the back of another writing. (For obvious reasons, opisthographs are written on the back of scrolls, not codices.) It was not a popular form for books; the back side of a scroll was not particularly easy to use -- opisthographs were generally written on the back side of papyrus scrolls, and the back side of a papyrus scroll was inconvenient in two ways. First, the writing went against the grain of the papyrus fibers, and second, the scroll will almost certainly want to roll up the wrong way. Thus opisthographs tend to be used only for poor productions. The only important opisthograph in the catalog of NT manuscripts is P13. The noteworthy LXX manuscript 2013 is also an opisthograph. And P18 is interesting because it is an opisthograph with Bible texts on both sides: Exodus 11:36-32 on one side (probably a Christian copy, since it uses the Nomina Sacra), Revelation 1:4-7 on the other. Their rarity should not be understood to mean that opisthograph have no historical significance at all, however. Aristotle's On the Constitution of Athens, long thought lost, was rediscovered in the nineteenth century, as an opisthograph -- with the writing on the front side being simply a farm steward's accounts. And there are comments by Juvenal and Pliny to the effect that authors often preserved copies of their own writings on opisthographs, or perhaps that they composed on the back of an already-written scroll, to save the good papyrus for fair copies. (Authors were no more likely to be rich in Roman times than today, after all.)
There is another variation on this, found in one of the Chester Beatty papyri, in which two papyrus scrolls, both written on one side, had their written sides pasted together, producing a codex of very thick papyrus which, in a way, had two verso sides and no recto! This was probably prepared shortly after 300 C.E., based on the dates of the pasted-together scrolls.
A word I've never seen used in any manual on textual criticism (perhaps because no New Testament manuscripts use the format), but nonetheless an important intermediate step between the scroll and the codex. It addressed one of the primary difficulties of the scroll (difficulty of getting to a particular passage) -- while avoiding a key problem of the single-quire codex (difficulty of estimating the number of pages needed) as well as the problem of writing on the bad side of the papyrus.
An orihon was essentially an ordinary scroll folded as a codex. That is, a papyrus scroll was prepared, written in columns in the ordinary manner. Once finished, however, it was not rolled but folded in a concertina fold, with one or two columns per fold. That is, if we started with a scroll looking like this (where each symbol _ represents a column of print), the process would look like this:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ <-- initial flat layout
/\/\/\/\ <-- partially folded
|| || || || <-- fully folded
_\/_ <-- after end is bound
Thus you ended up with something which, to all intents and purposes, was an ordinary book, openable to any page. In some cases, the backs of the inner folds were pasted together and the whole inner margin bound with thongs to make it even more book-line. In terms of reader convenience, the orihon came close to being the equal of the codex (its only drawback was that it was rather bulkier). But, of course, it required more material than a codex. And it wasn't a particularly suitable form for vellum books.
There were other advantages to the form. Gluing the pages together was not an absolute necessity, and if this step was not taken, it meant that the orihon could be flattened. This produced, in effect, a scroll -- but one which did not have to be unrolled and rerolled to find a particular passage. It was much more convenient for finding pasages. And, folded, it was typically smaller than a scroll and less subject to damage. If one were forced to use a cheap paper which could be written on only one side, an orihon was a very useful form.
I don't know of any surviving Biblical orihon, but it is possible that one of the handful of surviving papyrus fragments we regard as being from scrolls might in fact be from an orihon. (I have this strange, completely unscientific feeling that P12 is such. But I have absolutely no evidence for that proposition.)
Obviously from the Greek roots for "old writing," paleography is the study of the writing of manuscripts. A paleographic study of a manuscript can provide much useful information, hinting, e.g., at the place the manuscript was copied, the circumstances of its writing, and (perhaps most important) its approximate date.
The term "paleography" was coined by Dom Bernard de Montfaucon, who in 1708 published the Paleographia graeca -- not actually the first book on dating manuscripts, but the first one to develop the tools of the discipline; soon after, Scipione Maffei discovered many old documents in Verona, and on this basis developed Latin paleography and added greatly to the knowledge of the field.
Palaeography uses many tools to make its judgements (far too many to be covered here!); of these, shapes of the letters is perhaps the most important (for examples of the evolution of uncial letterforms, see the article on and examples of Uncial Script). However, a paleographer will also examine the way the manuscript is prepared -- paper, writing instrument, other materials used. Spelling and dialect can give important hints. The manner in which the manuscript is bound is also important, although the possibility of rebinding must always be allowed; a binding can set a latest possible date, but not an earliest. A binding can also give a hint as to the origin of the manuscript, or at least where it was when bound: Oak was a common wood for binding in England and France, while Italian books often use beech or pine and were rather lighter. Pasteboard (sheets of paper or parchment glued together) seems to have been more common in southern Europe than northern. It was common in both north and south to cover the binding boards in leather, but to decorate the leather with patterns (usually made by stamping them with a hot metal stamp) was much more usual in southern Europe, and was done mostly after 1400 C.E.
For an example of how these factors are used, consider the following: Although we have both papyrus and parchment manuscripts from early dates, a manuscript on paper must be fairly late. And a manuscript on papyrus is almost certainly pre-tenth century.
Over the years, writing implements also evolved; a document written with a reed is likely to be earlier than one written with a quill or metal pen. Ink can sometimes be used for dating, and it can also help us localize the area where a manuscript was written -- an ink based on oak galls is more likely to be used in an area where oaks are available, you probably won't see gum arabic on a manuscript written in the far north, etc. Even the way the lines are ruled can be significant. Some scriptoria preferred to use a sharp stylus (which, I suspect, is harder on the material but makes for better line), others blunt. Again, some scriptoria apparently preferred to prick both inner and outer margins; others folded the leaves and pricked all the way through. I have read that this is a strong indicator of origin in Latin manuscripts; I do not know if it is useful for Greek. But these are the sorts of things paleographers can seek to learn from.
Word forms as well as letter forms must be examined, as well as the shape of the page and the arrangement of the columns, plus any marginalia or artwork or even unrelated scribbles. (To give an example from Latin manuscripts: There are several books from France in the early period of the Holy Roman Empire which contain pictures of elephants. Many of the pictures are inaccurate -- the one in Paris, National Library MS. Latin 1 (folio 328v) looks like a sausage with a lion's legs and no real head; just a round spot that has two tusks stuck in it. The trunk comes out of the forehead! Another manuscript from the period has an accurate drawing of an elephant's head. It is known that an elephant was kept on display at Charlemagne's court for a time. Presumably the scribe who drew the accurate elephant saw it -- and hence had to be alive at the time. We can't say much about the other scribe, but obviously he was not at Charlemagne's court while the elephant was there.
Care must be taken with the results of paleography, however. It is not an exact science, and all its judgments are approximate (so, e.g., the enthusiasm about the early date of P52 should be treated with a certain amount of caution; it is simply not possible to date a manuscript to the fifteen or so year span some have proposed for P52). Book hands are more datable than casual hands (an advantage, obviously, to Biblical scholars) -- but most scribes will stick with a particular style as long as they live, meaning that even if we can accurately date a style to 125 C.E. (the typical date for P52), that scribe could still have been working forty or fifty years later. And the general trend in writing styles was toward more compact scripts, meaning that a scribe who knew he was short of parchment might seem more recent than a contemporary scribe with a big budget for writing material! Housman writes, wisely, that "...even when palaeography is kept in her proper place, as handmaid, and not allowed to give herself the airs of mistress, she is apt to be overworked." It is perfectly possible for old handwriting styles to be preserved long after new ones have evolved. Sometimes this is the result of isolation -- but sometimes it is the result of peculiar needs. (An example of this is Old English hands. Old English used three letters not in the Roman alphabet -- eth (ð), thorn (þ), and yogh (3). This led to preservation of an older script for Old English documents even as new ones evolved for Latin (we see instances, even from the same scribe, of Old English documents written in an insular hand even as Latin works are copied in a Caroline minuscule). We see something rather analogous in the case of Codex Bezae, where the Greek and Latin hands have been conformed to each other (this is the chief reason why Bezae is so difficult to date). It should also be noted that paleography does not concern itself solely with manuscript dating, although this seems to get all the "press" in most English-language volumes on TC. Paleographers concern themselves also with the place of the writing, the scribe, etc. (E. Maunde Thompson, for instance, was perhaps the most famous of all students of classical paleography -- and he was called upon to examine the manuscript of the play "Sir Thomas More" to see if a particular scene was indeed in Shakespeare's own hand.) These other considerations can be very important: Consider the implications, e.g., if Tischendorf had been right and the same scribe had worked on B and ℵ, or if it could be proved that one of those manuscripts had been written in an unexpected place (e.g. Rome).
One of the key tasks of paleographers is to establish reference points -- known dates and places of origin for some manuscripts, so that we can compare undated manuscripts against these. Some manuscripts, of course, are dated, and others can be implicitly dated by their contents (e.g. if a manuscript reads something like, "In this the fifth year of my principate, I the Imperator Tiberius Cæsar declare," we can assume, unless it is a forgery or a copy, that it was written right around 19 C.E.). But sometimes other means are used. For instance, we know that the Fayyûm region of Egypt gradually dried up in the later Roman era, slowly forcing the residents to abandon it. We can date the abandonment of particular settlements based on their distance from the sources of irrigation. And so we can date manuscripts found in the settlements based on the date of the abandonment. Early dated manuscripts are relatively few. But tools of this sort make the discipline more secure.
Those interested in the provenance of manuscripts should keep in mind that most manuscripts, including the great Freer, Chester Beatty, and Bodmer finds, were discovered by local artifact hunters rather than archaeologists. The locals, sadly, often gave inaccurate reports about where they found the manuscripts, since they wanted to keep hunting there. So it is important to know not only where the manuscript is said to have been found but the reliability of the reporter.
Palimpsest of Cicero, Century IV/V From Greek roots meaning "again-scraped." A palimpsest was a manuscript which was re-used. Presumably the original writing was no longer valued and/or easily read, and a scribe decided that the expensive parchment could be better used for something else
Note the reference to "parchment." Some of our early references seem to imply that papyri were re-scraped, but palimpsest papyri are almost unknown. We aren't even sure how the handful of surviving papyri were cleaned up (my guess is that the ink just faded, so they were re-written without ever having actually been washed, except perhaps for some rubbing). To be sure, if someone did re-wash a papyrus, it probably would go to pieces quickly, so it would not survive. But chances are that papyrus was not often re-used.
Whatever the explanation, almost all palimpsest are parchment. In most instances the parchment would be washed and/or scraped and resurfaced, then overwritten, although there are instances of manuscripts which were overwritten without being cleaned. (As inks evolved, they became harder to erase, so some documents reportedly were actually written between the lines of the old manuscripts -- quite possible, given the size difference between literary uncials and late minuscules.) The most thorough method of cleansing is said to be scraping (with a knife or pumice), followed by soaking with cheese, milk, and lime.
The under-writing of palimpsests is, of course, often difficult to read, although modern tools such as ultraviolet photography help somewhat, particularly when two different formulations of ink have been used which produce different degrees of flourescence. (Earlier chemical reagents often damaged manuscripts without doing much to improve their legibility.) But almost all palimpsests are illegible at certain points (and, ironically, the remnants of the under-writing can sometimes make the upper writing equally unreadable).
Among the more important New Testament palimpsests are C (sometimes listed as the first palimpsest "discovered"), Pe, Papr, Q, and 048 (the latter a double palimpsest -- it was overwritten twice). It should be noted that none of these documents is intact (Papr is about 90% complete, which is about as high a fraction as one can reasonably expect); since the erased leaves were simply raw material, they would end up being used out of order, and some leaves would generally be used for other purposes.
Classical palimpsests are, if anything, even more common, since Christians had a tendency to erase these works to use for religious works. I know of no comprehensive catalog, but just for comparison, Harold W. Johnston at the end of the nineteenth century listed all classical Latin documents of the sixth century and earlier. He counted 24 such documents -- and 14 of them palimpsests. The illustration above right is typical of the form: The image is of (Johnston's facsimile of) Codex Palimpsestus Vaticanus 5757, the Schedae Vaticanae. The under-writing is a fourth or fifth century Latin uncial copy of Cicero's De Re Publica (I.xvii.26), once at Bobbio, now in the Vatican; the upper writing is of the eighth century. Note how clearly visible both still are. Palimpsest Z, Trinity College, Sixth Century
This sort of vandalism is particularly regrettable when we have no intact copies of a particular work (though it might be argued that the documents might not have survived at all were it not for the palimpsests); much of the work of Archimedes, e.g., survives only in a single tenth century manuscript that was over-written for church use in the thirteenth century.
We might also note, in passing, that palimpsests often were not neatly rewritten one atop the other. It was quite typical to see the parchment -- which would be much worn at the seam where the quire was folded -- cut in half, and then re-folded. This would usually cause the upper writing to be at right angles to the lower. This is the case, e.g. with Codex Z, shown at right in exaggerated colour. This was by no means accidental -- it is thought that this was a deliberate response to the problem of the under-writing showing through. If the under-writing ran in the same direction as the upper writing, the two might easily be confused. By cutting down the folios, it was possible to have the upper writing at right angles to the lower, making it much harder to mistake something in the under-writing for part of the content of the upper writing.
A final note: Although in textual criticism a palimpsest is a rewritten manuscript, it can also refer to a redrawn piece of art -- even a wall painting that has been plastered over and repainted with something new. It is highly unlikely that a textual critic will ever have to deal with such a drawing, but it is good to be aware that an artist might use the word "palimpsest" in a different way.
A complete Bible, that is, one containing all the books of the Old and New Testaments -- as opposed to the usual Gospel books, or copies of Acts and Letters, or the Prophets. ℵ, A, B, and C are (or originally were) pandects; so are such Vulgate manuscripts as Amiatinus. Note that a Pandect need not be bound in a single volume; many would be spread across multiple books, and some Pandects may in fact have been split up (e.g. it has been speculated that Δ of the Gospels and G of Paul were once part of a larger single book).
Polyglot Bibles
A polyglot is, of course, a book in multiple languages. A polyglot New Testament is a New Testament in multiple languages -- usually Greek and one other, though the Catholic Church often produced polyglots with a Latin vulgate text and a vernacular translation. Curiously, it is unusual to see bilingual manuscripts such as Codex Bezae called polyglots; the term is usually reserved for printed editions.
Although they are technically polyglots, scholars almost universally ignore such things as Latin/English versions. The interesting polyglots -- the books we tend to mean when referring to a polyglot -- are the Bibles which print a Greek New Testament in parallel with at least one other ancient version.
The most famous of these is, of course, the very first printed Greek New Testament, the Complutensian Polyglot.
Because the Complutensian Polyglot was rather a flop, and had an uninteresting text anyway, moderns tend to ignore the other early polyglots. Certainly they had little direct textual interest. They did, however, have great historical interest -- because the editing of such volumes forced the compilers to actually compare the Greek text with the ancient versions. It is often said that it was the arrival of the Codex Alexandrinus in England which sparked the first real study of the text. This is at best partially true; it was the compiling of the polyglots which kept textual criticism alive in the first century and a half after the first books were printed.
There were quite a few noteworthy polyglots after the Complutensian (which included only Greek and Latin in the New Testament, and Greek, Latin, and Hebrew in the Old). Indeed, though it doesn't get much attention, Erasmus's first Textus Receptus had a Latin as well as a Greek text.
Plantin's Antwerp (or Royal Spanish) Polyglot of 1571-1573 (published 1580) featured a Syriac text, though it was printed in unpointed Hebrew letters due to lack of a Syriac font (Scrivener, Plain Introduction volume 2, p. 9, though Kenyon says the first Syriac printing was in the Paris polyglot, and was made "on the basis of a very inferior manuscript." This may, to be sure, be a reference to the Old Testament only). Interestingly, Scrivener, p. 181, says that Plantin's Greek text seems to have been based on the Complutensian Polyglot, not the Textus Receptus. This makes it almost unique among early Greek editions. (Could the fact that it was begun under Spanish patronage be significant?)
The Paris Polyglot of 1629-1645, edited in ten volumes by de Jay, was among the first printed editions of the Peshitta Syriac in actual Syriac type, and the first to make that version widely available in the west. It also contained the first printed Syriac editions of the books not included in the Peshitta. The two volumes containing this Syriac text were apparently printed in 1630 and 1633 (Metzger-Early Versions, p. 54). It also included an Arabic version -- not the first in print, but one independent of all earlier Arabic versions, according to the sources cited in Scrivener, p. 163. Students of the Old Testament will be interested to note that it also seems to have been the first printed edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch.
The London Polyglot of 1654-1657, edited by Brian Walton, had a Syriac text which was rather a corrupted version of the preceding, with passages such as the Pericope de adultera added. Walton's polyglot also made the century-old Rome text of the Ethiopic version more widely available (Metzger-Text, p. 84), and even included a Persian version of the gospels and some Old Latin fragments. Perhaps of greatest significance for critics, it featured a much-expanded critical apparatus, including for the first time the readings of the Codex Alexandrinus. Although earlier editions had recorded some variants, Metzger-Text, p. 106, calls this the "first systematic collection of variant readings."
The Adams revision of Kenyon's Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts prints reproductions of two facing pages of Exodus in the London Polyglot. I find myself thinking this may have been the most complicated instance of typesetting attempted in the day of hand-set type. It will tell you how complicated the whole thing is that it takes 310 pages just to get to chapter 20 of Exodus! Each pair of facing pages has twelve different sections of type. In the upper left corner of the left-hand page we have the Hebrew, with a Latin interlinear. To its immediate right, in a very narrow column, is the Vulgate. To its right is the LXX text; to the right of that, on the inner margin, is a literal Latin translation of the LXX. At the bottom of the page is the Syriac text, with Latin translation. On the right-hand page, we find the Targum of Onkelos in the left inner margin, with a Latin translation to its right. The third column at the top of the page is the Samaritan Pentateuch, with Latin translation; at the bottom of the page is an Arabic version, with Latin translation. The sketch below gives a general idea of the page layout:
  LEFT PAGE HEAD with BOOK, CHAPTER, and PAGE        RIGHT PAGE HEAD with BOOK, CHAPTER, and PAGE  +---------------+-------+----------+------+        +----------+-------+---------------+-------+  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |  |               |       |          |      |        |  TARGUM  | Latin |   SAMARITAN   | Latin |  |   HEBREW      |VULGATE|  LXX     |Latin |        |    of    | trans |               | trans |  |     with      |       |          | trans|        | Onkelos  |   of  |               |  of   |  |   interlinear |       |          |  of  |        |          |Targum |               | Samar |  |    Latin      |       |          | LXX  |        |          |       |               |       |  |  translation  |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |  +---------------+-------+----+-----+------+        +----------+-------+---------+-----+-------+  |                            |            |        |                            |             |  |                            |            |        |                            |             |  |    SYRIAC                  | Latin      |        |     ARABIC                 | Latin       |  |                            |  trans of  |        |                            |  trans of   |  |                            |   Syriac   |        |                            |    Arabic   |  |                            |            |        |                            |             |  |                            |            |        |                            |             |  +----------------------------+------------+        +----------------------------+-------------+
Primary Version
A "primary version" is a version translated directly from the original language. For the New Testament, the Latin, Syriac, Coptic, and Gothic are generally conceded to be primary versions. This is in contrast to a secondary version, which is translated from a primary version, or even a tertiary version, which is translated from a secondary version. (So, for example, the Coptic versions of the Old Testament appear to be translated from the LXX. Thus LXX is a primary version of the OT, while the Coptic versions are secondary.)
Note: One will occasionally see the usage "primary version" applied to the versions of greatest significance for TC. (Under this definition, the Latin is still a primary version, but the Gothic becomes secondary.) Such usage is to be discouraged as it can cause confusion.
Purple Uncials
The shorthand name for a group of four uncials, all written on purple parchment in or around the sixth century, which display a common sort of text. The four purple uncials are N, O, Σ, and Φ. Their text is mostly Byzantine but with some distinct readings which have been variously classified (e.g. Streeter considered them "Cæsarean" while in Von Soden's classification they are listed as as Iπ). j of the Old Latin
It should be noted that these four are not the only purple manuscripts in existence. 565 is not an uncial, but it is probably the most famous (and most important) purple manuscript. There are a handful of manuscripts with some purple pages, plus there are purple manuscripts of the versions -- the Old Latins a, b, e, f and j of the gospels, among others. There are also the Vulgate codices em, per, reg, theod, plus the Gothic Codex Argenteus. There is also a purple Greek psalter in Zurich, and Latin psalters in Paris and the Bodleian, and at least two Latin lectionaries.
In later years, purple parchment was sometimes used for important civil documents such as imperial charters -- logical, in a way, since they would be easy to find and impressive once found. (To be sure, the "purple" involved was often more magenta than imperial purple; shellfish produced the imperial purple, but another dye derived from shellfish, whelk red, was often used instead; we often find "purple" manuscripts in which the pages vary dramatically in color).
Interestingly, there are also partly purple pages. Tamara Voronova and Andrei Sterligov, Western European Illuminated Manuscripts, 8th to 16th centuries, Sirrocco, 2006, p. 31, shows photos of a Latin manuscript (no proper catalog number given, unfortunately) in which patches have been stained purple and written upon. It is quite impressive, visually, but must have been tricky to execute. There are also instances of manuscripts with some purple and some un-coloured pages; there is no agreed-upon explanation for this, except in cases where the purple material was reserved for particularly important material (say, the first page of a gospel).
Many of the purple manuscripts are in a rather poor state of repair; gold ink was often hard on parchment -- observe the state of the manuscript at right (Codex j of the Old Latin; colours exaggerated).
It seems certain that Christians did not invent the purple manuscript, though it's not certain exactly who did. But Christopher de Hamel, A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, Phaedon, 1997, p. 48, says that Suetonius mentions a poem by Nero written in letters of gold (the reference seems to be to The Twelve Caesars, Nero, section 10, and the reference to me appears to refer to gold-plated inscriptions, not a manuscript, but I am not certain of that); de Hamel also reports a purple Homer in the possession of the Emperor Maximinus (died 238). The first mention of Christian purple manuscripts seems to come from Jerome, who condemns them in his preface to the Book of Job (although one wonders how much of this was due to their expense and how much due to one of the first mentions of a purple manuscript being in the possession of a very pagan emperor).
Not all Christians felt this way. According to Heinrich Fichtenau's The Carolingian Empire (p. 51 in the English translation by Peter Munz), in Charlemagne's time, great stress was laid on the importance of Jesus in the trinity -- so much so that it approached an informal monophysitism. In this context, according to Godeschalc who wrote at least one purple manuscript in this period, "the golden letters signified the splendour of heaven and of eternal life."
There is at least one instance of a manuscript which takes the whole business a step farther: Instead of dying the pages purple, whole pages might by gilded. Thin as the gold was, this must have been immensely expensive, and few instances survive, but there is at least one case where these gilt pages seem to have been used for the Eusebian tables. One wonders who was the intended recipient of that Bible!
We do find a handful of manuscripts written with gold ink on un-stained parchment, although this seems to be rare. (The combination was not particularly easy to read, and the gold ink doubtless cost more than the purple dye, so if a patron was paying for the gold, it made sense to go for the purple, too.) There seem to be no instances of silver lettering on plain parchment; silver simply didn't show up against such a light background.
It has been suggested that the very features that make purple manuscripts so beautiful and elaborate also makes them more subject to error. I have seen no data on this, but it strikes me as quite likely.
Although purple dye seems to have been the most widely used color for parchment, it is not the only one; verdigris was sometimes used to make green parchment. Leonardo da Vinci is said to have used vermillion writing materials, and Albrecht Dürer used dark blue-green. If any of these colors was used for a Bible manuscript, though, I don't know of it.
Quantitative Method
The "Quantitative Method" is the system for determining Text-Types first outlined by E. C. Colwell and Ernest W. Tune in "Method in Establishing Quantitative Relationships Between Text-Types of New Testament Manuscripts." This is the famous Colwell "Seventy Percent Rule" (that members of a text-type should agree in 70% of readings and have a 10% gap from witnesses of other types) often found in genealogical studies. It should be noted, however, that 1) The "Quantitative Method" is not a method but a definition, 2) that the definition was provisional and has not been proved, 3) that the definition has been mis-applied in most studies which use it, and 4) the definition gives every evidence of being incomplete, if not wrong, as it does not deal with mixed manuscripts. Thus the term "quantitative method" should be retired. For further discussion, see the section on the Colwell Definition in the article on Text-Types.
Also known as a "gathering." A collection of sheets folded over to form a portion of a codex. (A scroll, for obvious reasons, did not contain quires.) Quires can be found in modern hardcover books, which are sewn together to form volumes.
Volumes fall into two basic types: Single-quire codices and multi-quire codices. Multi-quire codices have the quires set next to each other, with the last page of one quire adjacent to the first page of the next, with relatively small numbers of sheets per quire (usually four sheets, or sixteen pages, though other numbers are known), arranged so that sheets of similar type face each other (for papyri, e.g., vertical strips facing vertical strips and horizontals facing horizontals; for uncials, flesh side facing flesh and hair facing hair). Multiple-quire codices were easier to assemble (since one didn't need to guess how many leaves one would need), and generally more attractive, but required binding, meaning that at least some codices (such as P46 and P75) were single-quire codices: One huge gathering of dozens of sheets folded over. This has its conveniences for critics: We don't have the outermost leaves of either P46 or P75, but we know the overall length of both manuscripts, because we can locate the center leaf and calculate from there. (This is possible even if we have only a single leaf of a single-quire codex, as long as page numbers can be found on both sides.) And knowing the overall length, we can at least estimate the extent of the contents (it is by this means, e.g., that we calculate that P46 can never have contained the Pastoral Epistles). Of course this is also possible with multi-quire codices, but only in the special case where we have quires before and after the lacuna. If a multi-quire codex simply ends (as is the case, e.g., with B), there is no way to estimate how many leaves are missing.
Another problem with single-quire codices is how big they are. A single quire, since each additional leaf makes it thicker and more unwieldy, can only contain so many leaves -- a few dozen at most. So to assemble a full Bible, or even a complete set of the Four Gospels or the Acts and Epistles, requires a multiple-quire codex.
Most fragments, of course, consist of only a single sheet (not even a complete leaf; it's quite common for the page to break at the fold, and only one half of the broken leaf to survive), making it impossible to tell whether they come from single-quire or multiple-quire codices.
For more on the significance of quires, see the entry on codices.
In printing, the recto is the right-hand page of a pair (hence the name), as opposed to the verso. With reference to leaves in a quire, in modern usage, the recto refers to the outer leaf. In a papyrus codex, this would normally be the side with the plant strips running vertically.
A technical term with different uses in New Testament and Classical textual criticism. In New Testament criticism, "recension" is often used to mean something like "text-type" -- a group of related manuscripts, which may have arisen by natural means. So one might refer to the "Byzantine recension."
In classical criticism, the term is much more precise: it refers to two texts of the same work which are distinct as a result of editorial work. For instance, we have two different texts of Euclid's Elements, one edited by Theon ("Theon's Recension," found in the large majority of surviving manuscripts) and one believed to be closer to the original. Similarly, it is now believed that the two texts of Shakespeare's King Lear (Quarto and Folio) represent two distinct stage settings of the same play, and as such we find editions such as the Pelican Shakespeare actually printing both texts in parallel columns (and then a conflated version).
The differences between these two usages is somewhat unfortunate, since it is now generally agreed that the Byzantine text of the New Testament is not recensional in the proper sense (i.e. it was not edited, by Lucian or anyone else). But there are edited texts of the New Testament -- Marcion's, obviously, and also, in a way, the Diatessaron; in addition, the D text of Luke-Acts has unquestionably been edited at some points (e.g. the use of Matthew's genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3). Thus when one encounters the word "recension" in New Testament situations, one must always be careful to learn the precise sense in which the word is being used by a particular author.
From Latin rubrica, red, hence something written in red. Formally, anything written in red ink would be a rubric, but the use of the ink was normally reserved for comments, glosses, or the incipits or explicits of books. So a rubric is generally something written that is not part of the main text but which identifies its parts or explains their use.
The Rule of Iron
The "Rule of Iron" (règle de fer) was the name that Dom Henri Quentin used to describe his method for establishing a critical text of the Vulgate. Sadly, his description seems to have utterly baffled other textual critics, whose descriptions of it make no mathematical sense at all -- and I am not enough of a linguist to try to decipher his maths to see if they are sound.
But there are in fact two parts to Quentin's method. In the first stage, he tries to classify manuscripts. His goal, in essence, is to find three basic types -- in simplest terms, to force a stemma with three branches, avoiding the Bédier Problem of two-branch stemma. (I find myself thinking that it's too bad Quentin didn't know anything about voting theory; he really should have looked at Condorcet cycles. But that's not really relevant to what he did.)
Having come up with his classification, the actual Rule of Iron was that two beats one -- that is, if you have three primary witnesses, and two have a single reading and the third has another, that the reading found in the two are original.
This is a little too strong -- there are circumstances in which an outside influence can cause two types of text to be independently corrupted. But the basic rule is sound. Quentin's failure lay not in his final idea but in the methods he used to determine his three witnesses, which were both confusing and (from what I can tell) confused.
The facility (normally in a monastery) in which manuscripts were copied.
Our descriptions of scriptorium differ, and it is likely that their nature changed over time -- depending, among other things, on whether manuscripts were copied individually or in bulk.
If the former, then the scriptorium was kept entirely silent; David Diringer (The Book Before Writing, p. 207ff.) reports that the scribes even evolved a series of hand gestures by which to communicate the volumes or materials they needed so that they could do their work without speaking. (Douglas C. McMurtrie, The Book: The Story of Printing & Bookmaking, p. 78, notes a fascinating example: The symbol for a pagan author was to scratch behind the ear, as a dog scratches.)
The policy was to make the scriptorium a large, open room with good natural light; artificial light was banned to prevent fires (McMurtrie, p. 77). The scriptorium was managed by the armarius, who supplied the tools required by the scribes: desks, pens, ink, parchment or papyrus, and the other tools used by the scribe: knife, awl (to prick the parchment for lining), stylus (to score the lines), ruler, pumice (to smooth the parchment), perhaps weights (to flatten pages) and sponges (to erase, though this was sometimes done with the knife). A scribe was typically expected to work about six hours a day.
None of this, of course, was possible when a manuscript was copied by dictation. There is little evidence of the procedure for this, but that manuscripts were copied by dication can hardly be denied; there are simply too many errors of hearing in certain manuscripts. (We should add, however, that some errors which appear to be errors of hearing may not be: Recall that most ancients read by sounding out the words before them. Thus they could sound out a word, turn to copy it, and mis-copy it because they mis-heard what they themselves had read!) But it is not at all unlikely that copying by dictation died with the Roman Empire in the west, and perhaps fell into decay in the east also; demand for manuscripts would have fallen both with the adoption of parchment (which lasted longer and reduced the need for replacement manuscripts) and with the decline of literacy. In these circumstances, individual copying of manuscripts would suffice, and copying by dictation might well have been eliminated.
No matter which method of copying was used, a manuscript generally was not finished once the text was copied. First it would be corrected. Then rubrics, illustrations, and illuminated letters would then be done by another scribe. How long this took, of course, depended on the level of effort devoted to these other tasks.
A term from codicology, referring to a single leaf found in a manuscript that is not bound into a quire with other leaves. Singletons sometimes exist for relatively innocent reasons, e.g. because a scribe miscalculated the amount of writing material he would need -- but they also may be a signal that a manuscript has been deliberately modified. (For an example of this, see the item on Supplements below.) Thus it is worth a student's while to examine a manuscript for singletons and other irregular quires and try to find out the reason for their existence.
Singular Reading
A "singular reading" is a reading found in only one manuscript in the tradition. (The term is sometimes applied to readings found in only one major manuscript, with support from some minor manuscripts, but this is properly called a "subsingular reading.") Since most singular readings are the result of scribal idiosyncracies, scholars generally do not adopt them (or even use them for genetic analysis) unless the internal evidence is overwhelming or the tradition shows very many variant readings at this point.
It's well-known that relatively few old manuscripts are complete. We are accustomed to pointing out that only Sinaiticus among the uncials contains the complete New Testament, and that the papyri are all fragmentary. This is a little deceptive; most of those uncials never contained the complete New Testament. But if we look at the first 250 uncials by number, and attempt to count how many still contain their original contents in their entirety, it's still a small percentage.
Many of these defects are modern, but many are old, as well. Today, if a book is damaged, we will likely just go out and buy another copy. When manuscripts were copied by hand and expensive, this was not a reasonable option. Far easier to copy off enough pages to fill the gap, and re-insert that into the binding. This is very common among the early uncials. B was supplemented by the minuscule 1957. But this is an unusual supplement, coming much later and in another style of writing. Usually we see supplements in the same sort of script. So Dea, for instance, has supplements in Matt. 3:7-16, Mark 16:15-20, John 18:14-20:13. If a critical apparatus notices this (not all do), the supplement will be marked with the superscript s or supp. So in John 19, for instance, the Nestle-Aland apparatus does not cite D but Ds. Other important manuscripts with supplements include Dp (in 1 Corinthians), W (in John), 565 (various places), 892 (in John), and 1241 (portions of Paul and the Catholics).
There are instances where it appears the supplement may have been copied from the original manuscript, in whole or in part (this could happen, e.g., if a portion of a page had been damaged by damp or torn). Usually, however, another exemplar had to be consulted. This can result in a change in text-type. Usually this will mean a shift toward the Byzantine text (892supp, for instance, is noticeably more Byzantine than 892 proper). But not always! In Paul, 1241's basic run of text is purely Byzantine, while the supplements are an Alexandrian/Byzantine mix.
Most supplements appear to be a response to accidental damage. But this is not always the case. Codex Vercellensis (a) of the Old Latin appears to have been deliberately supplemented: The ending of Mark is missing, cut away, and a portion restored. C. H. Turner calculated that the missing leaves could not have contained the "longer ending" 16:9-20. Thus the logical conclusion is that a was deliberately mutilated and a supplement added to supply this ending.
As the name implies, a combination of "four forms." In the Trier Gospels at Echternach, and perhaps a few other manuscripts, there is an illustration of the four evangelists and their symbols all combined into one composite figure. It has been suggested that the purpose of the image is to reinforce the unity of the four gospels. Given the rarity of the image, it probably has little textual or historical significance.
E. A. Hutton's Triple Readings
In 1911, Edward Ardron Hutton published An Atlas of Textual Criticism, which was a catalog of the affinities of early manuscripts and an attempt to make it easy to classify manuscripts. Hutton's technique for doing this was to sift through the New Testament looking for places where the Alexandrian, Byzantine, and "Western" texts were all distinct, and to record the reading of each. Armed with this data, a student could quickly locate a new manuscript's affiliations. He gives a list of these readings in the Appendix following page 66. For example, the first triple reading in Matthew is at 2:9:
Alexandrian reading:εσταθη επανω ου ην το παιδιονא B C 1 33 205 1582
Western reading:εσταθη επανω το παιδιουD
Byzantine reading:εστη επανω ου ην το παιδιονE K L W Γ Δ Π 13 28 565 579 700 892
It never ceases to amaze me that so few people see the utter failure of this approach. What if a new manuscript comes along -- say a very Alexandrian papyrus along the lines of P75 -- which affects the classification. If a P75-type text agreed with D here, would we still say the reading of D was "Western" and that of B "Alexandrian"?
This method is absolutely dependent on already knowing which text-types are which. But if we already know that, then why do we need to classify new manuscripts? We already know what is Alexandrian, Byzantine, Western; like Balaam, we no longer need to look for information, we can just declare what God said.
Which brings us to the other problem, than of unknown text-types. Observe that, if the "Cæsarean" type exists, some of its witnesses (1 205 1582) go with the Alexandrian text, others (13 28 565 700) with the Byzantine. So how, based on this system, do you find a "Cæsarean" reading? The fact that the "Cæsarean" text is in dispute is no answer. Are you going to go to quadruple readings? How many of those are there? And what if there are five text-types? Do we go to quintuple readings?
Profiles are a workable, if not quite perfect, way of classifying manuscripts. But profiles based solely on places where the text-types diverge can only work if you already know everything there is to know about the tradition. Manuscript classification is based on agreements at all points, not just clear-cut fracture points.
Hutton's goal was noble. The execution left a lot to be desired. It will perhaps give you some idea of the muddle-headedness of his "genealogical" thinking to observe that, on page 5, he tells us that "The groups [i.e. the text-types Alexandrian, Byzantine, 'Western'] are as distinct as the white from the negro, the lesser groups are perhaps as distinct as a Frenchman from ourselves [the British]." For the record: "negros" (that is, presumably, the residents of Africa) have been shown by DNA studies to retain almost the entire genetic variation of the human species (as opposed to Europeans, who have only a small subset). Some Africans are about as closely related to Europeans as Europeans are to each other; some are not. Hutton's notions of manuscript kinship frankly suffer from the same analytical flaws as his racial notions, which were based on no actual data at all.
Apart from the we-already-know-the-answer problem, there is another problem in the Catholic Epistles and Apocalypse in particular. Take the first Triple Reading listed for 1 John 4:2:
Alexandrian reading:γινωσκετεc A B C L Ψc 5 6 33 330 424c 614 623 945 1739 1852 1881 hark
Western reading:γινωσκομενℵ* 206 630 876 1611 1799 2138 copticV
Byzantine reading:γινωσκεταιK Ψ* 049 69 81 181 223 323 424* 442 483 642 1175 1241 1243 1448 1735 2412 Old Latin vg
So what, exactly, is the "Western" reading here? Hutton listed it as the reading of ℵ*, seemingly on the grounds that it isn't the Alexandrian reading. But the Old Latins, which would be "Western" if anything is, here agree with the Byzantine reading. Hutton's alleged "Western" reading is, to be sure, the reading of several members of Family 2138, which is often called "Western" (falsely) -- but even if that Family 2138 were "Western," we find other members of the family supporting the other two readings. If this is a triple reading, then we have our text-types wrong. Again we find that Hutton's system only works if we already know the text-types. Which means they cannot tell us anything new.
In printing, the verso is the left-hand page of a pair, as opposed to the recto. With reference to leaves in a quire, in modern usage, the verso refers to the inner leaf. In a papyrus codex, this would normally be the side with the plant strips running horizontally.
Women as Scribes
Most scribes were men. Sad but true. Some people were so prejudiced that they would not even accept a manuscript written by a woman. But this was not absolutely universal. There were stories that Thecla, the female heroine of The Acts of Paul and Thecla, wrote her own story. There was suggestion somewhere that the scribe of Codex Alexandrinus was a woman (although this was probably just a way to say that the copying wasn't very reliable). More significantly, in Anglo-Saxon England, we find a report of women actually copying Scripture. According to Michelle P. Brown, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts, University of Toronto Press, 1991, p. 25, "In 735-7 the missionary, Boniface, wrote to Abbess Eadburh of Minster-in-Thanet, requesting that her community '...write for me in gold the epistles of my lord, St Peter the Apostle, to secure honour and reverence for the Holy Scriptures when they are preached before the eyes of the heathen... I send the gold for writing this."
Word Divisions
It is well known that, in early manuscripts, word divisions were not marked; WORDSWERERUNTOGETHERLIKETHIS (i.e. "words were run together like this"). On the very rare occasions that a division was marked in an early uncial, it was usually a dot, not a space. None of the early uncials has any regular system of word breaks -- although spaces are quite common in the numerous ninth century Byzantine uncials. The practice of dividing words began roughly in the seventh century, although it was far from consistent at that time.
Initially, so little attention was paid to word breaks that even a line break could occur in the middle of a word. But not, it appears, anywhere in the middle of a word. There were rules, although they seem strange to us: A break had to follow a vowel, or between the consonants of a double consonant, or following a liquid consonant in an instance of a liquid consonant followed by another consonant. If anyone knows the reason for this system, I have not seen it.
Latin manuscripts occasionally followed the Greek system of breaking words after a vowel, but by far the more normal method was to break a word at the end of a syllable -- the system we still tend to follow.
The hyphen as the mark for a continued word did not become common until the twelfth century.
Paragraph markings are known from an early date, but in early times usually consisted of a mark in the margin, such as a dash or >. There was initially no line break; the reader had to guess what place the symbol referred to. Later it became common to put some space (perhaps the width of three letters) between the last word of one paragraph and the first word of the next. In time, it became common to put a large or illuminated letter at the start of a paragraph -- although some manuscripts actually put the illuminated letter at the start of the line, not the first word of the new paragraph!
The lack of word division naturally implies a lack of punctuation. Various systems were tried over the years, mostly consisting of points, high, low, or middle. Commas and interrogative marks started to be seen around the end of the uncial era. Late manuscripts of course contain a fairly full punctuation, but in an early manuscript, an editor cannot assume anything -- any symbol might be used for any sort of meaning (comma, semicolon, period, paragraph), and it may or may not be used correctly, and it may or may not be used regularly.
zero variant
Keith Ralston tells me that this is a term used in Janzen's analysis of Jeremiah. It refers to a variant in the Hebrew tradition where the LXX shows no variant from the MT text.
Used in some critical apparatus (especially those for non-biblical editions) for "all the rest," or "all those not explicitly cited," making it equivalent to the Nestle rell.
Used in Souter's apparatus for the Majority Text, making it loosely equivalent to the ℳ of the Nestle-Aland text.