Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: pens=/brush reed/rush Re: [ANE-2] Inkwells again (Qumran and elsewhere)

Expand Messages
  • Peter T. Daniels
    Vide infra. -- Peter T. Daniels grammatim@verizon.net ... From: goranson@duke.edu To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2006 10:54:08 AM
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 31, 2006
      Vide infra.

      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: goranson@...
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2006 10:54:08 AM
      Subject: pens=/brush reed/rush Re: [ANE-2] Inkwells again (Qumran and elsewhere)

      Peter, if I may disagree on two matters:

      1. Liz mentioned a lip to keep ink from spilling out. My view,
      mentioned before
      and after her remark, was that the lip was for touching of the writing
      implement and allowing ink to drip back in. (Of course I did not in that post

      I gather you have never yourself used a "dip pen." What you suggest would get ink on the wrong side of the pen and cause blots on the page. A careful writer, in fact, does not dip the pen into the ink at all, but transfers a small amount of ink to the concave side of the pen with a brush.

      attempt a full detailed description of forms, and the ancient texts and
      pictures that help in understanding ancient writing implements.)

      2. I recommend to you William John Tait, "Rush and Brush : the Pens of
      and Greek Scribes," Proceedings of the XVIII Int. Congress of Papyrology,
      Athens, v.2 1988, 477-481. And Willy Clarysse "Egyptian Scribes Writing Greek"
      Chronique d'Egypte 69 (1993) 186-201. And I invite you to read my ane message
      to you of 20 May 1998 where I already provided you the evidence that
      you today again dismissed:

      Thank you for the referenes that postdate my article. I doubt that I will be able to access them. Did I respond to your ANE posting at that time?

      Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 17:57:01 -0400 (EDT)
      From: Stephen Goranson <goranson@...>
      Subject: ane reed pens and rush brushes; Elephantine mss

      Elephantine Aramaic texts, according to Peter T. Daniels, JNES 43 (1984)
      55-68, were written with split reed pens (held upsidedown) and not with

      What do you mean by "held upside down"? I take this as confirmation that you have indeed never used a "dip pen."

      brushes. Is that true? Apparently, there is some disagreement about when
      Egyptian scribes switched from brushes to split pens.
      According to Daniels, the idea that reeds were chewed to make them
      more brush-like is first attested by J. H. Breasted, American J. of Semitic
      Languages and Literatures (July, 1916) 230-49. (Is that the earliest?)

      Do you have anything earlier?

      According to A.Lucas and J. R. Harris _Ancient Egyptian Materials and
      Industries_ (4th. ed; London, 1962) 364-5 on "pens," Egyptian scribes
      "until about the third century BC" used, "as proved by numerous specimens,"
      "a particular kind of rush (not reed, as generally stated [[e.g., by
      Breasted]]) Juncus maritimus," which is plentiful in Egypt. H. Ibscher
      demonstrated for Lucas the production by chewing this rush--not reed. Then,
      with Greco-Roman influences, the reed (Phragmites communis) was introduced;
      it was cut to a point and split. There have been attempts to associate rush
      brushes (and palettes) changing to reed pens (and inkwells) due either to
      Greek scribes, alphabetic writing, or the introduction of a harder writing
      surface (parchment).

      Looking at pen-written Egyptian documents, there is no reason to suppose they were written with "brushes," if that's what you want to call rushes with "chewed" ends (a skilled Chinese calligrapher might be able to produce the fine lines of Egyptian writing using a (real) brush made of hairs, but anything with a chewed end could not make the fine lines.

      And in my article I described the indentations left by the split nib of the pens used to write the Aramaic documents on the Persepolis tablets that were supposed to be published by Raymond Bowman.

      Back to Elephantine. Charles E. Wilbour obtained six scribes'
      palettes (i.e. pen/brush holders with inmdentations for ink) from the same
      women from whom he got the Aramaic texts now in Brooklyn (Emil Kraeling,
      _The Brooklyn Museum Aramaic Papyri_, 1953, p. 10; two are photographed on
      plate XX). These include brushes.

      Sorry, but Wilbur's memo of the purchase on p. 10 doesn't mention any "brushes."

      Bezalel Porten in BA 42 (1979) 76 shows
      one of these and gives the impression that "the two reed [[technically,
      rush?]] brushes" are the type tools used for this writing. Kraeling

      Presumably after he started hanging out with Ada Yardeni, who is both a calligrapher and a paleographer, he stopped saying silly things like that.

      indicated he would later publish an Aramaic inscription on one of these
      wooden items. But that publication (promised for BASOR) and the other four
      palettes apparently have not been published, at least from a look at J.
      Fitzmyer and S. Kaufman, _ An Aramaic Bibliography, Part One_ (1992).
      I would welcome relevant observations or bibliography.
      Stephen Goranson goranson@...


      Quoting "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>:

      > Comments interspersed.
      > --
      > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: goranson@...
      > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2006 7:31:26 AM
      > Subject: [ANE-2] Inkwells again (Qumran and elsewhere)
      > SG: If I may repeat my request: does anyone know of examples of
      > ancient date palm fibre pens other than the one in the Schoyen
      > collection, acquired with part of the Temple Scroll and a jar, and
      > the one cited by me on ane previously from Egypt (Flinders-Petrie,
      > Objects of Daily Use (v. 42, 1927)? That pen with split nib may have
      > ink on it.
      > ***********
      > PTD: The Metropolitan Museum has (had?) a number of pens displayed in
      > the Egyptian department (this was back when they had the policy of
      > not keeping anything in storage, but showing everything they own --
      > the galleries were blocked off for renovation for quite a while, so
      > maybe they've revised the policy). I can't say whether they're date
      > palm, reed, or anything else. They were pointed rather than broadege,
      > and too far away to see whether there was a split.
      > ***********
      > SG: Reeds with split nibs and rushes cut obliquely into brushes
      > evidently play a role in the evolution of forms of inkwells and other
      > writing-kits. Also, whether ink was kept wet or kept in cakes.
      > ***********
      > PTD: There's no reason to believe ANE writing was done with
      > "brushes"; the claim seems to have originalted with Breasted 1916
      > (cited in my JNES article), who provided no source or evidence.
      > ***********
      > SG: There are indeed (Peter) some items called inkwells which are not
      > inkwells. I just saw some (thin necked things, supposedly c. 100 AD
      > inkwells) on sale on ebay via google images. But there are form
      > developments that help identify inkwells (besides finding ink in
      > them) including a lip that allows ink to drip back inside. (Some
      > early inkpots [pre=Hellenistic] may have been for shipping.)
      > """"""""""
      > PTD: That (the lip) was Liz's criterion.
      > **********

      Yahoo! Groups Links
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.