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Pages of a scroll Re: [GTh] Odds 'n Ends

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... I was surprised by the idea of pages on a scroll. This sounds to me like a secondary development, such as the copyist copying from a paginated codex. I
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 19, 2012
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      At 12:17 AM 4/19/2012, Mike Grondin wrote:
      ...3. In another previous note, I referred to 'pages' of a scroll. I was envisioning a
      scroll that unrolled from side to side. Such a scroll contained page-like images
      separated from each other (rather like an e-book?), so that as the scroll was
      unrolled, it would reveal a series of page-images. But there are also scrolls that
      unravel from top to bottom (for shorter works?), and these would not have such
      images (the writing being basically continuous, I believe.) I don't know what kind
      of rolls P.Oxy. 654 and 655 came from (I don't see where Hurtado or anyone else
      specifies that), nor do I know whether page-numbers were used on side-to-side rolls
      as they were on codex-pages (e.g., P.Oxy. 1). Can anyone enlighten us on this subject?

      I was surprised by the idea of "pages" on a scroll. This sounds to me like a secondary development, such as the copyist copying from a paginated codex. I certainly would not expect that any such paginated scroll was an original document.

      Why do it at all? The first thing that comes to my mind is Crossan's point that papyrus was a lot cheaper than vellum, so that a papyrus codex was the ancient equivalent of a paperback book. Copying a codex to a scroll would have the effect of saying, this text is too important to be merely on papyrus. Or maybe the copy was made in a place distant from supplies of papyrus, but where vellum was more available.

      As for shorter vs. longer works, think of the Isaiah scroll. Don't know how they managed to do that.

      Interesting questions!

      Bob Schacht
      Northern Arizona University


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