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Re: [GTh] FW: Coptic MSS and Greek fonts

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  • Grondin
    ... This question confuses me, Dave. Of course no Coptic dialect could be represented by the Greek alphabet _alone_. So if by Coptic letters you mean the
    Message 1 of 12 , Jul 6, 2002
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      Dave Hindley wrote:
      > I am still unclear, though, how the Egyptian Sahadic dialect
      > could be represented in Greek letters, considering all the
      > sounds that are not available in the Greek alphabet.
      > Wouldn't these really be Coptic letters, and not "Greek"?

      This question confuses me, Dave. Of course no Coptic dialect could be
      represented by the Greek alphabet _alone_. So if by "Coptic letters" you
      mean the normal Coptic alphabet - comprised of the entire Greek alphabet,
      plus a half-dozen strictly Coptic letters, then, yes, every Coptic text of
      any dialect was written using that alphabet.

      > If it was the Egyptian Sahidic dialect represented by Greek
      > letters, and not "Coptic" letters, would this tend to
      > suggest that the Bruce Codex predates the NH texts, which
      > were almost all written in Coptic letters? What do we know
      > about the relative development or adaptation of fonts used
      > to represent the Egyptian Sahadic dialect?

      From Dr. Altman's reply to you, it seems that a lot of work has been done in
      this area. Unfortunately, I haven't done any reading in that area. The one
      thing that struck me, however, is that I've been using 'uncial' where the
      correct word is evidently 'majuscule' (capitals), and 'cursive' where the
      correct word is evidently 'minuscule'. As I now understand it, "uncial" is a
      type of majuscule and "cursive" is a type of minuscule. Based on what Altman
      wrote, Macdermot may have made the same mistake.

      > Mike, what does Mcdermot have to say?

      "Each of the two main texts is written in a different hand, and the two
      manuscripts bear no obvious relation to one another. The first [Books of
      Jeu] is written in a cursive hand on papyrus of a pale colour. The second
      [Untitled Text] is in an uncial script on a darker and more reddish
      papyrus." (Macdermott, p.xi)

      Nothing about dating, except that I assume that majuscules (without spacing)
      are considered earlier than minuscules (with spacing) - which would make
      _this copy of_ the Untitled Text earlier than _this copy of_ the Books of
      Jeu. However, the first Book of Jeu bears signs of having had a Christian
      introductory segment appended to it, so it may be a recopying (with a
      revisionist reframing) of a majuscule text in minuscule. So evidently we
      cannot consider the scribal style as determinative of the relative dating of
      the original exemplars of these texts.

      One other possible misunderstanding I'd like to again try to clear up - the
      two manuscripts were _not_ bound together in antiquity. Only after the loose
      leaves reached the museum were they "bound" together.

      "When acquired, the codex consisted of loose leaves, the original order of
      which had been lost." (p.x)

      As indicated earlier, I myself would put the word 'codex' in quotes, as the
      two manuscripts were most definitely not part of a single codex in
      antiquity. They do, however, seem intimately related in content.

      Regards,
      Mike Grondin
      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
      http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
    • David C. Hindley
      Mike (Grondin), ... represented by the Greek alphabet _alone_. So if by Coptic letters you mean the normal Coptic alphabet - comprised of the entire Greek
      Message 2 of 12 , Jul 6, 2002
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        Mike (Grondin),

        >>This question confuses me, Dave. Of course no Coptic dialect could be
        represented by the Greek alphabet _alone_. So if by "Coptic letters" you
        mean the normal Coptic alphabet - comprised of the entire Greek alphabet,
        plus a half-dozen strictly Coptic letters, then, yes, every Coptic text of
        any dialect was written using that alphabet.<<

        Confused me too. There may be a certain degree of imprecision inherent in
        relying upon studies conducted in the earliest decades after the initial
        publication of the manuscripts. I have to agree, there is no way to
        represent Egyptian dialects with the Greek alphabet alone, unless perhaps
        they used non-standard combinations of Greek letters to represent some
        sounds and then wrote phonetically.

        Here is a link to images that were included in a translation of the 1st Book
        of Ieou:
        http://www.gnosis.org/library/1ieo.htm
        These certainly look like Coptic letters, but the style does not really
        appear to be "cursive" if that means they are drawn in a way that the
        letters connect to one another more often than not. There is also the
        possibility that the images are typeset and thus not exact representations
        of the letters as drawn.

        >>The one thing that struck me, however, is that I've been using 'uncial'
        where the correct word is evidently 'majuscule' (capitals), and 'cursive'
        where the correct word is evidently 'minuscule'. As I now understand it,
        "uncial" is a type of majuscule and "cursive" is a type of minuscule.<<

        Dr. Altman appears to be using the terms in their technical sense. Uncial is
        the common way to designate "capital" letters. "Miniscule" is also often
        used to mean the letter forms used in the lectionaries and other mss from
        the 9th century on, which were indeed "lower case". However, Metzger says
        that the miniscule letter forms (of the lectionaries, I assume) were
        adaptations of cursive forms of the uncial fonts (pages 9-13). Cursive forms
        of Uncial fonts are known from examples of everyday literature and papyri,
        and while no literary examples exist now there are some spelling
        abnormalities in some biblical mss that seem to require the existence of
        cursive mss of these books in antiquity (on pages 188-189 he cites
        authorities with regard to cursive forms of uncial letters, including some
        examples from the 1st century CE).

        Respectfully,

        Dave Hindley
        Cleveland, Ohio, USA
      • Grondin
        ... That is the case - and probably the source of the confusion. The online images you refer to are facsimiles of the Macdermot book - not of the original mss.
        Message 3 of 12 , Jul 6, 2002
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          > There is also the possibility that the images are typeset and thus
          > not exact representations of the letters as drawn.

          That is the case - and probably the source of the confusion. The online
          images you refer to are facsimiles of the Macdermot book - not of the
          original mss. The font in the Macdermot book is kind of a Germanic Coptic.

          [Mike]:
          > As I now understand it,
          > "uncial" is a type of majuscule and "cursive" is a type of minuscule.<<
          [Dave]:
          > Dr. Altman appears to be using the terms in their technical sense. Uncial
          is
          > the common way to designate "capital" letters.

          In other words, Dr. Altman is being overly-picky when she says:

          > ... "uncial" is applicable *only* to formal Greek Biblical fonts ...

          ... and other scholars simply don't follow this overly-specialized
          distinction? OK by me. So then Macdermot is evidently right (in the
          generally-accepted sense) to say that the Untitled Text is written in "an
          uncial script", whereas Altman is being a bit of an academic prig to deny
          that that is so?

          > "Miniscule" is also often
          > used to mean the letter forms used in the lectionaries and other mss from
          > the 9th century on, which were indeed "lower case".

          Well, wait a minute. Either 'minuscule' means roughly the same as "lower
          case" or it doesn't. You're confusing things by talking about specific
          referents of the word, rather than the meaning of the word. If I write in
          printed (i.e., non-cursive) "small letters", is my writing "minuscule" (not
          "miniscule") or not? BTW, some of the Nag Hammadi texts were written in
          minuscule, non-cursive characters, and they were pre-9th century, so your
          "from the 9th century on" seems wrong.

          > Cursive forms
          > of Uncial fonts are known from examples of everyday literature and papyri,
          > and while no literary examples exist now ...

          "known from examples", but "no ... examples exist now"? There must be a way
          to put this to avoid the contradiction. But anyway, we evidently have the
          same four-fold classification of writing styles in antiquity as today:
          non-cursive minuscule, NON-CURSIVE MAJUSCULE (evidently earliest), cursive
          minuscule (which I can't reproduce here), and cursive majuscule (as rare
          then as now). You agree?

          Regards,
          Mike Grondin
        • David C. Hindley
          ... case or it doesn t. You re confusing things by talking about specific referents of the word, rather than the meaning of the word. If I write in printed
          Message 4 of 12 , Jul 6, 2002
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            Mike Grondin says:

            >>Well, wait a minute. Either 'minuscule' means roughly the same as "lower
            case" or it doesn't. You're confusing things by talking about specific
            referents of the word, rather than the meaning of the word. If I write in
            printed (i.e., non-cursive) "small letters", is my writing "minuscule" (not
            "miniscule") or not? BTW, some of the Nag Hammadi texts were written in
            minuscule, non-cursive characters, and they were pre-9th century, so your
            "from the 9th century on" seems wrong.<<

            I'm not sure how I lost you. According to Metzger:
            "In antiquity two styles of *Greek* handwriting were in general use. The
            cursive or 'running' hand, which could be written rapidly, was employed for
            non-literary, everyday documents, such as letters, accounts, receipts,
            petitions, deeds, and the like. [...] Literary works, on the other hand,
            were written in a more formal style of handwriting, called uncials. This
            'book-hand' was characterized by more deliberate and carefully executed
            letters, each one separated from the others, somewhat like our capital
            letters. [...] In the course of time, however, the style of the book-hand
            began to deteriorate [...] Then about the beginning of the ninth century, a
            reform in handwriting was initiated, and a script of smaller letters in a
            running hand, called miniscules, was created for the production of books."

            "Uppercase" and "lowercase" are modern descriptions of letter types. It may
            well be that there were various sized *Greek* uncial scripts, and
            who-knows-what sizes and kinds of *Coptic* scripts in use. The terms
            "cursive" and "semi-cursive" also seem to mean different things to different
            scholars. Perhaps one of these terms is used from time to time to describe a
            small form of a Greek uncial letter.

            >>"known from examples", but "no ... examples exist now"? There must be a
            way to put this to avoid the contradiction. <<

            The cursive script is known from papyri documents like letters, deeds,
            receipts, and various business documents. Copies of scripture all make use
            of an uncial script. This is what I meant by known examples (of cursive
            script, all in business documents and personal letters) and no examples (of
            cursive scriptural manuscripts). Critics are apparently undecided about
            whether NT books were ever written in cursive script. There is a
            contradiction, true, but it is in the explanation offered by some as for why
            we do not have any surviving copies of a cursive NT manuscript. On page 188
            Metzger relates that "Wilkenhauser, following Roller, argues that it is
            unlikely that the original texts of the New Testament books were written in
            cursive script, because the rough surface of papyrus made it difficult to
            use that form of writing." Yet, papyrus was exactly the writing material in
            which we find most examples of cursive script!

            >>But anyway, we evidently have the same four-fold classification of writing
            styles in antiquity as today: non-cursive minuscule, NON-CURSIVE MAJUSCULE
            (evidently earliest), cursive minuscule (which I can't reproduce here), and
            cursive majuscule (as rare then as now). You agree?<<

            >>So then Macdermot is evidently right (in the generally-accepted sense) to
            say that the Untitled Text is written in "an uncial script", whereas Altman
            is being a bit of an academic prig to deny that that is so?<<

            I wouldn't say that at all. <g> I think we can say that there were formal
            and informal Greek scripts, and NT books were copied in the formal hand
            almost always. Non-NT documents may be written formally or informally. What
            Dr. Altman was saying, was that if the untitled mss was written in uncials,
            then she would place it later in time than the cursive mss. She reasoned
            that the native Egyptians were developing a means to write their spoken
            language, with virtually no help from the Greek speaking classes (they were,
            in fact, disenfranchised and cut off from any sort of proper Greek education
            sometime in the first half of the 1st century), and would naturally start
            with informal (cursive) hands and move on in time to formal (uncial) hands
            in imitation of the Greek elite. I don't think she said that the untitled
            mss was not a uncial. I do not think she really addressed my suggestion that
            it was a less formal uncial script, and this could have been called
            "cursive" by Schmidt but not Mcdermott. Schmidt, incidentally, is one of the
            authorities cited by Metzger on the subject of possible cursive mss of NT
            books (although indirectly as the evidence was that there may have been some
            cursive copies of the Lxx in circulation).

            Respectfully,

            Dave Hindley
            Cleveland, Ohio, USA
          • Grondin
            Dave- This discussion just keeps getting worse and worse as far as I m concerned. It doesn t help me to understand what you re saying that you don t answer my
            Message 5 of 12 , Jul 6, 2002
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              Dave-
              This discussion just keeps getting worse and worse as far as I'm concerned.
              It doesn't help me to understand what you're saying that you don't answer my
              questions directly. Among other things, I asked whether the categories
              cursive versus non-cursive and majuscule versus minuscule were sufficient to
              understand the subject ("uncials", for example, being defined as non-cursive
              majuscules). Since you didn't answer that question, I'm going to plunge
              ahead and try to parse the Metzger passage using that classification scheme:

              > "In antiquity two styles of *Greek* handwriting were in general use. The
              > cursive or 'running' hand, which could be written rapidly, was employed
              for
              > non-literary, everyday documents, such as letters, accounts, receipts,
              > petitions, deeds, and the like.

              Metzger says the this "everyday" lettering was cursive, but he doesn't say
              whether it was majuscule or minuscule (i.e., lit., "large letters" or "small
              letters"). However, given what he is going to say below, the implication
              seems to be that they were majuscule. The problem, however, is that we
              evidently have no existing examplars of a cursive majuscule script. So if
              this is what he means, how is it that this "everyday" script has never been
              found? One would think that an "everyday" script would be found all over the
              place. But since the evidence for such a script is indirect, it may be that
              the symbols involved were _not_ the same as the symbol-set for his next
              category, the existence of which is indisputable:

              > [...] Literary works, on the other hand,
              > were written in a more formal style of handwriting, called uncials. This
              > 'book-hand' was characterized by more deliberate and carefully executed
              > letters, each one separated from the others, somewhat like our capital
              > letters.

              Here, he evidently equates "uncials" with non-cursive majuscules. That's OK
              by me, cuz that was my original understanding.

              > [...] In the course of time, however, the style of the book-hand
              > began to deteriorate [...] Then about the beginning of the ninth century,
              a
              > reform in handwriting was initiated, and a script of smaller letters in a
              > running hand, called miniscules, was created for the production of books."

              Did he misspell 'minuscules' or did you miscopy? In any case, the above runs
              contrary to the neat little classification scheme I've suggested, for in my
              scheme - and in the dictionary definition of the word as well - "minuscule"
              simply means "small letter". It does _not_ specify whether those letters are
              joined (cursive style), or not. In other words, to my understanding,
              minuscules can be either cursive or non-cursive. Now Metzger may be right,
              but I can't see where in his account there's a place for a _non-cursive_
              minuscule. Is that because there was no such thing up until modern times? So
              of the four styles logically possible, Metzger admits to only three being
              actually used - and to extant exemplars of only two of those three?

              If I'm looking at this wrongly, I'd appreciate it if you would bend your
              efforts to explaining why my suggested four-fold classification scheme is
              inadequate. (BTW, I take back my assertion that some NH texts were in
              minuscules - my recollection was faulty; I should have rechecked.)

              Regards,
              Mike Grondin
            • David C. Hindley
              ... whether it was majuscule or minuscule (i.e., lit., large letters or small letters ). However, given what he is going to say below, the implication seems
              Message 6 of 12 , Jul 7, 2002
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                Mike Grondin says:

                >>Metzger says the this "everyday" lettering was cursive, but he doesn't say
                whether it was majuscule or minuscule (i.e., lit., "large letters" or "small
                letters"). However, given what he is going to say below, the implication
                seems to be that they were majuscule. The problem, however, is that we
                evidently have no existing examplars of a cursive majuscule script. So if
                this is what he means, how is it that this "everyday" script has never been
                found? One would think that an "everyday" script would be found all over the
                place. But since the evidence for such a script is indirect, it may be that
                the symbols involved were _not_ the same as the symbol-set for his next
                category, the existence of which is indisputable<<

                You may be reading too much into what Metzger (and I) say. There ARE
                examples of this everyday cursive script. I provided a link to an example in
                two of my earlier massages. All the formal sources I have found to date use
                the terms Uncial, Cursive (sometimes also semi-cursive) and Minuscule (and
                yes, I seem to have misspelled it and then kept telling my spell checker to
                accept the misspelling when it objected), almost always without
                qualification. Rochelle added the information that Majuscule and Minuscule
                refer to relative size of letters. She and Metzger also add that Uncial was
                used as a formal book-hand, and Metzger says that cursive was popularly used
                to quickly write common everyday documents.

                Maybe change the table to:

                Majuscule Minuscule
                Formal common uncommon
                Informal uncommon common

                "Cursive" is apparently associated with both the Informal and Minuscule axis
                of the chart, but the additional detail about whether they are majuscule or
                minuscule letter forms is left out of discussions centering on NT mss. Maybe
                this is because there are no surviving Formal Minuscules of NT books.

                You had: Majuscule Minuscule
                Non-cursive earliest
                Cursive rare

                My examination of images of common everyday papyri available on the web
                tells me that most were in some form of uncial (distinct large letters) but
                a sizable minority were true cursive, and many mixed uncial and cursive
                styles.

                Respectfully,

                Dave Hindley
                Cleveland, Ohio, USA
              • David C. Hindley
                Mike, ... that it is unlikely that the original texts of the New Testament books were written in cursive script, because the rough surface of papyrus made it
                Message 7 of 12 , Jul 7, 2002
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                  Mike,

                  >>On page 188 Metzger relates that "Wilkenhauser, following Roller, argues
                  that it is unlikely that the original texts of the New Testament books were
                  written in cursive script, because the rough surface of papyrus made it
                  difficult to use that form of writing." Yet, papyrus was exactly the writing
                  material in which we find most examples of cursive script!<<

                  I think I figured out why Wilkenhauser and Roller say what they did. The
                  codex form used both the recto and verso sides of the papyrus sheet. One of
                  these being vertical in orientation, it would indeed be hard to write on
                  using a cursive script. If there were any cursive biblical mss, these would
                  likely to have been on a roll.

                  Presuming the current consensus is correct that Christians copied both the
                  Jewish scriptures and all their own preserved literature in codex format,
                  then only copies of the Lxx made by Jews would be in the roll format.
                  Incidentally, the evidence for possible existence of cursive forms of formal
                  texts comes from (probably Christian) copies of Jewish scripture.

                  Respectfully,

                  Dave Hindley
                  Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                • Grondin
                  ... an ... http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/images/150dpi/9-at150.gif? No info is given as to date or even language, so I m not sure whether this falls
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jul 7, 2002
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                    [Dave Hindley]:
                    > There ARE examples of this everyday cursive script. I provided a link to
                    an
                    > example in two of my earlier massages.

                    http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/images/150dpi/9-at150.gif? No info
                    is given as to date or even language, so I'm not sure whether this falls
                    under Metzger's special use of the term 'cursive', which is pre-9th century.
                    (See more on "cursive" below.)

                    > All the formal sources I have found to date use
                    > the terms Uncial, Cursive (sometimes also semi-cursive) and Minuscule ...

                    Having now read the entirety of Metzger's classification scheme on pp. 8-12
                    of TNT, I think I can see where my confusion arises. He uses the word
                    'cursive' in both a technical and a generic way. What I mean is this:
                    generically, 'cursive' just means 'run together'. It doesn't specify whether
                    the run-together letters are capitals or small letters. Unfortunately,
                    Metzger doesn't capitalize 'cursive' when he uses it to designate the
                    pre-minuscule script. But note that when he introduces the 9th-century
                    minuscule style, he refers to it as "this modified form of the cursive
                    script"! In other words, it, too, is cursive in the generic sense - and yet
                    he reserves the word 'cursive' elsewhere for the informal, pre-9th century
                    script, thus creating confusion when we ourselves try to use that term. If
                    by 'cursive' we mean 'run together', then minuscule is cursive, but if we're
                    using 'Cursive' (in caps) to designate that pre-9th century informal script,
                    then minuscule is not "Cursive".

                    > Rochelle added the information that Majuscule and Minuscule
                    > refer to relative size of letters.

                    Well, not just that. Note that 'C' and 'c', 'O' and 'o', 'S' and 's', are
                    different sizes, but have the same form, whereas 'A' and 'a', 'B' and 'b',
                    etc, have different forms. So I would say that, in addition to being of
                    smaller size, a minuscule symbol-set differs in form from a majuscule
                    symbol-set, though they share some common symbols. In addition, however,
                    cursive writing (as opposed to "hand-printing") creates the need for a
                    certain kind of symbol-set, wherein the symbols can be easily joined. So, in
                    English, you have a cursive minuscule "font" and a separate non-cursive
                    minuscule "font". (As a side note, the introduction of a separate minuscule
                    letter-set made capitalization of words possible, though it was some time in
                    coming. Prior to that, the word 'the' was used to indicate capitalization,
                    as in names of people and countries - which led to ambiguity in some cases.)

                    > "Cursive" is apparently associated with both the Informal and Minuscule
                    axis
                    > of the chart ...

                    Which I think is due to using the word 'cursive' in two different ways -
                    both in a generic sense (as applied to Minuscule), and in a special,
                    technical sense (to designate "everyday", pre-Minuscule cursive writing).

                    >... but the additional detail about whether they are majuscule or
                    > minuscule letter forms is left out of discussions centering on NT mss.
                    Maybe
                    > this is because there are no surviving Formal Minuscules of NT books.

                    Not so. See Metzger p.61 ("Important Greek Minuscule Manuscripts of the New
                    Testament").

                    > My examination of images of common everyday papyri available on the web
                    > tells me that most were in some form of uncial (distinct large letters)
                    but
                    > a sizable minority were true cursive, and many mixed uncial and cursive
                    > styles.

                    Which confirms for me what I already suspected, namely that the distinction
                    between "formal" and "informal" isn't much help in delineating writing
                    styles. Pre-9th century, a well-educated person might use Uncial style for
                    his grocery list, while a poorly-educated person might use "Cursive" to
                    write down a passage from scripture. What we can apparently say with some
                    confidence is that "official" copies of texts were Uncial up to the 9th
                    century, and mostly Minuscule thereafter.

                    Regards,
                    Mike Grondin
                    Mt. Clemens, MI
                  • Rick Hubbard
                    Hi David! I think I m having a brain cramp, here. Maybe I missed part of the thread; maybe it s the mosquito bites; maybe it s that the collective IQ of the
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jul 7, 2002
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                      Hi David!

                      I think I'm having a brain cramp, here. Maybe I missed part of the thread;
                      maybe it's the mosquito bites; maybe it's that the collective IQ of the
                      entire state of Maine has been reduced by the influx of 4th of July
                      tourists. Dunno. In any case, maybe you can re-state your question.

                      Thanks.

                      Rick Hubbard
                      Humble Maine Woodsman

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: dhindley@... [mailto:dhindley@...]
                      Sent: Saturday, July 06, 2002 12:43 PM
                      To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [GTh] FW: Coptic MSS and Greek fonts


                      Mike (Grondin),

                      >>This question confuses me, Dave. Of course no Coptic dialect could be
                      represented by the Greek alphabet _alone_. So if by "Coptic letters" you
                      mean the normal Coptic alphabet - comprised of the entire Greek alphabet,
                      plus a half-dozen strictly Coptic letters, then, yes, every Coptic text of
                      any dialect was written using that alphabet.<<

                      Confused me too. There may be a certain degree of imprecision inherent in
                      relying upon studies conducted in the earliest decades after the initial
                      publication of the manuscripts. I have to agree, there is no way to
                      represent Egyptian dialects with the Greek alphabet alone, unless perhaps
                      they used non-standard combinations of Greek letters to represent some
                      sounds and then wrote phonetically.

                      Here is a link to images that were included in a translation of the 1st Book
                      of Ieou:
                      http://www.gnosis.org/library/1ieo.htm
                      These certainly look like Coptic letters, but the style does not really
                      appear to be "cursive" if that means they are drawn in a way that the
                      letters connect to one another more often than not. There is also the
                      possibility that the images are typeset and thus not exact representations
                      of the letters as drawn.

                      >>The one thing that struck me, however, is that I've been using 'uncial'
                      where the correct word is evidently 'majuscule' (capitals), and 'cursive'
                      where the correct word is evidently 'minuscule'. As I now understand it,
                      "uncial" is a type of majuscule and "cursive" is a type of minuscule.<<

                      Dr. Altman appears to be using the terms in their technical sense. Uncial is
                      the common way to designate "capital" letters. "Miniscule" is also often
                      used to mean the letter forms used in the lectionaries and other mss from
                      the 9th century on, which were indeed "lower case". However, Metzger says
                      that the miniscule letter forms (of the lectionaries, I assume) were
                      adaptations of cursive forms of the uncial fonts (pages 9-13). Cursive forms
                      of Uncial fonts are known from examples of everyday literature and papyri,
                      and while no literary examples exist now there are some spelling
                      abnormalities in some biblical mss that seem to require the existence of
                      cursive mss of these books in antiquity (on pages 188-189 he cites
                      authorities with regard to cursive forms of uncial letters, including some
                      examples from the 1st century CE).

                      Respectfully,

                      Dave Hindley
                      Cleveland, Ohio, USA




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                    • David C. Hindley
                      ... maybe it s the mosquito bites; maybe it s that the collective IQ of the entire state of Maine has been reduced by the influx of 4th of July tourists.
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jul 8, 2002
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                        Rick Hubbard said:

                        >>I think I'm having a brain cramp, here. Maybe I missed part of the thread;
                        maybe it's the mosquito bites; maybe it's that the collective IQ of the
                        entire state of Maine has been reduced by the influx of 4th of July
                        tourists. Dunno. In any case, maybe you can re-state your question.<<

                        It all seems to be boiling down to a lack of precision in terminology in use
                        to describe non-biblical (and sometimes biblical) manuscripts. The original
                        messages were about what the script told us about the relative age of the
                        copies of the two mss in the Bruce Codex. The evaluation of the quality or
                        description of script used in any particular document seems to differ from
                        scholar to scholar. We're pretty sure now that we are talking about Coptic
                        letters, Sahadic dialect, but are not sure what the various scholars' meant
                        by "cursive" script. Our recent messages were zeroing in on what the word
                        "cursive" means, and I think we probably need to seek out some sort of
                        authoritative works on the subject.

                        Respectfully,

                        Dave Hindley
                        Cleveland, Ohio, USA

                        PS: The NH finds receive a lot of attention, and the three gnostic codices
                        known since the 18th-19th centuries receive almost none. Supposedly, the
                        latter are not of the same quality as some of the ones in the NH corpus.
                        However, they all appear to have been copied around the same time (ca.
                        300-500 CE), so I do not understand the differential treatment. Just try to
                        find much more than a sentence or two on the Pistis Sophia or the Books of
                        Jeu in Layton's _Gnostic Scriptures_ or Rudolph's _Gnosis_, much less
                        excerpts or translations.
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