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RE: [GTh] Manuscript Notes: Page 32

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  • Rick Hubbard
    Hi Bob- ... I ... the ... that? I agree that this is an oddity, but I can t offer any explanation, or even a theory, about what may have happened here. I do
    Message 1 of 40 , Feb 6, 2010
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      Hi Bob-

      You Wrote:
      ||This strikes me as extremely odd. I don't know anything about Coptic, but
      I
      ||can't imagine that you could have both right and left justification unless
      the
      ||copyist feels free to break words in the middle. Do we have evidence of
      that?

      I agree that this is an oddity, but I can't offer any explanation, or even a
      theory, about what may have happened here. I do know that if you look at the
      top half of the page, (the ending of ApJn), the right margin appears to be
      incredibly ragged. On the other hand, just looking more or less "casually"
      at 32:10-27, it doesn't seem to be particularly even on both sides either.
      It was only when I dragged the image into a CAD type program and applied
      some reference lines to it that that the relative right and left margin
      justification came into focus.

      As far as the scriptor breaking words in the middle, the answer is "yes". It
      is a regular feature of the MS. Mike's interlinear does a great job of
      illustrating how this happens. On this page, for example, out of 27 lines,
      at least 8 lines end with "broken" words (meaning either the word is broken
      between morphs or that the morph itself is split). There is evidence of a
      similar feature in ApJn (32:04) so this may or may not be evidence of
      careful orthographic practice to insure right-wise justification.

      Breaking "words" in this manner is something quite different from adjusting
      interliteral spacing (i.e., increasing the space between words/letters) to
      achieve the same thing. I think the latter is what you are describing as a
      feature of P42. The presence of such a feature in this MS is hard to
      determine given the nature of the images I am working with. I'm trying to
      lay my hands of some software that will explode images without destroying
      the original resolution but finding a "free" or shareware version seems to
      be an exercise in frustration, so I'm not sure I will ever get there. If I
      do "get there", another thing I might be able to do is to more closely
      examine letter formation from page to page. I have no real idea what that
      would tell us, but it is worth looking at, regardless.

      Your next question:

      ||Do your observations apply equally to all pages of the text?

      It's a little too early to say whether my observations apply to the entirety
      of the text, but until I have a chance to apply the same technique to the
      remaining pages I'd say the answer is both yes and no. It **appears**, after
      just laying a grid over the page images, that in some cases there **may** be
      evidence of attempts to produce right and left justified text blocks. One
      thing I think I do know is that the tilt of the lines seems to be
      inconsistent. For example, pp. 33, 35, 39, 41, 43, 45 and 50 seem to exhibit
      a tendency for the lines of text to rise vertically from left to right. By
      contrast, the lines on pp. 34, 36, and 49 seem to tilt downward at the end
      of the line. A quick look at the remaining pages, ( 37, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46,
      48 and [maybe] 51) seems to suggest that these lines are "level". I do note
      that, to the naked eye, pg. 47 starts out with the lines inclining upward
      and that they then level out.

      There is another factor, other than they orthographic style of the scriptor,
      that might be at work here. I am working with scanned images of what I can
      only assume were conventional photographs. It is not out of the realm of
      possibility that some of the original negatives were reversed and that
      during the reproduction process, they were corrected thus creating an
      illusion that some lines slant in different directions (I'm not even sure
      such a thing is possible, but I always suspect human ineptitude when I see
      such things). The only way to be sure is to jump on an airplane to Cairo and
      look for myself, but we all know that's not going to happen anytime soon.

      In any case, I'll just continue to plug along with the remaining pages in
      the same manner as I have for Page 32 and we'll see what things look like at
      the end.

      As a final note, I just noticed that the line numbering I had over-laid on
      this page were off due to fat-finger syndrome on the key board when I was
      editing the PDF images (see my comment about human ineptitude, above).
      Reader beware :-)

      Best Regards,

      Rick Hubbard



      ||-----Original Message-----
      ||From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On
      ||Behalf Of Bob Schacht
      ||Sent: Saturday, February 06, 2010 12:47 PM
      ||To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com; gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      ||Subject: Re: [GTh] Manuscript Notes: Page 32
      ||
      ||
      ||
      ||At 10:13 AM 2/6/2010, Rick Hubbard wrote:
      ||
      ||
      ||
      ||
      || This is the first in a series of notes relating to some observations
      about
      ||the physical manuscript in which the Gospel of Thomas is contained. For
      the
      ||most part, the observations certainly fall under the category of "trivia".
      To say
      ||that these observations are NOT simply boring would be overly optimistic.
      ||
      ||
      ||Rick,
      ||Thanks for these observations. I have one observation in response:
      ||
      ||[snip]
      ||
      ||
      ||
      || The text is very well justified on the left side. ...
      ||
      || The rightmost edge of the text is likewise fairly well justified.
      ...
      ||
      ||
      ||This strikes me as extremely odd. I don't know anything about Coptic, but
      I
      ||can't imagine that you could have both right and left justification unless
      the
      ||copyist feels free to break words in the middle. Do we have evidence of
      that?
      ||
      ||Otherwise, one would have to stretch or compress character size or the
      ||spacing between words in order to accomplish this feat.
      ||
      ||Do your observations apply equally to all pages of the text?
      ||
      ||BTW, your observations fall under what has been called "textual
      criticism,"
      ||don't they? I find such comments very interesting.
      ||For example, with P42 (if I remember right), the first few pages start out
      with
      ||spacious lettering, but as the last (preserved) page approaches, it as if
      the
      ||copyist realizes that s/he is running out of space, so the writing gets
      more
      ||cramped, the number of lines per page increases, etc.
      ||
      ||Please continue offering these observations.
      ||
      ||Bob Schacht
      ||Northern Arizona University
      ||
      ||
    • Michael Grondin
      ... As I said earlier, Bob, regardless of this and other definitions deriving from non-ancient binding and publishing processes, James Robinson didn t use the
      Message 40 of 40 , Feb 10, 2010
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        > In the Middle Ages, ['quire'] had a number of specific meanings, with
        > specific names. In modern times, it refers to 1/20th of a ream, IIRC.
        > See the Wikipedia.

        As I said earlier, Bob, regardless of this and other definitions deriving
        from non-ancient binding and publishing processes, James Robinson
        didn't use the word that way in his Intro to the Facsimile edition. In his
        usage, a quire is an indefinite number of leaves folded together:

        "A *codex* is made up of one or more *gatherings", usually referred
        to as *quires*. For although this term is derived from *quaterniones*,
        which is the designation for gatherings of four sheets (which came
        to predominate), it has taken on the broader meaning of gatherings
        of any number of *sheets* or *bifolios*." (p.32)

        Mike
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