RE: [GTh] Manuscript Notes: Page 32
||This strikes me as extremely odd. I don't know anything about Coptic, but
||can't imagine that you could have both right and left justification unless
||copyist feels free to break words in the middle. Do we have evidence of
and Rick responds:
I agree that this is an oddity, but I can't offer any explanation, or even a
theory, about what may have happened here
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).
And Judy responds:
This is quite a normal feature of texts of the time, whether they were written in Coptic or Greek. They are all written in uppercase characters with no punctuation and no gaps between words and all MSS were both right and left justified. The writer or copyist simply kept writing characters until s/he reached the end of the column and began again on the next line, regardless of whether the end of the line came in the middle of a word or the middle of a morph/syllable. I think this is partially because they were working in what was largely an oral culture, and it appears that most writers until much later than this time actually spoke the words out loud as they wrote them, so *they* didn’t need spaces and punctuation.
These features help somewhat in guessing what might have been written in the lacunae, especially those that come at the end of lines. You can guess what might have made sense and then see if it might have fitted into the space, and know that you don’t have to make room for gaps between words or punctuation and that the last character of the line will be even with the last characters in the lines above and below. Handwritten documents that use both upper and lower case, have spaces between words and are only left justified leave a lot more room for conjecture when there are bits missing. Some characters are narrower than others, which will influence what might be possible to write in spaces, but this is also the case with MSS that have spaces, punctuation and upper and lower case. There is also a little adjustment sometimes at the ends of lines to ensure that the right justification works properly. Probably (my opinion) this is less likely to happen when an experienced professional copyist is at work because s/he was better at keeping the letter spacing even across the line. It would also be more likely to happen on the first version of a MS than in copies because in the first version it would be less clear what characters one was going to need to fit into each line.
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> In the Middle Ages, ['quire'] had a number of specific meanings, withAs I said earlier, Bob, regardless of this and other definitions deriving
> specific names. In modern times, it refers to 1/20th of a ream, IIRC.
> See the Wikipedia.
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)