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Re: [GTh] Manuscript Notes: format of papyrus sheets

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... My understanding is that papyrus sheets were sold in standard sizes, but (just to complicate the matter) that that standard size wasn t the size of a
    Message 1 of 40 , Feb 8 9:13 AM
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      > Part of this question (which Crossan does not seem to
      > have discussed as much) was whether, in Crossan's imagined
      > marketplace, papyrus sheets were already prepared in codex form, or
      > whether the scribe would just purchase the number of sheets needed
      > for a job, and then do the folding and binding himself. But this just
      > pushes the question of standardization back a step in the process: If
      > the scribes just obtained loose sheets of papyrus, were the loose
      > sheets standardized in size, or did the scribe need to cut them to
      > uniform size himself?

      My understanding is that papyrus sheets were sold in standard sizes,
      but (just to complicate the matter) that that standard size wasn't the
      size of a codex, but rather had to be cut up into codex-size pieces
      (which would, of course, have been twice the size of a page, since
      they were folded in half to be bound in the middle.) Those "codex-
      sized" pieces are what I have been calling 'sheets', and that seems
      to be what you're calling them too. I've never read about the selling
      of blank codices, and that doesn't seem to be what was used in the
      NH codices, but I suppose it makes sense in general for there to
      have been a market for blank books to be used for such things as
      financial transactions, diaries, etc. But BTW, could you please
      specify the Crossan writing in question?

      > ... I found your "maps" to be somewhat delphic. Clearly, the roman
      > numerals in the first column refer to the Codex numbers. The numbers
      > across the top appear to be page numbers, given your information that
      > the largest was 37 "sheets." But what are the numbers in the individual
      > codex bars?

      You're referring to http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/i_cmap12.gif
      In that graph, the numbers across the top are sheet numbers, and the
      numbers in the codex bars are tractate-numbers. I was trying to give a
      graphic representation of the relative sizes of all the tractates, but I
      can see now where confusion enters. The graph shows, for example, that
      tractate 1 of Codex II (i.e., ApocJn) takes up 8 sheets. Well, strictly
      speaking, that isn't true. In the first place, there's an unavoidable
      degree of imprecision. ApocJn takes up about 31.5 pages, to which the
      closest number of sheets is 8. But what makes for the confusion, I suspect,
      is that it's not that ApocJn, e.g., takes up 8 sheets, but that it takes up
      *the equivalent* of 8 sheets, i.e., 32 pages. If the size of the codices
      had been expressed in *leaves* instead of *sheets*, this confusion
      would have been removed, but then the graph would have been twice as
      wide and may have been squeezed into unreadability. Unless ... hey I just
      thought of this - I can go by two's across the top, so that the same graph
      can be used to show 74 leaves instead of 37 pages. End of confusion?
      (I'll have to look at the other graphs to see how this would affect them.)

      Mike
    • 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 10:35 AM
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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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