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Writing in GosThom facsimilies

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  • Judy Redman
    Several weeks ago, we were talking about the way that Coptic was written in GosThom and other texts of the time and I made a comment that writers of Coptic
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 22, 2010
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      Several weeks ago, we were talking about the way that Coptic was written in GosThom and other texts of the time and I made a comment that writers of Coptic just kept writing until they got to the end of a line then moved to the next.  Mike corrected this, saying that the line breaks corresponded to morphemes.

       

      I have just had cause to look at the facsimile of page 44 of the text and it is obvious that the scribe “scrunched” his script so that he could finish the particular saying  (64) on that page rather than having to put a few letters on the next sheet. You can see where it happened – the letters are all of a nice even size until the middle of the last line where they suddenly get smaller and more cramped.  If this had been noticed earlier, it would have been possible to adjust the text size more evenly and less noticeably.

       

      Judy

       

      --

      Judy Redman
      PhD Candidate, School of Humanities
      University of New England
      Armidale 2351 Australia
      ph:  +61 2 6773 3401
      mob: 0437 044 579
      web: 
       http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
      email: 
       jredman2@...
       

       

    • Michael Grondin
      ... Thanks for drawing this to attention, Judy. Among other things, it provides an explanation for an oddity I ve wondered about for a long time. The Coptic
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 23, 2010
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        > I have just had cause to look at the facsimile of page 44 of the text and
        > it is obvious that the scribe "scrunched" his script so that he could
        > finish the particular saying (64) on that page rather than having to put
        > a few letters on the next sheet. You can see where it happened - the
        > letters are all of a nice even size until the middle of the last line
        > where they suddenly get smaller and more cramped. If this had been
        > noticed earlier, it would have been possible to adjust the text size more
        > evenly and less noticeably.

        Thanks for drawing this to attention, Judy. Among other things, it provides
        an explanation for an oddity I've wondered about for a long time. The
        Coptic word for 'father' occurs 28 times in the ms, always spelt EIWT
        except at the bottom of page 44, where it's spelt IWT (with first letter
        iota diuresis = EI). Obviously, the shorter spelling at that point enabled
        the scribe to end the already-cramped line a mite sooner. Unfortunately,
        this presents a difficulty (though not insurmountable) for my hypothesis
        that the total number of letters in the ms was controlled, but facts are
        not to be ignored.

        Mike
      • Judy Redman
        ... Thanks for drawing this to attention, Judy. Among other things, it provides an explanation for an oddity I ve wondered about for a long time. The Coptic
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 23, 2010
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          Mike says in response to me:
          > I have just had cause to look at the facsimile of page 44 of the text and
          > it is obvious that the scribe "scrunched" his script so that he could
          > finish the particular saying (64) on that page rather than having to put
          > a few letters on the next sheet. You can see where it happened - the
          > letters are all of a nice even size until the middle of the last line
          > where they suddenly get smaller and more cramped. If this had been
          > noticed earlier, it would have been possible to adjust the text size more
          > evenly and less noticeably.

          Thanks for drawing this to attention, Judy. Among other things, it provides
          an explanation for an oddity I've wondered about for a long time. The
          Coptic word for 'father' occurs 28 times in the ms, always spelt EIWT
          except at the bottom of page 44, where it's spelt IWT (with first letter
          iota diuresis = EI). Obviously, the shorter spelling at that point enabled
          the scribe to end the already-cramped line a mite sooner.

          *************
          And I respond - sorry my reader is set to work in html, so this is a bit
          messy:

          I hadn't noticed this oddity. Fascinating.

          I wonder why the spacing, though. One explanation would be production in a
          scriptorium where the scribes are taking dictation and therefore don't know
          much in advance just how long it is to the end of the saying/sentence.
          Another is that this is not a very experienced scribe, who hasn't been
          reading ahead and taking care of the setting out as well as the copying. A
          third is that the scribe was getting tired and working more or less on
          autopilot. We will never know, but it's interesting to speculate.

          Judy


          --
          Judy Redman
          PhD Candidate, School of Humanities
          University of New England
          Armidale 2351 Australia
          ph:  +61 2 6773 3401
          mob: 0437 044 579
          web:  http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
          email:  jredman2@...
           
        • Maurice
          ... One explanation would be production in a ... And, of course, while on the subject of speculation, It may simply be (for us late daters, at least) that the
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 23, 2010
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            --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Judy Redman" <jredman2@...> wrote:

            > Snip
            > Snip
            >

            "One explanation would be production in a
            > scriptorium where the scribes are taking dictation and therefore don't know
            > much in advance just how long it is to the end of the saying/sentence.
            > Another is that this is not a very experienced scribe, who hasn't been
            > reading ahead and taking care of the setting out as well as the copying. A
            > third is that the scribe was getting tired and working more or less on
            > autopilot. We will never know, but it's interesting to speculate.
            >
            > Judy

            --------------------

            And, of course, while on the subject of speculation, It may simply be (for us late daters, at least) that the scrivenor of Thomas was simply "correcting" Luke's (original version) of logion 64 by choosing to omit " None of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet." and replacing the space which that sentence would have virtually taken with "Businessmen and merchants will not enter the Places of My Father." which he (the scrivenor)may have thought more appropriate or correct as the truer words uttered by Jesus and misreported in Luke ....

            Perhaps a retranslation of these two endings back into Coptic would show if the Lucan version is one or two letters shorter than the Thomas version ... thus giving us a suitable or possible Quod Erat Demonstrandum .


            Maurice
          • Michael Grondin
            ... Not bloody likely. You make it sound as if the last sentence is the only difference between L64 and Lk 14:15-24, but not so. Mike
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 23, 2010
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              Maurice writes:
              > ... It may simply be (for us late daters, at least) that the scrivenor
              > of Thomas was simply "correcting" Luke's (original version) of
              > logion 64 by choosing to omit " None of those men who were invited
              > will get a taste of my banquet." and replacing the space which that
              > sentence would have virtually taken with "Businessmen and merchants
              > will not enter the Places of My Father." ...

              Not bloody likely. You make it sound as if the last sentence is the only
              difference between L64 and Lk 14:15-24, but not so.

              Mike
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