1574Re: [lxx] Question from a new member...
- May 12, 2005On Thu, 12 May 2005, James Rovira wrote:
> When LXX translators translated Hebrew poetry into Greek, did theyGreat! A question right in my dissertation research area! I don't know if
> incorporate line breaks, or simply write the text across the page? I
> suspect earliest and most texts were simply written across the page,
> but if this isn't the case, I'd like to know, and if there are
> significant variants, I'm curious about those too.
there is a generic answer to this question, but I can speak to the Great
Uncial manuscripts (Codex A, Codex B and Codex S) in this regard. These
all use a special formatting for poetry sections. This involves books
commonly grouped in the "Wisdom" genre in both ancient and modern times
(Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Wisdom of Solomon, Job,
Ecclesiasticus, etc). Metzger gives a general description in "Manuscripts
of the Greek Bible." The manuscripts switch formatting in these sections
going from 3 (Codex B) or 4 (Codex S) columns to 2 and switching from
something approximating full justification (what I think you mean by
"write the text across the page") to writing out lines "stichometrically"
or "colometrically" (I think this is probably what you mean by
"incorporate line breaks"). There is a dual left margin or bounding line
in the poetry/wisdom sections, and because of the colometry or stichometry
observed, many lines end short of the right hand margin. The overall
appearance shows much more jagged margins than in prose segments. Take a
look at poetry segments of Codex S, available in pseudofacsimile
version online at
(username any, password any). I can't say much about earlier manuscripts
or fragments of these works and how they were formatted. I've undoubtedly
seen images of them at some point, but since my interest at that time
wasn't in these sorts of formatting details, I didn't note such aspects.
Can what is seen in terms of poetry formattting in the Great Uncials be
extrapolated to other manuscripts and/or fragments? I would guess so, but
cannot affirm anything certain about it. Anyone else?
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