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Re: [Synoptic-L] How to meet Papias in 2001

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  • L. J. Swain
    The Cottonianus Codices that included the medieval copy (ies) of Papias might have been ... The existence of a copy of Papias is news to me, as I m sure to
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 28 10:07 AM
      The Cottonianus Codices that included the medieval copy (ies) of Papias might
      have been

      > destroyed in Ashburnham House, Westminster, in 1731. The surviving tomes
      > were brought to the British Museum in 1753. Cf. Joseph Planta (1744-1827)
      > .British Museum. Dept. of Manuscripts. A catalogue of the manuscripts in the
      > Cottonian library deposited in the British Museum. Printed by command of His
      > Majesty King George III. &c. &c. &c. in pursuance of an address of the House
      > of Commons of Great Britain. [London, L. Hansard, printer, 1802. ] 287.
      > This is only a starting point. Two basic catalogues are: G. Becker,
      > Catologi bibliothecarum antiiqui (Berlin, 1885); und Th. Gottlieb, Über
      > mittelalterliche Bibliotheken (Leipzig, 1890). I have more if all this
      > fails to bear any fruit.
      >
      > As for Canterbury . . .yes, it is possible a copy of Papias is there. There
      > might even be a copy rotting away in the stacks somewhere buried in
      > Birmingham for all we know. Remember medieval monks (mainly the
      > Benedictines) made copies of Papias.
      >
      > As you can see there ARE sources like Fr. Andreas Gallandi that Schubart had
      > to find juicy tid-bits of Papias. Other volumes are out there that have
      > others.
      >

      The existence of a copy of Papias is news to me, as I'm sure to many. Are there
      any 20th century catalogs that include the manuscript? And which of the
      Cottonian manuscripts is it? I ask because I've worked with this collection,
      as have many others I know, and a copy of Papias, even if charred, is now
      recoverable, and you could crow to your heart's content that he wasn't nearly as
      important as everyone thinks. If you have other bibliography I would be happy
      if you shared it, and if you are writing or have written on the subject, please
      provide references. Are you certain you are not confusing our Papias (or that
      your catalogs are not) with Papias the Lexicographer of the 13th century? I
      note that no such entry for Papias appears in the current list of Cotton
      manuscripts, nor in the British Library's online catalog (though other charred
      Cotton mss. do), nor is it mentioned in Cotton's correspondance. Is it
      mentioned in the Cotton catalog of 1654? Or in Smith's catalog? Or in
      Hanbury's of 1706? Or the 1718 Schedule of Contents? The Cotton library has
      been well documented and examined over the centuries, so I'm surprised that if a
      copy of a second century work such as Papias really did survive that no one
      seems to have noticed it before.

      As for Canterbury, both St. Augustine's and Christ Church were important
      scriptoria and libraries before and after the Benedictine Reform, so if any
      place in England had a copy of the work, it would be one of those two. However,
      I don't remember that Benedictines made copies of Papias and would be grateful
      if you could provide references to such activities and to medieval copies of
      Papias or citations of him that do not also occur in earlier church fathers.

      Regarding Stephen's question on English Medieval mss: the problems are many.
      For some libraries we have "catalogs" that survive, or a list of books that were
      donated by someone, but by and large, medieval list of the contents of their
      libraries are sparse. The Dissolution caused the loss of huge and unknown
      numbers of manuscripts, those evil Catholic things, for which in my book his
      name shall forever be cursed, apologies to our English colleagues on the list,
      no offense meant. But anything that survived the Dissolution into the 18th
      century and made its way into a library somewhere has been catalogued and
      recatalogued. Ker's "Manuscripts in English Libraries" is an excellent
      resource, as is Helmut Gneuss' "Handlist of Manuscripts in England to 1100"
      neither of which has a mention of Papias, btw. But if the manuscript currently
      exists in a library (even in Birmingham) it has been catalogued and there are
      tools and resources available (though not necessarily online) to check into
      them.

      Sorry for the length,

      Larry Swain


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