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4763Re: tc-list Recovering the Invisible?

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  • Thomas J. Kraus
    Oct 7, 1998
      Dear Wieland,
      *invisible* letters have always been a problem for papyrologists. Just
      remember Tischendorf´s go on Codex Ephraemi Syri rescriptus applying
      Gioberti´s tincture (ammonium hydrosulphid) to it and by that intensifying
      some of the ingredients of the ancient ink while destroying some of the
      other material (Ephraem´s text and the parchment as well).
      You mentioned IR and UV. They only help in specific cases depending on the
      material and the faintness (ingredients) of the lettes. Never mind, they
      were a straight leap forward.
      Of course, microscopes are improving and they help a lot (nevertheless,
      the *konfokales Laserrastermikroskop*, which C.P. Thiede claims to hold a
      patent on, remains a riddle to me; no patent office could give me any
      further information about such a thing, and Thiede ...). There are good
      opportunities to identify blots and traces of ink, if you make a
      high-quality photo of your fragment, digitalize it (almost the same step),
      and try to reproduce it with applicable software or printers (you lose a
      massive amount of quality by that).
      Have you heard of the new procedure called *Mondo nuovo*? Specific
      photographies of one and the same manuscript are digitalized only carrying
      the spectral colours in all ranges from infrared to ultraviolet light,
      digitalized, and then the diverging colours on the many photographies are
      brought together by the new software (also called *Mondo nuovo*). The
      software was developed by scholars in Bologna and Parma and is applicable
      for parchment only (as far as I know). Recently, some newspaper articles
      mentioned it (DIE ZEIT, no. 30, 16 july 1998, page 34; SZ, no. 171, page
      V2/9). But a digitalized page of a parchment codex will cost about 1,000
      pounds sterling!
      For other computerizing procedures consult:
      A. Lange, Computer aided text-reconstruction and transcription.
      CATT-manual, Tuebingen 1993.
      A. Lange, Computer aided text-reconstruction (CATT) developed with the
      Dead Sea Scrolls, in: New Qumran texts and studies. Proceedings of the
      First Meeting of the International Organization for Qumran Studies, Paris
      1992, StTDJ 21, Leiden-New York-Cologne 1994, pp. 223-232.
      With a main focus on reconstructing fragmented texts:
      I.A. Moir, S. Michaelson and A.Q. Morton, Scriptures. The Use of Computers
      for Fragment Location, in: ZPE 17, 1975, 119-124.
      Concentrating on the restauration of manuscripts:
      H. Harrauer, Bericht über das 1. Wiener Symposium fuer
      Papyrusrestaurierung, Wien 1985.

      I hope that this is of any help for you and that my `messy´ confusing
      writing isn´t any problem. Sorry, I do not remember any further specific
      literature dealing with your issue.

      Best wishes, good luck,

      Universität Regensburg
      Kath.-theol. Fakultät
      Universitätsstr. 31
      D-93053 Regensburg

      Tel. + 49 941 943 36 90
      Fax. + 49 941 943 19 86
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