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tc-list Petropolitanus?

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  • alexander.mirkovic@vanderbilt.edu
    Message 1 of 3 , May 12, 1998
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      > The names given to manuscripts often derive from historical circumstances.
      > For example the NT ms Codex Bezae retains that name even though Theodore
      > Bezae died centuries ago. Likewise, Codex Leningradensis (Evr. II.B.19a)
      > became the standard name for that manuscript ever since the appearance of
      > BHK, based on that manuscript. To maintain a degree of continuity with the
      > standard name and abbreviation, Leningradensis has been retained; St.
      > Petersburg is used, of course, when identifying the library in which it is
      > housed.

      This is my problem, we call the library by its proper name but use
      another name for the manuscript. Yes the continuity is maintained,
      but a wrong kind of continuity.

      We do not change the name of Codex Bezae without a sufficient reason
      and that is good. That is exactly my point. Yes, Theodore Beza
      is dead, but we still call the manuscript Codex Bezae. That is the
      way it should be. On the other hand, Codex Leningradensis is a change
      of name, since before 1917 the manuscript was known under other
      name(s), but never Lenigradensis. So Leningradensis does not maintain
      a degree of continuity! It constitutes a rather unwarranted change
      due to political circumstances. My guess is that the name was
      "disseminated" by BHK and other popular editions probably without
      much contemplation and with no sinister motives. Simply
      Leningradensis means "of Leningrad," it is not a proper name, but an
      adjective. The name Leningradensis was appropriate as long as the
      city had that name. I will look for pre-1917 names to see which was
      commonly accepted and would appreciate any input on this matter.

      > Petropolitanus is a different manuscript, housed in the same library and
      > numbered Firk. I B 3. This name was used ever since Strack published an
      > edition of it in 1876. On the other hand B19a was described, if at all, in
      > the pre-1917 literature in a variety of ways. Ginsburg, for example,
      > called it "the St. Petersburg Codex dated A. D. 1009," to distinguish it
      > from what most textual scholars considered at the time to be a more
      > important manuscript, "the St. Petersburg Codex dated A. D. 916," or just
      > "the St. Petersburg manuscript," i. e. Codex Petropolitanus.

      I am not sure that I understand this. H. B. Sweete in his
      "Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek" has "Codex
      Petropolitanus" (p. 138), but this is a Greek manuscript not Hebrew.
      Do you have the Greek manuscript in mind when you write "the St.
      Petersburg Codex dated AD 916 under the number Firk I B 3?

      As I see it manuscripts are named after:

      (1) the library or place where they were discovered, like Sinaiticus
      although now in London

      (2) the name of the owner or a person associated with it, like Bezae,
      Jung codex, or Brucianus.

      (3) the library and the city in which the codex is stored, like
      Vaticanus, Washingtoniensis, Bodleianus. This is the case with
      Leningradensis, it means "of Leningrad." As you write, pre-1917 names
      reflect the fact that the manuscript was in St. Petersburg.

      Therefore, to use the name Leningrad Codex or Leningradensis is wrong
      for three reasons:

      1. It is not the original name of the codex

      2. It does not reflect the fact that the codex is now (again) in St.
      Petersburg library.

      3. It associates the codex with the city of Leningrad only out of
      habit, and a bad habit I would say. St. Petersburg was called
      Leningrad only from 1917 to 1991.

      Thus, if the name of the manuscript reflects the name of the library
      and the city which preserves it, than, I think, Petropolitanus or
      St. Petersburg Codex is much more appropriate then Leningradensis or
      Leningrad Codex. If, on the other hand, we want to keep the original
      name, that we should use a pre-1917 name. If there is possibility of
      confusion that a mark of distinction could be added like
      Petropolitanus Graece or Petropolitanus Hebraice (I hope my Latin is
      correct here and elsewhere).

      Finally, I very much appreciate the facsimile edition of the manuscript
      in St. Petersburg public library under the number B19a, but to call
      it Leningrad Codex now nine years after the fall of Berlin wall is an
      oversight. For years to come the students will call it Leningrad
      Codex. I only want some consistency here, if we switched the name
      after 1917 when the city became Leningrad, why not switch now in 1998
      since the city is called St. Petersburg. This seems not only fair
      but politically neutral.

      Yours,

      Alexander
      Alexander Mirkovic
      Vanderbilt University
      alexander.mirkovic@...
      615-421-8331

      Summus ius, summa iniuria - Cicero
    • Richard D. Weis
      Dear Colleagues, ... [snip ...] ... As Harold Scanlin has already pointed out, essentially, the name of B19a in the Second Firkovich collection in what is
      Message 2 of 3 , May 13, 1998
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        Dear Colleagues,

        Alexander Mirkovic has written:

        > way it should be. On the other hand, Codex Leningradensis is a change
        > of name, since before 1917 the manuscript was known under other
        > name(s), but never Leningradensis. So Leningradensis does not maintain
        > a degree of continuity! It constitutes a rather unwarranted change
        > due to political circumstances.

        [snip ...]

        > 1. It is not the original name of the codex

        As Harold Scanlin has already pointed out, essentially, the "name"
        of B19a in the Second Firkovich collection in what is now the Russian
        National Library has always been "Leningradensis". The name
        "Petropolitanus" has *always* referred to other manuscripts. So Mr.
        Mirkovic's premise does not stand.

        > 2. It does not reflect the fact that the codex is now (again) in St.
        > Petersburg library.
        >
        > 3. It associates the codex with the city of Leningrad only out of
        > habit, and a bad habit I would say. St. Petersburg was called
        > Leningrad only from 1917 to 1991.

        In respect to these two points, I recall James Sanders reporting that
        the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center, after the change in the
        city's name back to St. Petersburg, asked the library whether the
        name of the codex should be changed. Prof. Sanders remarked that
        the library in St. Petersburg requested the ABMC to continue to use
        the name "Leningradensis" or "Leningrad Codex" since that has become
        the name of the manuscript.

        Regards,

        Richard Weis

        *******************************************************************************
        Richard D. Weis rweis@...
        New Brunswick Theological Seminary phone: 1-732-246-5613
        17 Seminary Place FAX: 1-732-249-5412
        New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1196 USA
        *******************************************************************************
      • alexander.mirkovic@vanderbilt.edu
        ... As far as I know B19a in the Second Firkowitsch collections are not in the Russian National Library, but in the State Public Library in St. Petersburg,
        Message 3 of 3 , May 13, 1998
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          Dr. Richard Weis wrote:

          > As Harold Scanlin has already pointed out, essentially, the "name"
          > of B19a in the Second Firkovich collection in what is now the Russian
          > National Library has always been "Leningradensis". The name
          > "Petropolitanus" has *always* referred to other manuscripts. So Mr.
          > Mirkovic's premise does not stand.

          As far as I know B19a in the Second Firkowitsch collections are not
          in the Russian National Library, but in the State Public Library in
          St. Petersburg, which was Leningrad's city library from 1917 to 1991,
          hence manuscript's "wrong" name. (Moscow became Russia's capital only
          after the Revolution). Before 1917, the library was called "the
          Imperial Library at St. Petersburg."

          But more importantly, if you say *always*, could you point me to an
          instance in the literature before 1917 or even up to 1937 where the
          manuscripts is called "Leningradensis"? This is just a rhetorical
          question; There is no such reference :-)

          "Leningradensis" has been very common for some 60 years (since BHK
          3rd edition - Kahle 1937), so it could seem that it has been around
          for ever. As Dr. Harold Scanlin has already mentioned, before 1917,
          the manuscripts was known under various names, none of those was,
          however, "Leningradensis." My impression is that St. Petersburgs
          Codex (dated to 1009) was the most common. When translated into Latin
          it becomes Codex Petropolitanus (dated to 1009). Other names appear
          even well after Kahle's 3rd edition like Codex Firkowitsch, even ben
          Asher Codex.

          > > 2. It does not reflect the fact that the codex is now (again) in St.
          > > Petersburg library.
          > >
          > > 3. It associates the codex with the city of Leningrad only out of
          > > habit, and a bad habit I would say. St. Petersburg was called
          > > Leningrad only from 1917 to 1991.
          >
          > In respect to these two points, I recall James Sanders reporting that
          > the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center, after the change in the
          > city's name back to St. Petersburg, asked the library whether the
          > name of the codex should be changed. Prof. Sanders remarked that
          > the library in St. Petersburg requested the ABMC to continue to use
          > the name "Leningradensis" or "Leningrad Codex" since that has become
          > the name of the manuscript.

          Since prof. Sanders had a conversation with the people in charge of
          the collection, it means that the question of the name was on the
          agenda, that it is a legitimate question, and that prof. Sanders and
          the publishers considered the possibility that the name "Leningrad
          Codex" is not appropriate. I am glad to hear that.

          During the symposium in the Smithsonian in 1990 prof. Sanders did
          not have many kind words for the personal of the library in question
          (with some notable exceptions). But, I am surprised that an unknown
          bureaucract "suggested" what was going to be, after the publication
          of the facsimile, "the name" of the most important manuscript of the
          Hebrew Bible.

          I, for one, would like the name of the facsimile edition changed.

          Thank you all for valuable information on the issue.

          Yours,

          Alexander
          Alexander Mirkovic
          Vanderbilt University
          alexander.mirkovic@...
          615-421-8331

          Summus ius, summa iniuria - Cicero
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