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Re: tc-list Petropolitanus?

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  • 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 1 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.


      Alexander Mirkovic
      Vanderbilt University

      Summus ius, summa iniuria - Cicero
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