tc-list More to M. Robinson
Thank you for your input, it is exciting to meet others who are
specialized in these areas of research. Much work yet needs to be done, and
I would think that the younger scholars will find much room for numerous
life-long projects here! Much of my work is cutting edge, and I see a
cutting edge in your thoughts and queries as well. I am not going to begin
a lengthy debate with you on line, but I would like to add a few more
thoughts to your prior posts.
M. Robinson wrote:
> After the Arab invasions, outlying monasteries remained true toNot exactly, since we find generally-Alexandrian MSS being copied in the
>this standard, but did (apparently) refer to old MSS in their possession
>when copying or preserving them.
12th century at Sinai (e.g. MS 1241), with little or no attempt to
"standardize" its text by alteration from whatever had been its exemplar.
Either a standard is a standard or it is not; if the scribes were free to
bring in readings from any other "old MSS" then in fact there was _no_
standard which consciously had to be preserved.
Interesting. First one must determine why a certain minuscule was "copied".
If it was for liturgical purposes then I suggest it adheres to the liturgy
of the folks for whom it was copied. If it is a copy (for preservation
purposes) then it can contain any type of text at hand. If the copy was one
which was paid for by someone, then they may have imposed stipulations, and
it may then conform to any type or be a complete deviation from any
standard. I find, in my research, that a true standard Constantinopolitan
text reigns supreme at the Sinai monastery. Of course they copy other
materials as well. I present minuscule 1878 and 1879 as a sample of a MS
possibly written at St. Catherine's but preserving the Byzantine standard.
It seems to me (and further research is ongoing) that most surviving
minuscules at St. Catherine's are of this standard. K. Weitzmann's work is
a fine initial resource for preliminary investigations in this area.
Manuscripts were also made for training purposes, and numerous manuscripts
show the use of numerous exemplars, such as minuscule 1243, possibly written
at Sinai. In the Pauline corpus, I have discovered that it (1243) radically
changes its "text-type", probably due to using another exemplar. Most of it
is of the Ecclesiastical Byzantine standard.
M. Robinson wrote in part:
>strictly of a Byzantine Ecclesiastical Standard, as yet I have notI have not found any MSS copied within this same period which reflect any
>found any MSS circa 900 - 1300 written in Constantinople which are not
>conformed to this standard.
such "standard"; so we differ on this point (note that the "general"
Byzantine text found in most MSS of this period is not itself evidence of
any standard being imposed; the differences in the MSS themselves serve
as evidence against such a control ever having been made).
Note that I said "written in Constantinople". Careful preliminary research
is required before one can state the provenance of manuscripts which have no
written declarations of origin. In my research I suggest that these
minuscules were written in Constantinople (or Nicaea), others must prove
otherwise: I present:
minuscule 712 (at UCLA)
minuscule 1424 (in Illinois) in the Pauline portion, I have not fully
examined its gospel text as yet.
This is just a sampling, these decisions are somewhat tentative, but they
are based upon numerous factors. Minuscules 1878/1879 and 226 "could" have
been written in Constantinople.
St. Saba, and other Palestinian monasteries did stay in contact with
Constantinople throughout the Arab rule. But they did so by way of Calabria,
Sicily and probably the Grotta Ferrata. Many of the styles seen in numerous
Palestinian MSS suggest a Calabrian influence, even the Sassnian art work
(per Buchthal). So a fresh influx of Byzantine MSS into the Palestinian
monastery St. Sabas seems to be a real possibility. Yet I am fairly certain
that they also possessed older "proto-Byzantine" materials, which survived
the iconoclast revolt.
The folks at Dumbarton Oaks offer vast resources for Byzantine history, for
texts and illuminations. Henry and Renee Kahane in an article "The Western
Impact on Byzantium" DOP #36, page 133, offer this tidbit as to the lexical
influence of Latin upon the outlying Byzantine institutions (monasteries):
"...the lexicon of this monastic literature displayed a correlation between
the density of Latinisms and the distance of the a text's origin from the
capital: the closer to the Polis, to Constantinople, the fewer the Latin
They go on to suggest that these implications and others, show that any
standard was more enforced the closer it was to Constantinople. I tend to
The antiquity of the Byzantine text-type can be validated by careful
research, but as Von Soden pointed out, there are sub-groups, I would term
them as temporal layers. I believe the oldest stratum was the archetype for
the Alexandrine text-type BEFORE the Alexandrine grammarians adjusted it. I
also believe it was the archetype for the Syro-Latin recensions as well.
And finally, yes mediaeval scribes did a fine job, but my research (and
Ehrman's) show that intentional changes were made to the text. Reuben
Swanson's work (his Greek text apparatus) can validate this in many cases.
So a fidelity existed, but so did other factors, and each manuscript needs
careful analysis before it can yield fruit. Hence the need for open
unrestricted access for those who do this laborious research. Recall my
correction, that minuscule 1837 was written in Calabria, and is by the same
scribe as the Ferrar 124. (another revelation stemming from my original
research) thus minuscule 1837 presents a praxapostolos witness to the
Pauline Caesarean text (so my research indicates). Fascinating.
at your service,
Mr. Gary S. Dykes (perhaps if you wish to continue this potentially long
dialog and discussion, we could go off-line).