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Re: [textualcriticism] Re: Eusebius, Athanasius, and B & Aleph

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  • Larry Swain
    George, In my view, James has quite successfully refuted you. There is nothing in Athanasius brief statement that indicates anything about Eusebius giving
    Message 1 of 46 , May 22, 2013
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      George,
      In my view, James has quite successfully refuted you.  There is nothing in Athanasius' brief statement that indicates anything about Eusebius giving any orders, not that Eusebius of Caesarea was in a position to give any orders to Athanasius.  Athanasius makes it clear as well that he sent them to Constans.  In fact, the passage in the Apologia in question makes it clear that Athanasius wrote to Constans twice: once in 338, and a second time after that (probably in response to Constans response to the first letter) when Athanasius sent volumes of the holy scriptures to Constans that the latter requested.  It is not an obscure text.  If you know Greek, the nominative endings and the verbal endings tells us all we need to know: the "volumes" of Scriptures were sent after A's first letter to Constans in 338, the volumes were requested by Constans, Eusebius wasn't involved, and further, three years later Constans writes Athanasius again requesting his presence in Milan, dated 342.  So three years between A's second communication to Constans and Constans third communication to A means the volumes were sent in 339.  QED, and it's not an obscure text at all, rather straightforward Greek prose.  So you've got the person who ordered Athanasius' volumes wrong, you've got the wrong decade, and thus your conclusions drawn from these errors are wrong as well. 
       
      Not one of the scholars Avery listed agrees with you concerning Athanasius.  Concerning the "threes and fours" Avery references demonstrate a decided lack of agreement among scholars.  So it isn't as if James is swimming up river against everybody else, you included (and even if he were, concluding that he was in error as a result would be a logical fallacy), but taking one of many minority views, one that in my view is the most likely.  So cryptic references to new lights really don't help matters much.  I invite you to defend your reading with evidence.
       
      --
      Larry Swain
      theswain@...
       
       
       
      On Wed, May 22, 2013, at 01:21 PM, clearbrush wrote:
       


      Dear James,


      You will notice, that with few exceptions, I've refrained from mentioning the Bishop of Alexandria by name in these discussions.


      Somebody in Alexandria.. about the year 327 CE.. or 330.. etc.. received orders from Eusebius of Kaisareia to proceed immediately on the production of the majority of an order for 50 completebound Greek Bibles. The somebody was none other than Athanasius.. If dear young Athanasius happened to be the Bishop of Alexandria during those years in question.. then, he's our man. Regardless of how an English translation of an obscure Greek text can be reworked. At this point I'm not really sure what reference you are using.


      Keep in mind, that you are not only trying to refute me, but rather; a very long list of world-class scholars, many of whom were put forward by Steven Avery. Yes, numbers of scholars can be wrong.. but.. it also places the burden of undoing their conclusions on you..


      James, I apologize for saying this.. but evenif I could.. I probably wouldn't... produce a Fed Ex confirmation with some judge's signature..


      My comprehension of events and results from that time is not dependent on whatever reference you are using now..


      I am still hard at work trying to make a decent presentation with the pertinent facts that hopefully; will put matters in a new light.


      George.

       
       
       
      --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Vox Verax" wrote:
      >
      > George E,
      >
      > You stated, "Eusebius of Kaisareia transmitted direct orders for copies of the Bible to the Bishop of Alexandria as an agent of no less than the power of State."
      >
      > Skeat, in his 1999 article, wrote the following:
      >
      > "Kirsopp Lake also mentions the bibles, PUKTIA TWN QEIWN GRAFWN, which Athanasius says the Emperor Constans asked him to supply. [Skeat is referring here to the second column of page xv of Lake's introduction.] These were presumably written in Alexandria . . . [sometime in 337-339]."
      >
      > Except for this reference, I don't think there is anything in the writings of Athanasius capable of suggesting that Athanasius ever produced any Bibles for anyone. And it might not even refer to the production of Bibles; he might refer to a book, or boxed-set of books, about the Scriptures, rather than a copy of the Scriptures themselves. But if it does refer to a Bible, or Bibles, then they were Bibles that were made for Constans, not for Constantine, and not for Eusebius of Caesarea.
      >
      > To whatever extent any of your views about the origins of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus depend on the idea that Athanasius made copies on order from Eusebius of Caesarea, I encourage you to reconsider them.
      >
      > [In related news: the translation that I gave of the note in Sinaiticus that appears after Esther was not quite complete; the main note stops where the translation stopped but there is a little bit more (which, perhaps, could be considered another note, rather than part of the main note), saying something to the effect of, "This copy disagrees with that ancient book regarding some proper names."]
      >
      > Yours in Christ,
      >
      > James Snapp, Jr.
      >
       



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    • Larry Swain
      Dear George, I have asked previously on three occasions now for actual evidence; each time there has been no evidence forthcoming. Even what you have pointed
      Message 46 of 46 , Jun 1, 2013
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        Dear George, 
        I have asked previously on three occasions now for actual evidence; each time there has been no evidence forthcoming.  Even what you have pointed to, such as the Vindolanda Tablet 291, has turned out not to be evidence of your claim after all.
         
        Let's deal with your statements below:
        1) I'm not at all sure what "retro-interjection" of "scribes" as "male exclusiveness" (and I think you mean "male inclusiveness" or female exclusivity" since you mean male only scribes, not including women), but the problem here being that at no time in human history at least in the West do we lack notices of female scribes.  These notices remain rare as they are in the classical and late antique period, but nonetheless exist.
         
        2) Most feminist critics would say that your comments regarding "female handwriting" and "female calligraphy" and "feminine style" are simply a perpetuation of the same old erroneous assumptions that female handwriting is sufficiently different from men because of some sort of inherent "femaleness" that is utterly and completely wrong.  I think of Judith Weingarten as one such and can name a number of medievalists who would say the same about female scribes.  They would further point out that where such differences exist, they are culturally engendered as such things have often been in our own society.  So if you wish to claim that such existed in the ancient world, you need to provide actual evidence.  "Normal adolescents can....identify correctly female writing" is not only not evidence, but is demonstrably false.  
         
        3)  This brings us to the two examples of nearly certain writing by women in the ancient world you mention.  In neither case have you been able to show that the script, the actual writing on the surface, bears any "feminine" features that would identify it as being written by a woman.  Nor has anyone else.  You've admitted as such re: Vindolanda Tablet 291.  And the same is true of Artemesia's curse.  We know, or think we do, that the scribe is female because she identifies herself as such, and a as a "thugahr", a daughter.  Hard to argue with that.  But what features are there in the parchment that are specifically "female"?  Please identify them for us.  Even Kenyon writing in 1893, whose text I assume you are referring to, and those following him criticized the script for being too epigraphic, and therefore unlearned, in contrast to a finer literary script.  But we've learned a great deal since Kenyon's day and have a much larger basis for comparison.  But even Kenyon recognized the fact that early, non-literary scripts were going to imitate epigraphic features, a pattern we see repeated in the history of writing.  So, no, the identification of the writer as female is *not* on the basis of the "negative" features, but on the writer's self-identification in the text, just like Vindolanda Tablet 291.
         
        4) Taking to task authors who have actually looked at and considered the evidence for female hands/writers/scribes in the ancient world needs evidence rather than dismissal.  We've seen no evidence presented that Bagnall and Cribiore and others are naive, much less extremely naive, on the matter of discovering or discerning specific features to identify a female hand.
         
        5) Speaking of Vindolanda again, you state, "I would like to suggest that overall context within a specific milieu might be a weightier determinative than "content".  I have no idea what you are talking about.  The invitation of VT 291 is c. 100 CE.  Vindolanda is a Roman military camp at a period Tacitus is representing, based off his father in law's descriptions, as still a bit restive under Roman rule, and is located on the outer Western reaches of the empire.  I have no idea why a birthday invitation from a frontier military post in a restive part of the empire would suggest a female writer more than the explicit self-identification within the content of the actual text of the invitation.  Please explain why this overall context in a specific mileau is more determinative that what is actually written on the tablet, or withdraw the comment.  
         
        --
        Larry Swain
        theswain@...
         
         
         
        On Fri, May 31, 2013, at 10:19 PM, clearbrush wrote:
         

        Dear Philip, and all;

         
        Thank you for the citation, and there are at least a half-dozen additional well educated books on the subject of female literacy in antiquity, and many reports from the ancient literature of female instances in writing ancient texts.  Much impetus for recent modern female writing on the topic, has been brought on by the now – female outrage over the unjust and disingenuous stereotype resulting in effectively removing females from their historical context, and perpetuated by male dominated Humanities Academia, especially in the area of Biblical criticism. For one glaring example especially; past - persistent usage of the cover-all term "scribes" with the connotation of male exclusiveness, erroneously retro-interjected from a much later cultural and historical milieu.
         
        The extreme pessimism of Bagnall and Cribiore is extremely naive.
         
        Normal adolescents can in most cases identify correctly female handwriting, young adults can often see the feminine style in composition, and male calligraphers can in most cases easily see the female calligraphic hand. In addition, there is a computer program developed at Ben-Gurion U. in Israel that has the capability to identify with confidence individual DSS copyists – it has been proposed that the program could be adapted for Greek, but I have heard no more on the suggestion.  If it does come about, then; the problem of the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus calligraphers might be resolved.  For those of us who have put forth the effort to actually learn and practice ancient Greek calligraphy, there does not seem to be need for the extreme pessimism of Bagnall and Cribiore.
         
        In the case of the Vindolanda "tablets" - more correctly, wooden veneer note sheets - made from young alder and birch trees, and reported in the ancient literature as being made from Lime trees in other regions, and NOW numbered at more than 2000 examples !, and written in ancient Roman cursive (which would soon evolve into a later Roman cursive) – I confess, I would have done no better than Larry Swain in distinguishing the female hand.  I would like to suggest that overall context within a specific milieu might be a weightier determinative than "content".
         
        Finally, the most prominent example of feminine written text in antiquity, has to be that of Artemisia; an Ionic settler in Memphis, written in pre-Alexandrian Ionic script, one of only a half-dozen known examples from the earliest time of Greek hand-written paleography.  The determination of this text being a female hand appears to be based largely on negative criteria, i.e., aberrations from the expected norm, and then; confirmation by high-magnification of high-quality computer images.
        See : http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.wdl/auanl.4310 , in the Vienna national library.
         
        Yours, George.
         
         
        --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "ph.maertens" wrote:
        >
        > Dear all,
        >
        >
        >
        > For those interested in female writers / scribes, I would like to suggest:
        >
        >
        >
        > K. Haines-Eitzen, Guardians of Letters. Literacy, Power, and the Transmitters of Early Christian Literature, Oxford, University Press, 2000: Chapter 2, "Girls trained for beautiful writing": Female Scribes in Roman Antiquity and Early Christianity (41-52);
        >
        >
        >
        > R. S. Bagnall, R. Cribiore, Women's Letters from Ancient Egypt, 300 BC - AD 800, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2006: Chapter 6, Handwriting (41-55). These authors seem rather pessimistic as to whether it is possible to identify female handwriting: “In evaluating the instances of literate women, it is tempting to search for
        >
        > a Woman's Hand endowed with immutable characteristics different from a man's. This attempt is doomed to failure.” (48)
        >
        >
        >
        > Sunny greetings from the Algarve, Portugal
        >
        > Philip Maertens
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > De: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com [mailto:textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com] Em nome de Larry Swain
        > Enviada: 25 de maio de 2013 08:28
        > Para: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
        > Assunto: Re: [textualcriticism] Re: Manuscript Sinaiticus vs. Vaticanus
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > No, I wasn't. If you've read the Vindolanda reports, you will note that the *ONLY* reason that the good Severa is all but certain to have written the ascribed to her is because of the *CONTENT* of the letter (such as the greeting in 291 "Claudia Severa Lepidinae suae, Claudia Severa to her Lepidina....). The online notes do rather overstate the case with adverbs like "certainly" when it isn't certain at all, highly probable in this case, but not certain. BUT WHAT is very clear is that the identification of a probable female writer of that portion of the letter is not based on examination of the features of the script or of the particular hand. Letter content, not palaegraphy.
        >
        > --
        >
        > Larry Swain
        >
        > theswain@...
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > On Fri, May 24, 2013, at 05:55 AM, clearbrush wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Hi Tim and Larry.
        >
        >
        >
        > Dear Tim,
        >
        >
        >
        > Your kindness does not go unnoticed.
        >
        >
        >
        > The ancient Roman female Latin script that I mentioned is found in the Vindolanda tablets.
        >
        >
        >
        > Larry may have been a bit precipitate on this one..
        >
        >
        >
        > It is an academical major discovery.
        >
        >
        >
        > Besides containing some of â€" if not the â€" oldest known examples of the female hand in ancient Latin (~100 CE), the as I write; close to 1000 items (there is an ongoing recovery) housed in the British Museum, supply us with a considerable amount of new enlightenment on ancient Roman life.
        >
        >
        >
        > For the textual criticism community interested in ancient Latin paleography, I would think that it should be of great interest. I would also suggest, for those in the academical Humanities community; it may be of risk to ignore this discovery.
        >
        >
        >
        > Per Larry S. in post #7868
        >
        > "What criteria does one use to determine a female hand from a male hand? Even in the case of the "Roman garrison" letters, the content certainly does not determine a female hand rather than dictation to a scribe. So what are the criteria for such things?"
        >
        >
        >
        > An excerpt from wiki :
        >
        > The documents record official military matters as well as personal messages to and from members of the garrison of Vindolanda, their families, and their slaves. Highlights of the tablets include an invitation to a birthday party held in about 100 AD, which is perhaps the oldest surviving document written in Latin by a woman.
        >
        > [continuing] The best-known document is perhaps Tablet 291, written around AD 100 from Claudia Severa,[10] the wife of the commander of a nearby fort, to Sulpicia Lepidina, inviting her to a birthday party. The invitation is one of the earliest known examples of writing in Latin by a woman.[11] There are two handwriting styles in the tablet, with the majority of the text written in a professional hand (thought to be the household scribe) and with closing greetings personally added by Claudia Severa herself (on the lower right hand side of the tablet).[10]
        >
        >
        >
        > The official Internet site is http://vindolanda.csad.ox.ac.uk/index.shtml
        >
        >
        >
        > (Oxford with collaboration.)
        >
        >
        >
        > George
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In >
        > >
        >
        > > Hi George,
        >
        > >
        >
        > > The beauty of the hand of P.Oxy. 4496 struck me the first time I saw it. It was only through the similar hand of Schøyen MS 2634/2 (Origen's Commentary on Genesis) that it occurred to me that these might be actual examples of the art practiced by "girls skilled in elegant writing" that Eusebius says Origen employed. If they are (perhaps a big if) then there is an immediate implication: the assigned dates of Schøyen MS 2634/2 and P.Oxy. 4496 are way too late. (Although writing styles can persist for a long time. But, then, the same consideration makes palaeographical dating of MSS which use "biblical majuscule" even more rubbery.)
        >
        > >
        >
        > > Thanks for the tip re beautiful writing from Roman England. I'll keep it in mind.
        >
        > >
        >
        > > Concerning standards required for proof, it seems to me that New Testament research operates in a realm where there is a lot of missing information. In this context, any supplementary information is welcome. I have a feeling that applying scientific analysis to manuscripts (e.g. DNA analysis, carbon dating) would produce some useful results.
        >
        > >
        >
        > > Best,
        >
        > >
        >
        > > Tim Finney
        >
        > >
        >
        > > --- In >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Dear Tim,
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Always thankful for interaction with you, as in this case you jogged my
        >
        > > > memory about something concerning your publication of P.Oxy. 4496 and
        >
        > > > our present discussion.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > I just remembered that in the past, after examining each and every
        >
        > > > fragment published in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri series, (some thousands and
        >
        > > > a few years); I cannot recall seeing a female hand. It may be, that
        >
        > > > there are specimens; it is just that I cannot recall it. It would be a
        >
        > > > surprise if there were no representatives.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > On the other hand, I do recall from a few years ago; seeing several
        >
        > > > published female Roman-Latin hands with beautiful script, from Roman
        >
        > > > garrisons in northern England; roughly contemporaneous with P.Oxy. 4496.
        >
        > > > For confirmation, their communications were about female social events,
        >
        > > > and they named each other.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > Now Dr. Finney, noting your observation: "human [female] DNA on a
        >
        > > > manuscript"; is the application of academic criteria for judicial
        >
        > > > validation really that harsh ? And will the critics also insist on the
        >
        > > > inclusion of notarized copies of her birth-certificate, high-school
        >
        > > > diploma and mailing address ?
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > I already know what the *outbackers* would say... (: ))
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > All the best to you Tim, George.
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > >
        >
        > >
        >
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        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --
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