Symposium Report—Early Codices: Production, Destruction, and Modern Conservation

I intended to write some thoughts on this symposium earlier, but I’ve been busy finishing up the proofs and index for my book (more on that later). This was a wonderful event. The day began with a guided tour of the exhibition, The Codex and Crafts in Late Antiquity, which includes an interesting mix of artifacts from New York area museums, excellent models produced by the curator Georgios Boudalis and others, and some really nice digital animations illustrating binding techniques. Continue reading

Posted in Codices, Hamuli Codices, Morgan Library | 1 Comment

Online Manuscripts at the Morgan Library

I mentioned in an earlier post that I would be in New York for a symposium on early codices. Well, that took place on Friday, and it was fantastic. My head is still spinning from all that I learned, and I’ll have a longer post about the meeting later. But one of the things I discovered that I should have known about before was the availability of online images of a lot of material held at the Morgan Library in New York. Continue reading

Posted in Codices, Hamuli Codices, Morgan Iliad, Morgan Library | 7 Comments

P.Ryl. 1.1: A Datable Papyrus Codex of Deuteronomy in Greek

In a previous post, I discussed the phenomenon of papyrus codices made from reused documents. Among this group is a very interesting item in the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester. In fact, it was the first piece published in the first volume of Greek papyri from the Rylands collection edited by Arthur S. Hunt in 1911, P.Ryl. 1.1 (LDAB 3169). Continue reading

Posted in Chester Beatty Papyri, Codices, Palaeography, Rylands Papyri | 6 Comments

Codices Made from Reused Documents

Typically, ancient papyrus codices were made by cutting off sheets from a long roll of blank papyrus, stacking the sheets, and folding them into quires. There is, however, a small group of somewhat odd papyrus codices that were made in a different way. A number of papyrus codices, some of which can be associated with the Egyptian city of Panopolis, were made by reusing the blank sides of documentary rolls. Continue reading

Posted in Chester Beatty Papyri, Codices | 1 Comment

The Yale Genesis

Among the ancient Greek manuscripts in the Beinecke Library at Yale University is a fragment of a leaf of a papyrus codex containing the book of Genesis. It constitutes another interesting case of palaeographic analysis, both for the variety of opinions among experts and the changing of opinions by individual palaeographers. Yale purchased the piece (P.CtYBR inv. 419, LDAB 3081) as part of a lot of a few hundred papyri in February of 1931 from the Cairo dealer Maurice Nahman, but it was not published until the 1960s. Continue reading

Posted in Antiquities Market, Codices, Maurice Nahman, Palaeography, Yale Papyri | 4 Comments

Symposium on Early Codices

If you’re going to be in the New York area a month from now (23 February) and have an interest in early codices, you may want to be aware of an afternoon symposium at the Bard Graduate Center that promises to be illuminating: Early Codices: Production, Destruction, and Modern Conservation. I’ll be speaking on “The Emergence of the Codex in the Roman Empire.” The symposium is taking place in conjunction with an exhibition that also opens on the 23rd of February and runs through the beginning of July, The Codex and Crafts in Late Antiquity.

Early Codices


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Palaeography and the Hawara Homer: Part 3, A Christian Example of the “Rounded Majuscule”

PSI 11.1200 is a collection of fragments of a papyrus roll that contained Plato’s Gorgias (LDAB 3770). Framed together in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence, the fragments were excavated at Oxyrhynchus by a team led by Evaristo Breccia in the spring of 1932. Along with the fragments of Plato, the frame also contained another fragment from a different roll. This fragment also came from a papyrus roll and was written in a script that was similar to, but clearly distinct from, the the writing of the Plato fragments. Its text was not part of the Gorgias. In fact, it was not part of of any known text. More curious still, it contained abbreviations: ⲑⲥ (=θεος) and ⲑⲱ (=θεω), so-called nomina sacra, abbreviations for certain words that appear in Christian manuscripts. Continue reading

Posted in Guglielmo Cavallo, Hawara Homer, Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Palaeography | Leave a comment