I see that later this month we can expect the publication of the Tchacos-Ferrini mathematical codex (LDAB 10719, now dubbed by the editors P.Math.). This codex travelled the antiquities market along with a papyrus codex of Exodus in Greek, a papyrus codex of the letters of Paul in Coptic, and the more famous papyrus codex containing the Gospel of Judas. All of the codices are said to have been found together in Qarara in Egypt in the 1970s, but the story is somewhat dubious (see God’s Library, pp. 95-96). The cover of the new publication gives us a first good look at the appearance of the mathematical codex, with an image of an intact bifolium:
Despite the damage to the top of the bifolium, it looks like the format of this codex roughly resembles that of the other Tchacos-Ferrini codices, in which the height of the leaf is about double that of the width:
The publisher’s blurb for the book is as follows:
“Mathematics, Metrology, and Model Contracts is a comprehensive edition and commentary of a late antique codex. The codex contains mathematical problems, metrological tables, and model contracts. Given the nature of the contents, the format, and quality of the Greek, the editors conclude that the codex most likely belonged to a student in a school devoted to training business agents and similar professionals.
The editors present here the first full scholarly edition of the text, with complete discussions of the provenance, codicology, and philology of the surviving manuscript. They also provide extensive notes and illustrations for the mathematical problems and model contracts, as well as historical commentary on what this text reveals about late antique numeracy, literacy, education, and vocational training in what we would now see as business, law, and administration.”
I look forward to the discussion of provenance to see if anything new can be learned on that front.
Pingback: Further Thoughts on the Tchacos-Ferrini Exodus | Variant Readings