Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Septuagint (fragment)

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This fragment is a single folio containing part of the Book of Genesis in the usual ancient Greek translation, the Septuagint. Other, larger portions of the same original manuscript are now <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Add_MS_20002'>London, British Library, Add. MS 20002</a>, <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/403c2c20-5072-4ad2-831d-a43edbdfcf47/'>Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Auct. T. inf. 2. 1</a> and St Petersburg, Rossijskaja Nacional'naja biblioteka, MS gr. 62.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript was copied by a number of different hands, working in the same scriptorium as part of the same project, but in markedly different styles. One of these, appearing on the <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(2);return false;'>verso</a> of this folio, is the distinctive style derived from the hand of the influential abbot St Neilos of Rossano (910-1005), which was disseminated by his pupils through the Greek-speaking communities of southern Italy in the second half of the tenth century. Another style present in this manuscript, occupying the <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(1);return false;'>recto</a> of this folio, is the slanted ogival majuscule style. This remarkable use of both majuscule and minuscule scripts by different scribes working on the main text of the same manuscript is a feature found in various manuscripts produced in southern Italy following the introduction of minuscule, continuing until at least the middle of the 11th century.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The portion of the manuscript in Oxford directly precedes this folio (ending with the first four folios of the fifth quire, of which this was originally the fifth folio). It is written in the majuscule script found here. That in St Petersburg directly follows it and is written in a number of different hands, beginning with the minuscule hand found here. This hand recurs in the latter part of the St Petersburg fragment and also copied the London fragment which follows it. Thus this folio, forming the point of transition between the minuscule and majuscule portions of the text, enabled scholars to establish that the Oxford fragment belonged to the same original manuscript as the others, which would not otherwise have been recognisable.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Christopher Wright</p>


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