Codex Zacynthius : Gospel of Luke

Codex Zacynthius

<p style='text-align: justify;'>The undertext of this palimpsest manuscript is a commentary on the Gospel according to Luke in the format of a frame catena. Most pages contain biblical text in the middle, with the excerpts from early Christian writers in the three outer margins. The biblical text is written in a slightly larger and upright script called biblical majuscule. The excerpts are written slightly smaller, in a script called upright pointed majuscule. There are numbers linking the biblical text to the excerpts. The numbers run from 1 to 100 and then start again at 1. There is a brief introduction (Folio 1r) and a list of chapters (Folios 1v-2v). The introduction is written in a third script known as sloping pointed majuscule. Most of the excerpts have a title indicating the source from which they come.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The lower writing of this manuscript was carefully scraped off to prepare the parchment for re-use. The sheets were cut in half at the gutter and turned through ninety degrees, so that the original text is written at right-angles to the replacement text. This means that although much ink is lost, some of the writing can be read quite easily with the naked eye in areas not covered by the later text. The pages were arranged in a different order, so that the original text is no longer in sequence.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>We do not know where the older text was written, or who the scribe was. It is even hard to date it very accurately. But the evidence of the handwriting and the decoration has led us to decide that a date in the eighth century is most probable.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>These images are composed from digital photographs taken at different wavelengths of light (multispectral imagery). The ink of the undertext is artificially presented in a dark blue colour (with rubrication in a lighter shade), while the overtext is shown in a cyan colour. The multispectral images were produced by the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library and the University of Hamburg Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, and they have been joined in order to reconstruct the pages of the original document.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Details of the two pages of the overtext which correspond to each folio of the catena are provided on the images, with links to each page on the <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>concordance of the overtext and undertext</a>. In addition, the original images for each page are available on <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>the University of Birmingham eData repository</a>. A full list of the contents of the catena of Codex Zacynthius, with links to the images, is available <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>here</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The transcription is presented in an uncial font which resembles that of the manuscript, but users who wish to view it in lower-case script may copy and paste the text into a standard text editor. The XML transcription files of the entire manuscript are available on <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>the University of Birmingham eData repository</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Professor David Parker<br /> Professor of Digital Philology<br /> Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing<br /> University of Birmingham<br /></p>

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