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Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts : Sophocles

Medieval and Early Modern Greek Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript transmits the three tragedies by <i>Sophocles</i> - <i>Ajax</i>, <i>Electra</i> and <i>Oedipus Rex</i> - which were part of the Byzantine triad, a selection of tragedies usually read in the late Byzantine period. The core of the manuscript dates from the 14th century and consists of ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(49);return false;'>22-32</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(73);return false;'>34-94</a>. To compensate for the initial and final losses, the missing parts of the texts have been added from at least two later manuscripts. This manuscript therefore consists of three parts: <div>an addition from a 16th-century manuscript: ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(7);return false;'>1-21</a>, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(71);return false;'>33</a><br />the manuscript core, 14th century: ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(49);return false;'>22-32</a>, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(73);return false;'>34-94</a><br />an addition from 14th/15th-century manuscript: ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(196);return false;'>95-98</a>. <br /></div><br /> The additions were not written specifically to make up for losses of the manuscript core, as indicated by the repeated lines and deletions between the fascicles.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> On <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(70);return false;'>f. 32v</a> the hand D (14th century) breaks off at Ajax line 1359, but why this happened is unclear. The hand E (14th century) seems to have intervened to complete <i>Ajax</i> and continue with <i>Electra</i> by adding the quire beginning with <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(73);return false;'>f. 34r</a>, probably already existing. If this were the case, the manuscript core would also be internally divided into two sections, the first formed by ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(49);return false;'>22r-32v</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(115);return false;'>55r-94v</a>, the second by ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(73);return false;'>34r-54v</a>. The two sections appear distinct both in writing and in the <i>mise-en-page</i>, but do not appear to be distant in time. The textual gap (Ajax, 1360-1396) between ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(70);return false;'>32v</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(73);return false;'>34r</a> has been filled (perhaps by the same hand E) in the second half of f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(70);return false;'>32v</a>, by arranging the lines in two columns due to lack of sufficient space. This addition suggests that the quire of ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(73);return false;'>34-41</a> and the two subsequent ones were already copied and only later attached to the manuscript after f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(70);return false;'>32v</a>. The second half of f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(70);return false;'>32v</a> was probably crossed out when f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(71);return false;'>33</a> was added: the ink stroke eliminating the verses which cuts out the verses continues in fact from f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(70);return false;'>32v</a> to <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(71);return false;'>33r</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Folios <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(71);return false;'>33r-33v</a> (16th century) contain the same verses as the second half of f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(70);return false;'>32v</a>. The addition of ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(71);return false;'>33r-33v</a> may have been made with the intention of completing a mutilated fascicle, or, more probably, because of the lack of space on f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(70);return false;'>32v</a> for the scholia, which appear to be written by the same hand on ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(72);return false;'>33v</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(73);return false;'>34r</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Matteo Di Franco</p>

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