Week #6, 2012

This week we managed to get through about 83 microfilms, representing 81 manuscripts. This came in greatest measure thanks to Vladimir, who’s been cutting through the Bibliothèque Nationale like a sharp knife through a soufflé.  The man is a phenomenon.

Saskia just finished Turin.  And, while Βλαδίμηρος was blazing his way through Lutetia, Σασκῶπον came upon a city already touched by an unholy fire («πῦρ οὐ καθαρτήριον ἀλλὰ κολαστήριον», Iter Psellianum no. 585) that in February of 1904 burnt all the Michael Psellus out of the manuscripts.[1]  This week she started working half-time, so she can give proper attention to her dissertation on John Moschus’s Spiritual Meadow. (Of meadows, fields, harvesting, reward and fellow-laborers, one thinks that indeed messis quidem multa, operarii autem pauci.)

And I (minimus [scribarum], qui non sum dignus vocari [scriba]) have been working on Bodley, which has a large bibliography and many subcollections. I finished the Barocciani & Laudiani and have begun the Auctarium. In the case of Laud gr. 81, all of which is attributed to Andrew of Crete, I think I see reason to doubt the ascription, or at least the originality. At the very least, and even though it was edited (centuries ago) by François Combefis, there’s still plenty of scope for some fun detective-work for stemmatophiles—that is, assuming it wasn’t done by one of those Wunderkinder at a Gymnasium during the time of Bismarck.

The ms. we have, in one or more beautiful hands, was apparently copied in the 17th century from an ancient manuscript at the Monastery of the Deipara on Chios (the start of a good movie already: «μετεγράφη ἀπὸ ἀρχαιοτάτου βιβλίου καταστίκτου τῇ ἀρχαότητι ἐκ μεμβρανῶν συντεθεγμένου καὶ τῇ ἀρχαίᾳ τῆς Θεομήτορος μονῇ ἐν τῇ Χίῳ συντηρουμένου»). There are lots of re-assuring self-corrections along the way, but for some of the works, a second (very heavy) hand has come and made changes to practically every other line. And it’s hardly just proofreading: in some cases he sees before him a version that now matches the TLG, and rejects it. So it seems that (barring some divine emendation-afflatus like the one poured out on those three score and ten translators of old) he’s got at least two Vorlagen in front of him.  Did they take their own “copy-text” with them to the monastery for “correction”? Or do they have a copy of the monastery’s version, with later changes? And is everything in the manuscript actually by the archbishop Andrew? (The TLG numbers below are to other writers.)  There are lots of blank pages (leading to duelling numeration), so when were the quires all brought together.  Hmmm…

 Image

Bodleianus Laudianus græcus 81.

99v-104v  Blank.

105r-109r (Coxe §14)  «†Τοῦ ἐν ἁγίοις πατρὸς ἡμῶν Ἀνδρέου, ἀρχιεπισκόπου Κρήτης, τοῦ Ἱεροσολυμίτου· ἐγκώμιον εἰς τὸν ὅσιον πατέρα ἡμῶν καὶ θαυματουργὸν Νικόλαον, ἀρχιεπίσκοπον τῆς Μύρου τῆς Λυκίας.» Incipit «Ἄνθρωπε τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ πιστὲ θεράπων [cf. TLG 2714.002, Epistle 300, and TLG 5077.002, §59] καὶ οἰκονόμε τῶν τοῦ Χριστοῦ μυστηρίων, καὶ ἂν ἐξ ἐπιθυμιῶν τῶν τοῦ πνεύματος, δέχου τὸν παρ’ ἡμῶν σοι προσαγόμενον λόγον ὡς δῶρον καὶ χάριν…»  Heavy corrections throughout.

109v-114v  Blank.

115r (Coxe §15)  «Τοῦ αὐτοῦ [after 13 blank pages] ἐγκώμιον εἰς τὸν εὐαγγελιστὴν Ἰωάννην.»  The first twelve lines are in a different hand from the rest:  «Ἰωάννης ὁ εὐαγγελιστὴς ἡμᾶς τήμερον συνήγαγεν ἐκεῖνον ἐγκωμιάσοντας. Ἔστι γὰρ ἀετὸς ὑψηπέτης διὰ τῆς ἀνωτάτης πτήσεως, πάντας τοὺς λοιποὺς ὄρνιθας πολλῷ τῷ μέσῳ ὑπερβαλόμενος τῆς ἐκ διττῶν πτερύγων θέας, δηλαδὴ καὶ πράξεως προελθούσης. Καὶ Πέτρος ὁ κορυφαῖος εὐφημιῶν οὐκ ὀλίγων ἠξιώθη, καὶ τὸν Χριστὸν υἱὸν τῷ πατρὶ ὁμοούσιον θεασάμενος καὶ τῷ πρὸς ἐκεῖνον πόθῳ κομιδῇ διαφέρων. Ἀλλὰ γὰρ καὶ ὁ ἠγαπημένος μαθητής, ὁ ἠγαπημένος διαφερόντως προσονομασθείς, οὗ τοῖς στέρνοις καὶ ὁ κύριος ἐνέπεσε, καὶ ᾧ τὴν μητέρα συνέστησεν, γῆ ἂν ἴσως μειονεκτοίη τοῦ Πέτρου κατὰ τὴν ὑπερβάλλουσαν ἀγάπησιν· εἴπερ φιλεῖ ὁ θεὸς τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας κατ’ ἀναλογίαν τοῦ ἐνυπάρχοντος ἐκείνοις ἔρωτος· ἐγκωμιάσωμεν ἄρα τὸν μέγαν θεολόγων – καὶ γὰρ ἀξιέπαινος τῶν ἁγίων ὁ ἔπαινος. [The above may be slightly compressed, and the last word goes over into the margin. With no space, a new hand picks up (or was there already?) with TLG 3092.004, §2, but without the ἁγίων that we expect as antecedent to the following pronouns:] Καὶ ἡ ἐπίκλησις αὐτῶν σωστικὴ, καὶ ἡ πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἔντευξις, ἀνυστικὴ τῶν αἰτήσεων· τὸ δ’ ὅτι καὶ τῆς ἀρετῆς διὰ τῶν αὐτῶν ἐγκωμίων πρόκλησις γίνεται [line struck through: “τῆς κακίας αἰσχυνουμένης καὶ ἀποσοβουμένης ἔκ γε τῶν μὴ πεπηρωμένων”] εἰς τέλεον· ἡ τῶν πραγμάτων φύσις παρίστησιν…»  In the margin, what appears to be the same hand as above replaces the struck-through line, which fits with the version in the TLG,  with simply «τῆς κακίας ἀποσοβουμένης».

120r  Desinit pagina (non opus), «…βυθίζεται μετὰ τῶν αὐτοῦ συναποστατῶν· ζωὴν δὲ ἡμῖν· καὶ θάνατον τοῖς διώκταις, ὁ σταυρὸς ἐνεργεῖ τοῦ Χριστοῦ· μωσαϊκῇ ῥάβδῳ καὶ θαλάσσης πληγαῖς προτυ[πούμενος]…»  Cf. TLG 3092.004 (Nicephorus Blemmydes, Laudatio Sancti Johannis Evangelistæ, §42).  And here endeth the microfilm: microtænia missa est; procedamus in pace.


[1] The papyrologist Alan Bowman once told me that worms seem to prefer verbs.

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