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THE first volume of this manual edition of the Cambridge Septuagint was prefaced by a brief sketch of its history and plan.
[The Old Testament in Greek, vol. i. (Camb., 1887; ed. a, 1895), pp. xi.—xvii.]
In publishing a second volume it will suffice to call attention to fresh details.
Some of these have been treated in the introduction to a separate issue of the Psalter;
[The Psalms in Greek (Camb., 1889; ed 2, 1896), pp. vi. ff. ]
but as the Psalms in Greek may escape the notice of readers who use the complete edition, such anticipations of the present volume are reprinted here together with other particulars which belong to its contents.
1. It is well known
that the ninth and tenth Psalms of the Hebrew Bible form a single Psalm in the
Greek of the Septuagint, and that this is also the case with the Hebrew Psalms
On the other hand each of the Hebrew Psalms cxvi., cxlvii., falls into two Psalms in the Greek.
Consequently, there is a double numeration of the Psalms from ix.22 to cxlvi.11 (Gk);
and in the particular Psalms which are differently divided, there is also to some extent a double numeration of the verses. In this edition the 'Hebrew' numbers are added to the 'Greek' and distinguished from the latter by being enclosed in brackets.
The Psalter has been
broken up into its five books—
a division which though not directly recognised in the Greek MSS. is sufficiently marked by the doxologies with which the first four conclude.
The twenty-two stanzas of Psalm cxviii. (= cxix.) are parted by slight breaks in the type.
A smaller type has been employed throughout the Psalins to distinguish the titles and the διαψαλμα.
In all the MSS. which
have been used for this edition, excepting the London papyrus fragments, the
Psalms are written 'stichometrically,' the στιχοι usually
corresponding or being intended to correspond to the members of the Hebrew
This arrangement has been followed in the text;
the second line of each couplet (and where the parallelism forms a triplet, the third line) having been thrown slightly back to mark its subordination to the first.
The several MSS. differ however both as to the number of the lines and occasionally also as to the grouping of the words, and these variations have been recorded in the notes.
The division of lines in the text is generally conformed to that in the MS. which it represents;
but in Ps. cxviii. (=cxix.), where א throws the majority of the verses into single lines, it has been thought better to adhere to the usual division.
Similar arrangements have been adopted in the other Books which are written στιχηδόν viz.:
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Job, and the two Wisdoms.
2. It has been found inexpedient to exhibit in the text the numbered
sections into which the Books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Canticles are
divided, apparently by the first hand [See Cozza, Prolegg. c. xx.], in B, and
the last two less thoroughly in א;
and the effect of admitting these numbers into the foot-notes would have been to overcrowd and confuse the latter.
A table shewing the verse or word in a verse at which each of the sections begins will be found below;
their purpose and method is an interesting problem, but one upon which this is not the place to enter.
sections in B begin severally as follows:
Prov.i.1, 7, 8, 20; ii.1, 13, 16 (μή σε καταλάβη), 21; iii.1, 13, 27, 29, 31, 33, 34, 35; iv.1, 4 (φύλασσε), 10, 20; v.1, 15, 22; vi.12,21; vii.1 (υἰέ, τίμα), viii.1; ix.7, 13; x.1,19; xi.31; i.20; xiv.6; xvi.10, 16; xvii.17; xix.20: xx.22; x.10, 17; xi.12, 22; xxiv.1, 13, 2i, 24, 38, 47, 67; xxv.1, 7 (ἃ εῖδον), 16, 21; xxvi.4; 12; xxvii.1, 11, 25; xxviii.1; (παίδευε); xxix.17, 28. Eccles. i.1, 12: ii.14 (καὶ ἔγνων), 20, 24 (καί γε τοῦτο); iii.14; iv.1, 4, 15; v.9, 17; vi.7; vii.13, .23; viii.1, 9 (καὶ ἔδωκα), 15, 17 (καὶ καρδία), ix.7, 13; x,1, 14, [a section not numbered]; xi.9; .8. Cant.i.1, 4 (εἵλκυσαν), ib. (εἰσήνεγκεν), ib. (ἀγαλλιασώμεθα), 5, 8, 11, 12 (νάρδος), 13, 16; ii.1, 3, [three sections not numbered]; iii.6; iv.1, 16; v.1 (εἰσῆλθον), 2, ib. (ἄνοιξον), 3, 9, 10, 17; vi.1, 3, 10 (ἰδεῖν), 12; vii.1, ib. (ἡ ἐρχομένη), 8, ib. (καὶ ἔσονται), 9 (πορευόμενος); viii.5, ib. (ὑπὸ μῆλον), 10, 11, 13.
In א section-numbers occur only in the first four chapters of Ecclesiastes and in Canticles, and the few sections that have been noted are much larger than those in B.
They begin as follows : Eccles.i.1; ii.2; iii.1; iv.9. Cant. i.1, 13; iii.6; vi.3.]
3. In the
non-canonical books of this volume and in the extra-canonical portions of
Esther, where there is either no Hebrew original, or none now known to exist, the
secondary verse-numeration is that of the Latin Bible.
The Latin verses often differ so seriously from the Greek, as well in their numbering and position as in the character of their text, that comparison becomes tedious and difficult;
and it is hoped that the method which has been adopted may be found serviceable by students both of the LXX. and the Vulgate.
In some cases the correspondence is doubtful;
in many it extends to a part of a verse only. When the Latin sTops short in the middle of a Greek verse, a short hyphen in the margin indicates the inferior limit of the former.
4. A remarkable divergence in the
arrangement of the Septuagint and Old Latin versions of Ecclesiasticus
xxx.—xxxvi. calls for notice here.
In these chapters the Greek order fails to yield a natural sequence, whereas the Latin arrangement, which is also that of the Syriac and Armenian versions, makes excellent sense.
Two sections, c. xxx.25—xxi.13a (ὡς καλαμώμενος... φυλάς) and c. xxi. i3b—xxxvi.i6a (λαμπρὰ καρδία... ἔσχατος ἡγρύπνησα), have exchanged places in the Latin, and the change is justified by the result.
On examination it appears that these sections are nearly equal, containing in B 154 and 159 στίχοι respectively, whilst א exhibits 160 in each.
There can be little doubt that in the exemplar from which, so far as is certainly known, all our Greek MSS. of this book are ultimately derived the pairs of leaves on which these sections were severally written had been transposed, whereas the Latin translator, working from a MS. in which the transposition had not taken place, has preserved the true order.
[The solution is due to O. F. Fritzsche (kurzgefasstes exeg. Handbuch su den Apokryphen, v. pp. 169, 170).]
Under the circumstances it has been judged best to follow the guidance of the Latin, regarding it as the representative of a Greek text earlier in this particular than that which is known to us through our existing MSS.
[The transposition has rendered it necessary to print κατακληρονομήσεις in Sir. xxxvi.16b, instead of κατακληρονόμησα, the reading of all our Uncial authorities.
As Fritzsche observes (Handbuch, v. p. 475), it is clear that κατακληρόνομησα is the result of a desperate effort on the part of the scribes to bring the verb into harmony with ἠγρύπνησα, which immediately precedes it in the Greek order.
The imperative is suggested in the Latin order by the foregoing σύναγε, but it is quite possible that the future stood here originally; the OL. has hereditabis, and it is supported by the important cursive 106 (Parsons), which reads κατακληρονομήσεις.]
5. The Greek additions to the Book of Esther are distinguished from the chapters of the Hebrew text by successive letters of the alphabet [This method, in a slightly different form, is adopted by Dr Field (Vetus Test. Graece., Oxon. 1859).], and divided into verses which agree in length, although not in numeration, with those of the corresponding Latin.
6. In the Book of
Tobit the text of א differs so materially from
the text of either B or A that it was found inconvenient to display its
variants in the apparatus criticus.
The Sinaitic Tobit has therefore been printed in extenso beneath the Vatican text, but in a smaller type, to denote its secondary character.
To assist comparison it has been divided into verses corresponding as nearly as possible with those of the standard text.
The published texts
of seven MSS. have been collated for the present volume.
Three of these (BאA) are described in the first volume; a few particulars must be added here.
This MS. continues to
supply the text of the edition wherever it is available.
In the Psalter ten leaves of the original Codex have been lost, and the missing portion is supplied in the manuscript by the same recent cursive hand by which the prima manus has been replaced in the gaps of Genesis and 2 Kings.
In Genesis the text of A was in this edition installed into the place vacated by the first hand of B;
in the Psalms the text of א is the natural substitute.
[See Dr Sanday's remark in the Academy of Dec. 24, 1887:
"in the latter part of the Psalms, would not the text of א be nearer to what the text of B would have been, if it were extant, than the text of A?"]
Tischendorf the poetical books in א are the work of the third
of its four scribes, whom he distinguishes as C. Of the numerous correctors who
have dealt with the text of א , the second, א c.a, a hand of the seventh
century, has been everywhere active in these Books.
His corrections have not unfrequently been erased or otherwise set aside either by himself, or by a subsequent reviser, who is not identified.
In the notes to the Psalms the symbol א c.b has been employed for the corrector of א c.a;
but it is necessary to apprise the reader that Tischendorf has elsewhere employed this expression for another hand of the seventh century to which he denies any part in the correction of the poetical books'.
[Prolegg. ad Cod. Sin. Petr. p. 9".
"Libros vero versibus scriptos Ca maximam partem omnium solus et magna quidem cum diligentia tractavit, Cb plane non attigit."]
In the remaining books of this class the ambiguity has been avoided by another method of notation.
The scribe of the
third volume of the Codex Alexandrinus derived his text from a liturgical
Psalter, and from it introduced into this great Bible of the fifth century a
quantity of foreign matter relating to the Psalms.
They are preceded in A by the Epistle of S. Athanasius to Marcellinus (ff. 525 r—530 r )3, the Argument of Eusebius Pamphili.
[It is headed ΑΘΑΝΑΣΙΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΙΑΣ ΕΙΣ ΤΟΥΣ ΩΑΛΜΟΥΣ.
The colophon is ΑΘΑΝΑΣΙΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΙΑΣ ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗ ΠΡΟΣ ΜΑΡΚΕΛΛΙΝΟΝ.]
a table of the contents of the Psalms, apparently due to the same author,
[ΠΕΡΙΟΧΑΙ ΕΙΣ ΤΟΥΣ ΨΑΛΜΟΥΣ. α΄.
Προτροπὴ θεοσεβείας καὶ ἀποτροπὴ τοῦ ἐναντίου. Β΄.
Πρπφητία περὶ Χριστοῦ καὶ κλήσεως ἐθνῶν. Κ.τ.λ.
These περιοχαί, under the title of ὑποθέσεις, are prefixed to Eusebius’s Commentary on the Psalms (Montfaucon, Coll. nov. patr. i. 2—6: Paris, 1706), but "would seem to belong to some other work" (Lightfoot, Eusebius of Caes., Diet. C. B. ii. p. 337).]
and canons of the Psalms for day and night use (ff. 531 r—532 v ).
[They may be seen in Mr Hotham's art. Psalmody, Dict. C. A. ii. p. 1748.]
After the Psalms, to which the ψαλμὸς ιδιόγραφος is appended as the 151st, fourteen Canticles occur in the following order: Exod.xv.1—19 (ᾠδὴ Μωυσέως ἐν τῇ Ἐξόδῳ), Deut.xx.1—43 (ᾠδὴ Μωυσέως ἐν τῇ Δευτερονομίῳ), i Reg.ii.1—10 (προσευχὴ Ἄννας μητρὸς Σαμουήλ), Esa.xxvi.9—20 (προσευχὴ Ἑζεκίου [sic]), Ion.ii.3—10 (προσευχὴ Ἰωνᾶ), Hab.iii.1—19 (προσευχὴ Ἁμβακούμ), Esa.xxxviii.10—20 (προσευχὴ Ἑζεκίου), the Prayer of Manasseh, Dan.iii.23 [2—21, Tisch.] (προσευχὴ Ἀζαρίου), Dan.iii.23 [28—65] (ὕμνος τῶν πατέρων), Magnificat (προσευχὴ Μαρίας τῆς θεοτόκου), Nunc dimittis (προσευχὴ Συμεών), Benedictus (προσευχὴ Ζαχαρίου); the Morning Hymn (ὕμνος ἑωθινός); the subscription being ΩΔΑΙ ΙΔ.
Nine leaves of the Psalter are missing in A, with a corresponding loss in its text of Pss.xlix.19—lxxix.10.
For the apparatus
criticus of the Psalms it has been thought desirable to employ the testimony
of three other uncial MSS.
The first two, like the archetype of A, were liturgical Psalters;
the third consists of fragments of the first book which, if not of very early date, appear to preserve an early text.
Each of these MSS. possesses features of singular interest.
A bilingual Psalter
of Western origin and attributed to the 6th century,
[Blanchini, Vindic. i. (title to Psalter):
"Psalterium duplex cum canticis... prodit ex insigni Codice Graeco-latino amplissimi Capituli Veronensis uncialibus characteribus ante septimum saeculum exarato."
Cf. Nouveau traite de diplomatique, iii. 142.]
in quarto, exhibiting at each opening the Greek text in Latin letters on the left-hand page and on the right a Latin version which is in the main Old Latin [Ronsch, Itala u. Vulgata, p. 19.].
The MS. is without punctuation, but written στιχηρῶς.
It consists of 405 leaves of vellum, measuring 10½ inches by 7½, and arranged in quires of eight; 26 lines fill a page.
A few portions of the Psalms (i.1—ii.7, Ixv.20—Ixviii.3, Ixviii.26—33, cv.43—cvi.2) have been replaced or supplied by a hand of the tenth century, to which the corrections throughout the MS. are generally due.
The ψαλμὸς ἰδιόγραφος seems to have had no place in this Psalter prima manu;
it is added in Greek and Latin by the later hand.
The Canticles on the other hand appear to be in the first hand and are without correction.
[Blanchini, Vindic. i. pp. 258 n., 278.]
Eight Canticles are given in the following order:
Exod.xv.1—21. Deut.xx.1—44, 1 Reg.ii.1—10, Esa.v.1—9, Ion.ii.3—10, Hab.iii.1—19, Magnificat, Dan.iii.23 [27—67].
This Psalter, which
is the property of the Chapter of Verona, was published by Giuseppe Bianchini,
a native and at one time a Canon of Verona, in his Vindiciae canonicarum
scripturarum (tom. i., Romae, 1740).
A copper-plate facsimile of Ps.cxlii.1—6 precedes his text, which is followed [P. 278.] by a too brief description of the MS. and of the editor's manner of dealing with its contents.
A specimen of the handwriting may also be seen in the Nouveau traite de diplomatique.
[iii. pi. xlii. (1) and 1. c.
The plate represents Ps.xcvi.1, 2.
A portion of it is reproduced in Westwood, Palaeographia sacra pictorial, pl. 10.]
In the use of this
MS. the transliteration of the Greek text into Latin letters creates frequent
ambiguities, and these are increased by Bianchini's somewhat uncertain practice
with regard to the orthography.
A photograph of the Verona Psalter is much to be desired.
Meanwhile the present Editor has been permitted to use a collation of this MS. made by the Rev. H. A. Redpath, whilst the Canticles were also collated by himself during a short visit to Verona in 1894.
He has however thought it inexpedient to introduce at present any but the more important corrections thus obtained, nor has it seemed desirable to load the notes with new readings of Ra and Rb, the second and third correctors, or the Appendix with the strange spellings due partly to the exigencies of transliteration, partly to the ignorance of Western scribes [Blanchini Vlndic. l.c.].
The Verona MS. was
not used by Parsons [Praef. ad
libr. Psalmorum (ad init.).], nor does it seem to
have taken its place hitherto in any apparatus criticus of the Greek
Psalms except that which is contained in Lagarde's Specimen where it is
used for Ps. i.—v. Its claims are however asserted by Tischendorf, who accords
it a high place among the "egregia novae editionis subsidia." [Prolegg. ad Vet. Test. Gr. Iviii.—lix.]
A quarto volume bound
in hog's skin, written in uncials on vellum of the thinnest sort dyed
The characters are of silver, gold and vermilion, silver being used for the text, gold for the numbers titles and initial letters of the Psalms, and vermilion for the Latin renderings of the first few words of each verse which are inscribed in the ample margin.
There are no accents or breathings, but compendia scribendi are frequent, and some of them such as do not occur in the earliest MSS.
There is no punctuation properly so called, but a double point resembling a semicolon is used to mark the commencement of a verse when it falls in the course of a line. When perfect this MS. contained the Psalms, followed by the Canticles.
Of the 223 leaves which remain 209 are occupied by the Psalms;
the quire marks shew that they originally filled 288.
The following Psalms and portions of Psalms are missing:
Pss.1.—xxv.; xxx.2—xxxvi.20; xli.6—xliii.3; Iviii.14—lix.5; lix.9—10; lix.13—Ix.1; Ixiv.12—lxxi.4; xcii.3—xciii.7; xcvi.12—xcvii.8.
The Canticles have also suffered loss:
the first five have entirely disappeared, with parts of the sixth.
The remaining portion includes 1 Reg. ii.6—10, (ζ΄) Magnificat, (η΄) Esa.xxxviii.10—20, (θ΄) the Prayer of Manasseh, (ι΄) Dan.iii.23 [2-21], (ια΄) ib. [28—33], (ιβ΄) ib. [34—67], (ιγ΄) Benedictus, (ιδ΄) Nunc dimittis.
The Morning Hymn follows on the last two pages, but it is imperfect through the loss of the lower part of the leaf.
This 'purple' Psalter
is the pride of the municipal library of Zurich,
[Cf. H. Omont, Catalogue des manuscrits grecs des Bibliotheques de Suisse (Leipzig, 1886), pp. 57—59.]
where it has lain for at least two centuries.
In a letter dated 1711 J. H. Hirzel deplores the neglect into which the MS. had fallen and of which there is still evidence in the loss of 7¾ quires at the beginning of the book, and in the numerous lacunae throughout the greater portion of the remainder.
Attention was called to the importance of its text in a dissertation by J. J. Breitinger,
[De antiquissimo Turicensis bibliothecae Graeco Psalmorum libra in membrana purpurea...epistola...perscripta a J. J. Breitinger Ling. Graec, apud Turicenses Prof. &C. Turici, 1748.]
published in 1748, and a collation was obtained by Parsons, the continuator of Holmes, who cites it as MS. 262.
[Praef. ad libr. Psalmorum (sub num. 262).]
Finally, the entire MS. was copied in 1856 by Tischendorf, who after comparing his copy with the original in the autumn of 1869 gave it to the world in the fourth volume of his Monumenta sacra inedita (Nov. Coll.) [Pp. xi.—xix., 1—223.], adding prolegomena, and a coloured representation of Ps. cxxxvii.6—cxxxviii.2.
[A facsimile of Ps.Ix.6—Ixi.2 is also given by Breitinger, who adds a convenient plate of the compendia scribendi and the initial letters.]
The collation of the Zurich Psalter for the present edition is based upon Tischendorfs reproduction.
The earlier history
of this princely MS. is unknown.
[Cf. Mabillon de re diplom. p. 43 :
"hic scribendi modus principibus et magnatibus peculiaris erat, nec tamen promiscue ab istis usurpatus."]
But the employment of the Latin Vulgate by a contemporary hand in the margin of the Psalms and of certain of the Canticles clearly indicates its Western origin.
[The Canticles distinguished in this wav are the ,Song of Hannah, Magniflcat, the Prayer of Hezekiah, Benedicite, Benedictus, Nunc dimittis—All of which find place in the Western offices.]
A peculiar division of Ps. cxviii. (=cxix.) connects it with the use of the Roman Church.
The Psalm is made to fall into twelve sections beginning at vv.1, 16, 33, 49, 65, 73, 81, 97, 113, 132, 145, 161.
These sections generally correspond to the portions which were said severally under one gloria, in the Gregorian Psalter.
[In the Roman Breviary Ps.cxviii. is distributed into eleven sections, each under one gloria, two being said at prime, and three at terce sext and none respectively.
The same arrangement existed in the Ambrosian Psalter, and in the Sarum (Procter and Wordsworth, pp. 44—68).
Nine of these sections (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11) are exactly reproduced in the Zurich MS.
One, the fifth, is divided into two;
another, the ninth, begins at v.132 (aspice) instead of v.129 (mirabilia).
But the exceptions are easily explained.
In each case the scribe has been led away from the Gregorian division by attending to the liturgical marks in his Greek archetype.
The second stasis of the Psalm as sung in the Greek nocturns begins in the middle of the fifth Gregorian section;
the third stasis, at v- 132.
In the margin of v. 132 the scribe of T has copied δοξ(i.e. δόξα), thus betraying the source of his departures from the Western distribution.
Other Greek liturgical notes occur at the end of Pss. cxviii., cxxviii,, cxxi., cxlii., cl., each of which seems to have closed a κάθισμα in the Psalter from which, the Zurich book was copied.]
With regard to the age of the MS., it appears to be determined within certain limits by the character of the uncials.
The somewhat compressed forms of ε, θ, ο, c, and the shape of such crucial letters as Γ, Δ, Η and Π, justify Tischendorfs conclusion:
"septimo...saeculo adscribentes vix errabimus."
[Prolegg. p. i. Thiersch (de Pentateuchi vers. Alex., Erlangae, 1841, p. 87 n.) strangely places it before the Codex Alexandrinus.]
The Zurich Psalter is
free from many of the blunders which disfigure earlier MSS.
The most noticeable fault is an inveterate habit of writing the forms of the aorist conjunctive for those of the future indicative.
Corrections are few, as might be expected in so sumptuous a book; those which occur seem to be due to the scribe or to his diorthota.
The readings of this MS. are in frequent agreement with Codex Alexandrinus, and to a still more remarkable extent with the second corrector of Codex Sinaiticus.
Fragments of the
Psalms written on 30 leaves of papyrus (8¾ x 7 inches), 12 to 19 lines filling
The handwriting, which is singularly fresh and black, slopes considerably, and wavers between uncials and minuscules;
the letters α, δ, ε, Η, Μ, Υ frequently assume a cursive form.
Breathings and accents are freely employed, the latter however with great irregularity both of form and of position.
The words are not separated, and there is no break at the end of a Psalm.
The titles of the Psalms are not distinguished from the text and the numbers are added in the margin only in two instances (κδ΄, λγ΄), and possibly by another hand.
A single point is occasionally used.
Only two portions of this Psalter (x.2—xviii. 6, xx.14—xxxiv.6) are preserved at the British Museum, but Tischendorf hints that other scraps may exist elsewhere in England.
The London fragments (32 leaves, including two which are blank on both sides) are mounted and enclosed in glass frames, which fill three book-like cases;
one of the leaves is exhibited to the public.
This papyrus was
purchased in 1836 from Dr Hogg, who bought it at Thebes in Egypt where it had
been "discovered among the rubbish of an ancient convent."
[E. Hogg, M.D.: Visit to Alexandria, &c., Lond. 1835, ii, p. 310 sqq.]
An account of the MS. was first given by Tischendorf in Theol. Studien u. Kritiken (1844).
Cureton announced his intention of editing it, but other engagements having compelled him to relinquish the task, it was taken in hand by Tischendorf, and the text in uncial type with prolegomena and a facsimile appeared in the first volume of his Momumenta sacra inedita (Nov. Coll.), Lips., 1855.
The age of this
fragment has been very differently estimated.
Notwithstanding the mixed character of the writing and the use of accents, Tischendorf assigned it a place among the very earliest of existing Biblical MSS.
[Prolegg, fid vet. test. p. Ix.:
"insigne hoc monumentum papyraceum, quo nulius codicum sacrorum antiquior videtur."]
On the strength of Tischendorfs judgement it was described in the plate and letterpress of the Palaeographical Society's publication as a MS. of the 4th or 5th century.
[Facsimiles, i. (Lond. 1873—83) pi. 38 (representing Ps.xx.19—xxi.2).]
This view is however retracted in the Introduction to the facsimiles, and the London papyrus is there adjudged to the 6th or 7th century.
[The same view is taken, in the Catalogue of Ancient MiSS. in- the British Museum, pt. i (Greek), Lond. 1881, which offers a photograph of Ps.xi.10—xxiv.7.]
Dr V. Gardthausen on palaeographical grounds refuses to place it earlier than the 7th.
[Griechische Palaeographie (Leipzig, 1879), pp. 163—4.]
On the other hand Lagarde, who examined the MS. in 1852 or 1853, has expressed himself in terms which transcend Tischendorfs estimate.
[Psalterii spec. (Gottingen, 1887) p. 4:
"biblicorum omnium quos noverim antiquissimus."]
This MS. is the work
of a careless and illiterate scribe, but it presents a text of much value.
Its readings are often unique, or agree with the Hebrew or the versions or patristic citations against all other known MSS.
The corrections, which are few and appear to be prima mannu or the work of a contemporary, deal merely with clerical errors.
In the rest of the
poetical books the witness of BאA has been supplemented by the surviving fragments of the great
Paris palimpsest, the last of the Greek Bibles of the fourth and fifth
[H. Omont, Inventaire sommaire des manuscrits grecs de la biblioth. nation, i. CParis, 1886) p. 2.]
A folio of fine
vellum, written in single columns of 40—46 lines, usually 41, each line when
full consisting of some 40 letters.
The characters are somewhat larger and more elaborate than those of BאA;
capitals occur freely, as in A;
punctuation is rare, confined to a single point nearly level with the Top of the letters, and followed by a space of a letter's breadth;
there are no breathings or accents prima manu.
These and other indications seem to point to a date not later than the middle of the fifth century.
Of the 209 leaves
which have survived the wreck of this great MS. Bible, the first 64 contain
fragments of the LXX.;
of these 19 belong to Job, 6 to Proverbs, 8 to Ecclesiastes, 7 to the Wisdom of Solomon, 23 to Sirach, whilst of Canticles only one leaf remains.
The Old and New Testament portions of the MS. appear to have been written by different but contemporary hands.
This MS., as its
title denotes, is a palimpsest.
In the twelfth century the original writing throughout the Codex was washed out by a scribe who afterwards wrote over it in a cursive hand a Greek translation of certain homilies and other works of Ephraim, the Syrian deacon.
The OT. fragments of
this Codex were edited by Tischendorf in 1845,
[Codex Ephr. Syri rescriptus sive fragmenta Veteris Testamenti ed. C. Tischendorf, Lips., 1845.]
as a sequel to his edition of the N. T. of C, which had appeared in 1843.
The editor was confronted by unusual difficulties.
The MS., already defaced by the scribe of Ephraim, has been discoloured in a recent attempt (1834) to restore the original writing.
Many of the leaves are badly torn, many more are scarcely legible.
From a table in Tischendorf's prolegomena [Pp.5, 6.] it appears that only three or four pages can be read with comparative ease;
one of these, which contains Ecclesiastes v.5—17, is represented by a plate at the end of his volume.
A large proportion are stated to be in a condition all but desperate;
and the broken lines of the facsimile are a frank confession of the editor's imperfect success.
These facts suggest the need of caution in the use of C, until some attempt has been made to verify Tischendorf's results.
[Dr Ceriani (Rendiconti del R. Istituto Lombardo, II. xxi., fasc. .) had on this ground suggested that it might be prudent to reserve the variants of C for the larger edition of the Cambridge Septuagint.
But it has been thought best to employ all existing materials which fall within the scope of the manual edition, guarding at the same time against misapprehensions which might arise from too trustful a dependence upon their testimony.]
regards this Codex as the work of an Egyptian scribe, believes that it
travelled from Egypt to Palestine, Syria or Asia Minor, and from thence to
Constantinople, where it became a palimpsest.
In the early years of the sixteenth century it was brought to the West by Andrew John Lascaris, and became the property of Lorenzo de' Medici.
Subsequently the volume passed into the hands of Catharine de' Medici, and was conveyed to Paris, where it found place in the Royal Library.
The OT. fragments of
C have been corrected by a second hand (Ca) of the sixth or seventh
The corrections are usually few, but more frequent in Ecclesiasticus.
Editor desires to renew his acknowledgements to Dr Nestle, who revised for the
first edition the notes to the Psalms, so far as they relate to Codd. ATU, and
contributed to the second edition a fresh collation of Cod. B for all the books
contained in this volume, obtained from the photograph published at Rome in
[See vol. i. p. xviii.]
The Editor is also indebted to Dr Redpath and to Dr Beard for much valuable aid in the correction of both text and notes throughout the volume, and in revising it for a third edition he has received assistance from Dr Nestle, Dr Redpath, and Mr H. St J. Thackeray.
A debt of another kind and one which no words can interpret is due to Dr Hort, late Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, whose patient care watched over this edition from its commencement in 1883.
Lastly, if this work has any claim to the accuracy in minute details which in undertakings of the kind is at once so essential to usefulness and so hard to attain, the credit belongs in no small measure to the vigilance of the readers and the attention of the workmen and officers of the University Press.
Codex Sinaiticus ( = S, Lagarde, Nestle).
Codex Alexandrinus ( = III, Parsons).
Codex Vaticanus ( = II, Parsons).
Codex Ephraemi Syri rescriptus Parisiensis.
Psalterium Graeco-Latinum Veronense.
Psalterium Turicense ( = 262, Parsons).
Fragmenta papyracea Londinensia.