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Bibil Identifier bibil:216044
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Moving Beyond the Palimpsest: Erasure in Syriac Manuscripts
Author Penn, Michael Philip
Journal Journal of Early Christian Studies (Volume: 18, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2010
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2010
Year (Copyright) 2010
Year (Reference) 2010
Language English
Pages 261-303 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract An examination of the world's largest collection of Syriac manuscripts illustrates how frequently late antique and medieval readers modified many of the most important documents for early Christian studies. Of particular note is the widespread practice of readers erasing small parts of the texts they were reading. Such erasures are especially common in manuscript sections that contain 1) ownership information, 2) prayer petitions or anathemas, and/or 3) contested names or personal attributes. Such erasures challenge the analytical primacy of original authorship and suggest that scholars of early Christianity should attend more closely to the "lives" of the manuscripts upon which our knowledge of antiquity depends. An approach to manuscript culture that focuses less on recovering an ur-text provides important information for how subsequent generations of Christians read manuscripts and how such reading strategies related to such issues as power, performance, and ethics. It also suggests that the literature we label as "early Christian" is often the end product of an extensive transmission history that defies easy periodization.
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Codicology / Manuscripts
Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Near East : Ancient Near East (in general) : Languages / Epigraphy : Semitic Languages : North-West Semitic : Aramaic : Late Aramaic : Eastern Aramaic : Syriac
Last modification 2017-10-27