Greek Handwriting 3

Along with the nomina sacra, there are a number of other shorthand marks in Greek manuscripts. One very common one is the nu bar. Here it is in Sinaiticus:

The text reads as follows:


Or broken apart, it reads ιδιν υμας ινα τι μεταδω χαρισμα υμιν. The ιδιν is an itacistic rendering of ιδειν. This text comes from Romans 1:11, which says "[For I long] to see you in order that I might impart some spiritual gift to you..."

The handwriting feature I want to point out is the horizontal bar suspended above the iota at the end of the second line. Without that bar the last word would read υμι instead of υμιν...which would be weird. That horizontal bar is the "nu bar" for a lack of a decent term. It is frequently used when the line ends in the letter nu. It is not necessarily when the word ends in nu, because nu bars will show up at the end of a line even if the word is split between two lines.

So there you have it. One more very common feature of the handwriting you will see in Greek manuscripts. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Image courtesy of CSNTM