Greek Handwriting 4

I know you have missed it. It has been a while since Greek Handwriting 3, so here is our next exciting installment!

Today we shall have some pi. The pi we will see is from the 13th century, manuscript 2444:

The text in this snippet reads as follows:

ματα εχιδνων. πως δυνασθε
αγαθα λαλειν πονηροι οντες· εκ

There is one pi on each line. In both it is the 12th letter. This isn’t obvious on the second line because its ligatures shorten the distance from the beginning to the 12th letter...but it is true. The pi looks similar to our printed pi with the exception of the closed loops at the bottom. So, thankfully, it is pretty easy to recognize. This is a very common look for pi’s in Greek New Testament minuscules.


Chuck Grantham (3/3/2008 13:31 PM)

Along with the shift in handwriting styles over time, ligatures are the biggest hurdle I find for reading New Testament manuscripts in photos on the Internet at places like CSNTM. Nestle-Aland and UBS don’t prepare you for those alien-looking letter combos.

Eric (3/3/2008 2:04 PM)

SO true. Metzger’s "Manuscripts of the Greek Bible" gives some examples, but it doesn’t even come close to covering all the ligatures. Of course that wasn’t its point. I thought that I had spent enough time in minuscules that I was finally getting over this hurdle until I started a collation on a manuscript for 2 Clement. That one has been putting some hurtin’ on my brain. But, as I see them more and more, I’m learning them. It just takes some time and personal exposure, as you are undoubtedly noticing as well!