Another Hierosolymitanus Ligature

This is part n of my never-ending series on Greek handwriting. Here is another ligature:

Recognize that? Probably not. I didn’t either. So here’s a clue. Here is the same ligature finishing out a very common word.

This is one of those ligatures that make for creating an unnecessary variant. The first ligature occurred at the end of a line and one might mistake it for a comma. But with the grave accent and the fact that Leo the scribe isn’t down with much punctuation, it was pretty clear that this was a word and not some random marking.

The answer is that the ligature is for δε. Usually Leo spells out the word, as you can see here:

But apparently not always. The first ligature occurs in 2 Clement 2:3 where the ligature is for the entire word δε. The second in 1 Clement 3:4 where the word with ligature is μηδε.


Brett Williams 2008-04-21 08:48:40


Have you seen the scribe’s KAI in 2882? It looks like an English ‘S’ with a downward slanging line above it.

Go to file 031a and look at the last line.

Is there any rationale as to why this S was used for KAI?

By the way, I don’t see my Scripture Index for that minuscule. Any reason it is not posted?


Eric 2008-04-21 09:22:47

Guess I missed that index. Just uploaded it. As for that ligature for και, you see it quite commonly in Hierosolymitanus (I’ll post some pics soon) and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen in other minuscules. Some uncials even have single-letter ligatures for και.

Brett 2008-04-21 11:10:58

Is this "S" even a Greek letter? The older Greek mss of course use all capitals, but even with the minuscules, I don’t recall seeing the final sigma that we see in our printed GNTs. Do you know when this final sigma first appears in the Greek mss?

Eric 2008-04-21 11:25:48

I’m not sure where the "sign" came in, but I don’t think it has anything to do with a final sigma. In this case I think it’s more of a symbol than an abbreviation. As for when final sigmas showed up, I’m not sure. I think I read that somewhere, but I don’t recall.

Eric 2008-04-21 11:58:36

BTW, the slanting line is the grave accent on the και. You can see the same in the symbol for the δε above.