It Is και Ligature Day

Here are Archaic Christianity it is και ligature day. Yes, this is a holiday practiced by scribes throughout all of time. This holiday post is dedicated to Brett. Here, Brett, are more examples of funky και ligatures.

Our first comes from GA 2346. This snippet was taken from Matt 25:9, third word from the end, ninth line down of the main text (as opposed to the commentary). You can find the original image here. Here is the snippet:

Our second specimen comes from codex Hierosolymitanus. The images are not yet publicly available, so I can’t point you to the original yet. But here is the snippet:

Even the uncials can have ligatures for και. The next snippet is from Mark 11:25 in codex Sinaiticus. You can find the original image here, 3rd column, 4th line down.

And how about GA 2444? This snippet is from Matt 26:37. You can see the original image here. Here’s the snippet:

Making a few quick sweeps I found what look like more examples in GA 2445 and GA 2754.

I hope you enjoyed this whirlwind tour of και. If you want to continue your celebration of και ligature day, here’s a hint. When looking for these ligatures, pay special attention to the end of the line of text. They tend to ligaturize/ligaturate (I love making up words) more at the end of a line instead of starting the next line with the letters.


Brett 2008-04-24 11:14:31


Let me try again.

The gist of what I had asked with this: besides the K at the end of a line, it would seem to me that the S is the only other KAI ligature. Am I right? The KAI with Hierosolymitanus looks just like an S which an elephant sat on. Are you aware of any more KAIs besides the K and S?

By the way, what did the grape say when the elephant sat on it? Nothing. It just made a little wine (whine).

I enjoy your posts.

Eric 2008-04-24 11:21:07

The two types you see above are the only ones that I recall seeing. And many the other και’s in Hierosolymitanus look like the ligatures in the other minuscules. I guess the one I posted is a little squished. Glad you enjoy the posts. If you keep buttering me up I’ll keep letting you post bad jokes on my blog :)