Crazy Kappa Leo

So I found out that the scribe for codex Hierosolymitanus actually has a name. This is nice because I can get rid of the name I gave him, TSWAMEMBPOULLACP. It was a good name, obfuscatory as the scribe himself. This post is going to focus on Leo and his writing of the letter κ, "kappa". Can you make out these words? All of them are found in the first chapter of 2 Clement.

Of the bunch, only the last one has a kappa the size of the other letters. In most cases Leo’s kappas are oversized.

  1. κριτου - Here you have the κ joined to a ρ. There is also an ου ligature ending the word.
  2. μικρα - No ligatures here. Just a big κ.
  3. νεκρων - Note how Leo makes the ε just a swoosh at the top left of the κ. Like the three above, this has the ρ very closely tied to the κ.
  4. ενεκα - Note this example where there is no ρ. The κ is still oversized and the ε is regulated to a little swoosh.
  5. εκαλεσεν - In this example the ε is not swooshed. My guess is that this is because it begins the word. Note that the "c"-looking figure to the top right is a ligature for εν.
  6. μικρων - The only one of the bunch that has a normal-sized κ. The curved line over the entirety of the word is a ligature for ων. The kappa is probably kept smaller because of the ligature that stretches above the word.

That’s why he can be called "Crazy Kappa Leo".


Nathan Stitt 2008-03-30 11:34:48

I don’t feel nearly so bad about my handwritten Greek now. That guy is sloppy. I need to find a good source for ligatures so I can work up my own short hand.

Eric 2008-03-31 06:18:33

If you’re looking for shorthand, Leo is your guide! Stay tuned and you’ll get more :)