A pendulous pot   3 comments

Lebanese Maronite Missionary Order, no. 103, f. 159v

In pt. 3 of his catalog of the Syriac manuscripts at the British Museum (which are now at the British Library), William Wright notes: “The method of writing adopted by the Syrians was peculiar. They placed the leaf horizontally, so as to bring the left-hand margin towards the writer, and then traced the words vertically” (p. xxvii).[1] A manuscript from the Lebanese Maronite Missionary Order, no. 103, gives what is—probably accidentally—an illustration of this method of writing and placement of the page. On f. 159v of this Garšūnī manuscript, someone—I presume a “someone” other than the scribe; at least the writing instrument was different from that used for the main text—has drawn a kind of pulley with a hanging jar, hanging, that is, when the manuscript is turned as described above by Wright, attached to the alif and lām of al-qandīl.

[1] He also cites M. l’Abbé Martin’s “Essai sur les deux principaux dialectes araméens,” Journal Asiatique (April-May 1872): 327.


Posted December 2, 2011 by adamcmccollum in Paleography

3 responses to “A pendulous pot

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  1. I like it! A horizontally hanging pot! Pretty cool.

  2. splendid, adam! aren’t scribal practices fascinating? perhaps it is a lamp, similar in design to: http://bit.ly/scHM11

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