Manuscript migration: changing locales and numbers   1 comment

ἅπανθ᾽ ὁ μακρὸς κἀναρίθμητος χρόνος

φύει τ᾽ ἄδηλα καὶ φανέντα κρύπτεται —Sophocles, Ajax 646-647 (Ajax speaking)

Just over a year ago a colleague wrote me asking about a certain Syriac manuscript to which he had seen a reference as belonging at Dayr Al-Zaˤfarān. I was cataloging the collection of this monastery at the time and the shelfmark in the reference he had found did not match at all anything I could find there, so after some further searching I gave him the news that for the present I was unsure about the manuscript’s whereabouts or even its survival. I knew, though, that a large number of the Dayr Al-Zaˤfarān manuscripts had made the short migration to the Church of the Forty Martyrs, in which collection the referenced shelfmark still did not match. I reported to my colleague that I would keep a close eye out for his manuscript when I started going through this large latter collection. Well, yesterday, one year and eleven days after my friend’s enquiry, my eyes fell upon the very manuscript he was looking for! I have happily reported the news to him.

Ajax says time both discloses and reveals: in this instance, at least, we can be glad of time’s revelatory march, and not it’s concealing power.

CFMM 158 (olim Zafaran 248), pp. 210-211

One response to “Manuscript migration: changing locales and numbers

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  1. One of the many contributions of the HMML effort is to virtually fix the locality of MIddle Eastern manuscripts, and allow them to be found and cited by researchers and others. We can rest assured that the manuscript themselves will continue to move!

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