|Dr. Erik Kwakkel|
Although this discovery was fictitious (including the digitally created picture), other discoveries – in which manuscripts are found within the bindings of other manuscripts, or within the bindings of printed books – are real, and the likelihood is very high that we are going to see more of them.
Rearrange the letters in the name of the fictitious Kirk Walkeek, and you can make the name of the real Dr. Erik Kwakkel of Leiden University, who, along with Dr. Joris Dik (whose name shares the same letters as the fictitious Jodi Kris) of Delft University of Technology, is developing technology and techniques which can read text on materials within book-bindings, using macro x-ray fluorescence spectrometry (MA-XRF) without dismantling the binding itself.
|Dr. Joris Dik|
● 0311 (which has text from Romans 8:1-13, and the earliest witness to the non-inclusion of εκ νεκρων in 8:11a),
● 0312 (which has text from Luke 5, from the late 400’s),
● 0313 (which has text from Mark 4:9 and 4:15 – from the late 400’s, with a distinct Byzantine reading),
● 0314 (which has text from John 5:43, from the late 400’s), and
● 0315 (which has text from Mark 2:9, 2:21, 2:25, and 3:1-2 – from the 300’s or 400’s!) – all fragments obtained by Christopher de Hamel. (For some more information about 0313 see my report about it from 2015,)
|This isn't real|
it is –
wait and see.
Entries from an earlier blog, now a sort of archive, can be found at the Turning Over a New Leaf project, found at https://medievalfragments.wordpress.com/ and assorted images related to the project – hundreds of them – can be found at Flickr. Several of his lectures are also available online, such as this one about professional medieval book-production.
It is just a matter of time, I suspect, before the remains of a Greek manuscript will be found embedded within a book-binding. (If one could aim a MA-XRF machine at book-bindings in the Vatican Library, the discovery would probably be made within a week.) If the book is not very important, the Greek manuscript will probably be physically extracted. But if the case is otherwise, or if there is a significant risk of damage involved in the extraction-process – for example, the risk of tearing apart a page secured by glue – then perhaps textual critics should create a new category of evidence: besides papyri, uncials, minuscules, lectionaries, versions, and patristic quotations, I recommend that the symbol “r” (“remnant” or “recycled” or, in Dutch, “rest” or “remainder”) should be affixed to whatever uncial-number or minuscule-number is assigned to a fragment that remains embedded within another book – so as to convey that there is a lack of direct accessibility to such manuscripts that is not a factor with the others.
Who knows how many libraries within libraries there are, hidden within the bindings of books? There’s only one way to find out.