Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Meet Codex Delta (037, Sangallensis)

Codex Delta - Lk. 22:24-33a
(verse numbers superimposed)

            Hundreds of manuscripts reside in the Abbey Library of Saint Gallen in Switzerland; over 600 of them have been digitized and can be read online.  In today’s post (and the two posts after this one), we shall visit one that is of particular importance:  Codex Sangellensis, also known as 037 or Delta (Δ).  This nearly complete Greek-Latin manuscript of the Gospels (it is missing John 19:17-35) was made in the mid-800s.  Although it is known to New Testament textual critics as the Codex Sangellensis, there are so many other important manuscripts in the library that it might be better to just call it Δ (Delta).  
            (Many other important Biblical manuscripts are in the same collection, including the fifth-century Latin Codex Sangallensis 1395 – possibly the oldest manuscript with an essentially Vulgate text – and Codex Sangallensis 51 – a Latin copy of the Gospels with Celtic affinities and an unusual text of John – and 0130, a Greek palimpsest-fragment with text from Mark 1-2 and Luke 1-2.  In the manuscript-catalog of the collection, Δ is Sangallensis 48.)
            The parchment pages of Codex Δ are not particularly large:  they measure about 22.5 cm tall and 18.5 cm wide.  The letters are uncials, but the script looks like more like Latin lettering than the uncials found in older codices such as Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Alexandrinus.     


            Codex Δ has an unusual format.  It is an interlinear manuscript; a Latin translation appears between the lines of Greek text.  In addition, whereas most manuscript of the Gospels put chapter-titles (kephalaia) in the upper margins, in Δ they generally appear (except in most of Mark) in the main text, interrupting the Gospels-text.  
In addition, as Heinrich C. M. Rettig reported in 1836 in his definitive study of the manuscript, the copyist(s) of Δ copied from an exemplar in which the text was formatted colometrically, that is, per cola et commata – that is, instead of seeking to fill approximately the same amount of space per line (so as to justify the margins), the scribe of Δ’s exemplar wrote so as to limit each line to a particular clause, phrase, or subject. 
In Δ the colometric format has been completely abandoned, but it is echoed:  enlarged letters (spruced up, not very artistically, with touches of red, yellow, or purple pigment) – which may appear at almost any point in a line in Codex Δ – signify where the lines began in Δ’s exemplar.  Colometric text-arrangement was used especially (but not exclusively) by Irish monks, so it is not surprising that it was used in a manuscript at St. Gallen; the city was founded (in A.D. 612) by monks from Ireland.


            Codex Δ has some text besides the four Gospels:  it opens with the sole surviving text of the composition Carmen of the Gospel by Pseudo-Hilarius, written in a jagged script with black ink.  Following this, there is Jerome’s Prologue to the Vulgate Gospels – a feature that indicates the primarily Latin-speaking background of the copyists.  It is written in neat Latin characters.  Red ink is used at some points.  Frequent interlinear and marginal glosses (some of which are rather lengthy) express alternate forms of the text, in a script that is easily distinguishable from the main text.  On page 15 we encounter the Latin Argumentum Matthei, that is, a book-summary of Matthew (“Mattheus ex Iudaae sicut in ordine primis ponitur,” etc.), with a list of 28 Latin breves (chapter-summaries) on the next two pages.
            (Also, added in the otherwise empty leftover space below the end of the Gospel of Matthew, there is a list of scenes for Gospel-illustrations, though no such illustrations appear in the codex, nor is there room for them.)  


            Finally on page 19 the Greek text begins with the list of chapters for the Gospel of Matthew.  This is the actual beginning of the manuscript; the preceding portions have been bound together with it, but the quire-numbers at the tops of the pages reveal the original shape of the Gospels-manuscript. These quire-numbers indicate that the manuscript was made mostly in four-sheet quires (or, quaternions):  the quire-numbers show up at  regular intervals, more or less every 16 pages:  #2 on page 33, #3 on page 49, #4 on page 65, #5 on page 81, #6 on page 95, #7 on page 111 (this quire, containing the last part of Matthew, has an extra sheet), #8 on page 131 (where the kephalaia for Mark begin), #9 on page 147, #10 on page 163, #11 on page 179, #12 on page 195 (where the text of Luke begins), #12 on page 211, #14 on page 227, and so forth, all the way up to #24 on page 372.   (One would expect #25 to appear on page 388, but it’s not there.)
            On page 29 there is a good example of memorial space in the text of Matthew 4:23.
            On page 34 there is an interesting correction in the text of Matthew 6:22-23:  after the copyist’s line of sight jumped from the εσται at the end of verse 22 to the εσται in verse 23, he wrote part of verse 23 but then realized his mistake and went back to the beginning of verse 23.  Interestingly, not only the Greek text, but also the Latin, display this mistake, and both have been corrected via the addition of dots (a way of signifying that the words were not to be read).  Something similar occurs in the text of Matthew 7:4-5 on page 36.  Similarly on the last line of page 44, the copyist has left space at the end of Matthew 9:35.
            The text of Matthew concludes on page 129.  Below the large subscription, there is a list of scenes from the Gospels to be depicted in illustrations – although no such illustrations appear in the codex.
           The kephalaia-list for Mark begins on page 131, in two columns, all accompanied by interlinear Latin.  
            The text of Mark begins on page 133.  It should be pointed out that although the chapter-titles in Matthew are typically embedded in the text, in Mark the chapter-titles usually appear at the top and/or bottom of the page; chapter-numbers appear in the margin, and the first letter of the chapter is written slightly larger than other capitals.  However, this was not done with complete consistency; on page 163 a title appears within the text, and after page 176 titles are embedded in the text more often than they appear in the margins.
            On page 159, it appears that Mark 7:16 was not written by the main copyist, but he left significant space empty on the line after the end of 7:15.  An asterisk-like mark appears in the left margin.  Mark 7:16 has been added in the memorial-space in light brown ink.
              On page 167, it looks like the final words of Mark 9:29 were initially not included, but blank space was reserved for them – and they have been written in the blank space (in Greek and Latin) in a lighter ink (and the spelling was adjusted by a later corrector). 
            Memorial-space appears on the last line of page 170, where a blank space appears instead of “Do not defraud” (Μη αποστερήσης) in Mark 10:19; these words, however, have not been added; the blank space here has remained blank. 
            After the subscription of Mark’s Gospel, Luke’s kephalaia-list begins on page 191, in two columns. 
On page 195 the text of Luke begins.  On page 196, diple-marks appear in the margin alongside Luke 1:12-17, as if perhaps the scribe had seen this passage as an expansion of an Ode in a Psalter.  Zachariah’s song is also accompanied by emphatic diple-marks beginning in Luke 1:68.
            Throughout Luke, chapter-titles are embedded in the text; occasionally a title appears at the top of the page but this seems more by chance than design.
            The genealogy in chapter 3 is formatted in three columns.
             On page 263 there is a very thorough erasure in the text of Luke 13:25; probably a phrase was accidentally repeated (from και to και). 
            On page 298 (pictured) we find the remarkable unique reading on the last like:  Jesus tells Peter to strengthen his eyes in Luke 22:32.
            On page 300, Luke 22:43-44 is included in the text; asterisks accompany each line of the passage in the margin.
            The chapter-list for the Gospel of John is on page 316, in two columns. 
The Gospel of John begins on page 318.
On page 333, John 5:4 is included in the text, beginning with a reference to an angel of the Lord.   
The text of John ends on page 395.


Codex Δ probably has a very close historical relationship to Codex G (012), also known as Codex Boernerianus, a copy of the Pauline Epistles.  If they were not different parts of the same manuscript, then they were probably produced by copyists who intended for them to be volumes in the same multi-volume New Testament set.  Both manuscripts are the same size, and both are Greek-Latin, and both are written in basically the same script.  Both manuscripts feature notes in the margins that mention Gottschalk of Orbais, a religious figure who lived in the 800s.  
Pages 348 and 349 of Codex Delta.

The copyists of Δ and G used memorial-space to signify their awareness of the existence of some passages that they did not find in their exemplars:  in Codex Δ, after the copyist wrote John 7:52, he began the next line with the first phrase from John 8:12 – but then left a prolonged blank space.  John 8:12 resumes (from the beginning of the verse) on the next page.  The blank space in Δ is not large enough to contain all of John 7:53-8:11 but its purpose – to signify that the copyist was aware of the absent verses – is unmistakable.  Similarly in Codex 012, the copyist did not write the contents of Romans 16:25-27 after 14:23 – but he left a gap after 14:23, conveying that he was used to seeing more text there than what was in his exemplar.

  In the next post, we shall explore the types of text that are in Codex Δ:  its text has been described as mainly Byzantine in Matthew, Luke, and John, and mainly Alexandrian in Mark. But there’s more to the story.    


Daniel Buck said...
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Daniel Buck said...
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Daniel Buck said...

As I mentioned earlier, that's not a spontaneous break in Delta, but at the precise location of a lexical break. It's not as if (a la Wallace) the scribe got that far and suddenly realized he'd skipped over the PA.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I need a clarification about the Latin interlinear text:
The manuscript in:
Mt 1:7 omit the text "genuit" Asa;
Mt 1:8 omit 1° "iosaphath";
Mt 1:10 omit "genuit manassem/n";
Mt 1:12 omit "zorobabel";
There is a known reason?
Thanks in Advance

Daniel Buck said...

In Matthew 1:7, the Latin follows the Greek omission.