Saturday, December 10, 2016

Enochic palimpsest

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: New Biblical Text Discovered. Thanks to a grant from the German Research Council (DFG - STU 469/1-1), multi-spectral imaging has revealed never-before-seen Ethiopic text in a palimpsest at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich).
Among the manuscripts catalogued by August Dillmann in his 1878 Verzeichnis der abessinischen Handschriften in the Royal (now State) Library of Berlin is one of the few known Ethiopic palimpsests, Petermann II Nachtrag 24, the upper writing of which, datable to the 17th century, includes a commentary on the Book of Revelation. Via funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (project no. STU 469/1-1, Textkritische Ausgabe und Übersetzung des 1 Henoch) and with the gracious support of the Orientabteilung of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Curator, Christoph Rauch), it was possible to conduct multi-spectral imaging of the manuscript from 24. October to 4. November 2016.

This work has enabled significant sections of the undertexts to be read, revealing fragments from at least nine earlier codices, the majority of which date to the 14th century and before; several texts contain archaic linguistic features attested in only the earliest stratums of Ge'ez material evidence. Manuscripts represented include Enoch, Acts, an Old Testament lectionary, a homiliary, and multiple hagiographic codices.

My bold-font emphasis.

Bit by bit, a letter at at time, whatever it takes. Until we're done.

Past posts on palimpsest manuscripts (manuscripts whose original text has been over-written with a new text) are collected here, plus here and here.