Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2008.01.47

James Keith Elliott, The Collected Biblical Writings of T. C. Skeat. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 113.   Leiden:  Brill, 2004.  Pp. xxxiv, 299.  ISBN 90-04-13920-6.  $174.00.  

Reviewed by Robert A. Kraft, University of Pennsylvania, Emeritus
Word count: 4283 words

The late Theodore Cressy Skeat (1907-2003)1 is probably best known to biblical scholars as the co-author (with H. J. M. Milne) of Fragments of an Unknown Gospel and Other Early Christian Papyri (British Museum publication, 1935) and Scribes and Correctors of the Codex Sinaiticus (British Museum publication, 1938), and related work on those and other early biblical manuscripts in Greek.2 He will be known to a somewhat wider circle, including especially papyrologists and classicists, as co-author (with Colin H. Roberts; actually Skeat updates and edits Roberts' earlier essay on the topic) of The Birth of the Codex (London: Oxford Press for the British Academy, 1983; reissued 1987) and other writings dealing with papyrological and codicological matters. He never held an academic post, but spent his life as keeper of manuscripts in the British Museum, from which he retired in 1972. In that capacity, he published or co-authored nearly 100 books and articles (including many brief notes and review-type items), mostly dealing with antiquity (see xxvii-xxxiv). A theme that recurs in much of his work concerns numerical relationships, whether with reference to Ptolemaic chronology or ancient mathematics or economic matters. This interest is also very evident in his "biblical writings," where he is often found counting pages, letters, words, and spaces in the fragmentary materials with which he is dealing.

J. Keith Elliott "maintained a lively and vigorous correspondence with Skeat during his last 30 years" (xi), that is, after Skeat's retirement, and makes effective use of some of those letters in his introduction to the volume (ix-xxvi). Elliott also contributes a useful appendix entitled "T. C. Skeat on the Dating and Origin of Codex Vaticanus," which originally was given in French at the 2001 conference in Geneva on the Codex Vaticanus (281-294, in English; see also xiv) -- and, of course, Elliott prepared the aforementioned bibliography3 along with choosing and editing the 23 republished essays included in the anthology and providing indices of biblical citations, names, and subjects. There are occasional typographical glitches in the resulting volume, but they seldom interfere with the meaning.4 At one point Elliott's word choice slightly distorts Skeat's position in a manner worth noting: he speaks of Skeat's "abiding fascination with the Christian origins of the codex" (xxvi), although Skeat clearly does not attribute the codex origins to Christians (Martial refers to parchment codices in Rome already in the late first century CE), but he is fascinated with "the origins of the Christian codex" and perhaps the Christian origins of the papyrus codex (as a development from the earlier parchment codex; see 46).

Indeed, Elliott has seen fit to include as an appendix Skeat's "whimsical dramatization" or "one-act play" (xix) on "The Formation of the Four-Gospel Codex: A Dramatized Account of How it may have Come About" (269-278), which Skeat circulated informally to various correspondents including Elliott in 1994 ("it might provide you with some amusement"; xix). This may be somewhat painful for students of early Christianity to read because of its woefully anachronistic assumptions about early Christian activities and concerns ("bishops of Antioch, Alexandria, Ephesus, Corinth and Rome" meet at a house in Antioch in 90 CE to discuss the problem of "the proliferation of Gospels" [269]), but it also helps contextualize Skeat's relationship to the biblical and parabiblical materials he discusses. He sees them through very "conservative," even relatively uncritical "popular" eyes, not as a scholar immersed in the critical study of early Christian history and texts. The other fanciful appendix, on "The Arrival of the Fifty Bibles in Constantinople" (279-280), is much briefer and less painful, both because it is dealing with a period of Roman/Christian history about which we have more information, and because it was actually prepared for public exposure, "as Skeat's only direct contribution to the Geneva conference of 2001 on Codex Vaticanus" where it was read aloud, in a French translation (xix).

Elliott has arranged the main body of the anthology in three quite uneven sections: Ancient Book Production (8 articles; 3-105), New Testament Manuscripts (8 articles; 109-240), and Textual Variants (7 articles; 243-266).

The articles on textual variants are brief and pointed. For the most part they deal with passages in which Skeat considers the preserved readings to be impossible, or current interpretations inaccurate. He engages in high-level conjectural reconstructions of what may have given rise to various "nonsense" readings or other semantic misunderstandings in the New Testament writings, always with an eye to reconstructing the "original" text even where that involves some awkwardness as in Matthew 6.28, where Skeat argues that the Matthean author adopted an already corrupted Q reading ("how they grow" αὐξάνει), a more original form of which lies behind POxy 655 ("they do not card" οὐ ξαίνει; 246). Skeat had been concerned with this passage because Codex Sinaiticus has a corrected text here, of which the almost illegible underwriting was deciphered with the help of POxy 655 ("unknown sayings of Jesus") and in basic agreement with it. Elliott notes that this earliest of Skeat's NT textcritical articles (1938) "has had the greatest impact on recent scholarship ... due to James Robinson's acceptance of Skeat's conclusions about the original reading of Sinaiticus at Matt. 6:28b and the text of P.Oxy. 655 to support his reconstruction of Q at this point" (xx). Of course, the recent discussions are also influenced by the identification of POxy 655 with the Nag Hammadi Gospel of Thomas, not yet available to Skeat, the Coptic of which unfortunately does not include these few lines. Skeat struggles to understand how the first hand of Sinaiticus could have had this "primitive" reading, unattested elsewhere in the synoptic tradition, and concludes that it may have been "a brilliant conjectural emendation" somewhere along the textcritical route to Sinaiticus (246). It would be simpler to attribute it to Matthew's author, although that leaves unresolved how it escaped all other extant synoptic witnesses.

Skeat's suggested solutions to the nonsense readings at Mark 7.3 (πυγμῇ; 250) and Luke 6.1 ("second first sabbath"; 254f) are less complex but more imaginative -- and perhaps somewhat far fetched. He conjectures that the author of Mark may have sent to his copyist-publisher a corrected draft ("written in a rapid cursive") that was misunderstood, with the final letters of the cancelled dittography ἐαν μὴ still visible, which the "professional scribe" transformed into πυγμῇ ("in a fist"), "with the result that the entire manuscript tradition was saddled with this nonsensical reading" (250f). As for Luke 6.1, Skeat again sees a partial dittography as the culprit (following a suggestion made by Burkitt). An ancient scribe found the letters ΒΑΤΩ from σαββάτῳ ("Sabbath") written twice, and interpreted the ΒΑ as numbers (two, one) and the ΤΩ as showing agreement with the preceding word. The result is the "ghost word" (using a "convenient phrase" coined by his scholar grandfather, W. W. Skeat) δευτεροπρώτῳ ("second-first") that was retained by a large number of the textual witnesses (154-257). Skeat concludes that "future translators who decide to ignore the fictitious words can at least feel reassured (251). Since Skeat is very self-conscious about how little his writings have influenced subsequent biblical scholarship, he would be interested to see the RSV notes: at Mark 6.3, "One Greek word is of uncertain meaning and is not translated," and at Luke 6.1 the strange reading is relegated to a footnote. Nevertheless, Danker's new edition of Bauer's Lexicon (BDAG, 2000) fails to include Skeat's articles in its bibliographies to these words.

Another sort of conjectural emendation, even more daring (and strained), is suggested for Mark 3.20 where "not even to eat bread" μηδὲ ἄρτον φαγεῖν "must surely be corrupt" for "not even to see him" αὐτον μηδὲ φανῆναι -- "the original" reading according to Skeat (248). Supporting evidence is presented from three passages in Sinaiticus where a confusion of ΑΡΤ- / ΑΥΤ- is in evidence (and is corrected by hand C), and from another where ΦΑΙΝ- / ΦΑΓ- have been confused.

Skeat's essay "Did Paul Write to 'Bishops and Deacons' at Philippi? A Note on Philippians 1:1" (258-261) reconstructs the fragmentary P46 for this passage using textual statistics, and concludes that although the text of the papyrus was significantly shorter than the more normal text, it is impossible to tell exactly what was omitted (omission is a tendency of that scribe).

The other two notes in the "textual variants" section have more to do with interpretation than with text. Skeat attempts to provide support for the contention that Mark originally ended at 16.8 (as in Sinaiticus) by observing that "there are many abrupt, or seemingly abrupt, endings in literature" (modern and medieval examples are noted), and that the abrupt ending matches the rather abrupt beginning (252-253), for whatever all that may be worth. Finally, Skeat argues that the presumably authentic if ambiguous words of "Paul" in 2 Timothy 4.13, "the books μάλιστα the parchments," reflect an idiom paralleled in some other actual ancient letters where μάλιστα has the sense of "namely" or "i.e." (262-266). BDAG (2000) does not note this suggestion, published in 1979, although a recent article by V. S. Poythress (JTS 2002) challenges Skeat's reading of this and related passages; Elliott reports on Skeat's unpublished response to Poythress (xxi).

To this section can also be added some other unpublished comments also reported in Elliott's introductory essay (xxiii-xxv). On Luke 4.17-20 and Roger Bagnall's discussion of whether the various readings for "opening" and "closing" implied scroll or codex (Journal of Theological Studies 51 [2000] 577-88), Skeat observed that "Luke must have been aware that the Jews did not use codices in their synagogues at any time," and concluded that "personally I find Bagnall's attempt to differentiate 'unrolling' and 'unfolding' too fine-spun" (xxv). Regarding C. M. Tuckett's attempt to reconstruct the unabbreviated name "Jesus" in two section of P52 on the Gospel of John (NTS 47 [2001] 544-48), Skeat shows that in terms of his letter counting "the result is inconclusive," but then adds: "I do not see how Tuckett's suggestions can possibly be accepted. If they were, they would be the only known NT manuscript in which the name was written out in full, and the fact that these are both in lacunae does strain incredulity [sic]" (xxiv). In both instances, Skeat shows himself wedded to premises based on silence (Jews didn't use codices in synagogues; NT manuscripts never write "Jesus" in full), which insure that possible counter evidence cannot be entertained.

Skeat's main contributions to biblical studies have not been in these sorts of textual or semantic details, but especially in his work on Codex Sinaiticus and the closely related, in various ways, Codices Vaticanus and (to a lesser extent) Alexandrinus. Most of what is reproduced in the present volume connects in one way or another to his work on Sinaiticus and to early Christian book production. When Sinaiticus became a fixture at the British Museum early in 1934 the young T.C. Skeat was in place to help reexamine and preserve that material, and he helped produce the aforementioned volume on Scribes and Correctors (1938) as well as extensive notes connected with that process. One result of that research was the conviction that dictation had been involved in the production of (at least some parts of) Sinaiticus, to which a section is devoted in Scribes and Correctors (55-59) and developed further in the opening essay (1958, item A1) of the collection under review. Such use of dictation also fits well with the idea that Sinaiticus had been prepared in some haste, perhaps in response to the emperor Constantine's urgent order to Eusebius (around 332 CE) to produce 50 vellum copies of the scriptures -- a colossal undertaking under any conditions. Skeat seems to have vacillated about this latter hypothesis. In his 1969 essay on "Early Christian Book-Production" (item A2) he writes that "it cannot be proved, and is in fact on the whole improbable" that Sinaiticus and Vaticanus "are survivors from the consignment ordered by Constantine" (54), yet already in the 1958 essay (A1) he is tempted by that theory and certainly by 1999 (item B7), he seems to have resolved all his hesitations (223ff), and wonders why others don't also agree.

Although Skeat receives no special mention (beyond appearing in the brief "further reading" section at the end) in the popularly written and unfootnoted little booklet by Scot McKendrick (current "head of western manuscripts" at the British Library) issued in connection with the British Library's leadership in the "ambitious international project focused on the Codex Sinaiticus" (43),5 McKendrick has clearly been attentive to Skeat's contributions to the study of that codex. The McKendrick publication resembles the genre "exhibit catalog," with many beautiful color pictures of manuscripts (most of the oldest biblical codices) and events (e.g. on the purchase of the codex Sinaiticus from Russia by the British Museum in 1933) interspersed with the approximately 23 pages of large print narrative. The blurb on the back cover is fairly accurate -- "The compelling story of how it [Codex Sinaiticus] was created, how it came to be divided and dispersed, and how it will soon be brought together again and made accessible to a worldwide audience for the first time, is told here." McKendrick reports on the scholarly discussions, without naming the participants, and without selecting definitive answers from among the various theories -- including those of his predecessor Skeat.

To return to the Skeat anthology, probably Skeat should not have been so upset that his hypothesis regarding the origin of codex Sinaiticus as part of the Constantine requisition, which also has had other advocates, has not met with general acceptance. Apart from the question of exactly what Eusebius thought Constantine was requesting under the general title "sacred scriptures," Skeat admits that there is no reason to believe that Sinaiticus was ever dispatched to Constantine at Constantinople, but explains this by pointing to various awkward features of the Codex (not the least of which are the unwieldy format and the sloppiness of one of the four copyists, scribe B). Eusebius simply decided not to send such a flawed product, but to keep it at Caesarea. Vaticanus did get sent off to Constantinople. Skeat points to strong paleographical similarities between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, including some nearly identical decorated colophons, to argue for their virtually identical scribal origins. The case for Caesarea rests rather tenuously on a couple of strange variants in two sections of Sinaiticus written by scribe A: Matt 13.54 "into Antipatris" (not "into his homeland [ΠΑΤΡ́ΙΔΑ]"), and Acts 8.5, "Caesarea" (not "Samaria"). Skeat is quick to paint the entire codex, as well as Vaticanus, with this Caesarean brush, without discussing factors such as the possible geographical background of scribe A (or the person dictating that material) or the complexity of creating a biblical pandect (a mega-codex) out of the available exemplars in the early 4th century, which almost certainly would not have been textually homogeneous. "Antipatris" is doubtless a mistake made at the time of copying -- it has been corrected in the manuscript, perhaps even before the ink was dry; "Caesarea" could well have been a reading already found in the exemplar being used.

Interestingly, Elliott is much more explicitly alert to the 4th century transitional situation in the production of such mega-codices than Skeat seems to be. Witness this excerpt from Elliott's Appendix C on "T. C. Skeat on the Dating and Origin of Codex Vaticanus": "The different sequences [of biblical books] in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, and the different contents [e.g. Hermas and Barnabas in Sinaiticus] alert us to the fact that these were pioneering times when books and collections of books were being gathered together from previously independent and isolated codices to form what was intended to be an authoritative and demonstrable assemblage of books that defined the compass of the Christian canon in Greek" (283). Elliott gives an excellent summary of the various arguments about the origins of both Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and while doing his job of reporting Skeat's views, he also shows that there is little solid evidence by which to arrive at firm conclusions. McKendrick echoes this approach: "A commitment to include in one volume so many texts, thus confirming the approved selection -- or canon -- of Christian scripture, required a large number of manuscripts of individual texts or smaller groups of texts from which to copy the text of the Codex" (McKendrick 14). Skeat does not discuss such basic complications.

Otherwise, with reference to specific biblical manuscripts, Skeat traces the history of Sinaiticus (B8 and passim), Vaticanus (B3, B7), and Alexandrinus (B2) from their supposed origins to the present locations. He also provides detailed codicological analysis of the Chester Beatty Gospels and Acts (P45, from mid 3rd century; B4 and B5) and argues that the oldest extant fragments of a four gospel codex are those identified as P4, P64, and P67 -- all from the same "late second century" codex (B6) -- a judgment that continued to inspire discussion and disagreement among the experts (see xvi, n.12). Skeat enjoys dealing with numbers, whether in discussing chronologies (e.g. of Ptolemaic Egypt) or ancient economics (e.g. the cost of papyrus) or in counting lines and letters to establish general codicological features (e.g. of the aforementioned gospel codices). His calculations and arguments are not always convincing -- e.g. if the expected sequence of fiber patterns in the estimated 56 four-page quires of P45 (vertical/horizontal [fold] horizontal/vertical) is sometimes reversed even in the dozen or so quires from which fragments have survived, how can we be sure which of the other 40 or so conjectured quires followed the "normal" pattern, and draw firm conclusions from that reconstruction as Skeat does (B5)? -- but are always suggestive, and the discussions can only benefit from having such micro-details available for further evaluation.

At a more general level, Skeat is especially interested in the early history of the book (codex), especially as it relates to Christian usage. As already noted above, Elliott misstates the situation by claiming that Skeat had an "abiding fascination with the Christian origins of the codex" (xxvi), but Skeat certainly was concerned with "the origin of the Christian codex" (A7). It is partly in this context that Skeat denies that papyrus was especially expensive in the Greco-Roman world (A4, A6), or that scrolls were particularly awkward to use (A3-5). He does not trace the origins of the Christian codex to such economic or utilitarian factors, as some others have done. Rather, in what I can only describe as highly improbable wishful and anachronistic thinking, Skeat would like to believe that the appearance of the Gospel of John at the end of the first century, along with the proliferation of "gospels" in addition to the synoptics, led to a crisis among Christian leaders ("the Church") who decided to safeguard "the existing four Gospels" (84) and "to include all four in a codex, the new form of book recently developed in Rome" (85). "Of course other Gospels still circulated freely, and continued to be read and quoted. But inevitably the selection of the Four and their physical unity in the Codex gave them, right from the start, an authority and prestige which no competitor could hope to rival. The Four-Gospel Canon and the Four-Gospel Codex are thus inseparable" (86-87).

Skeat is quite out of his fields of expertise at this point, and even finds the existence of codices of individual canonical gospels in the second century to be evidence that a prior four-Gospel codex tradition was already established and was imitated in choosing the codex format over that of the scroll even for the circulation of individual gospels! His idea that in opting for the four-gospel codex standard, "there must have been correspondence between the major churches and perhaps conferences" (85), is playfully (but also with serious intent) developed in Appendix A: "The Formation of the Four-Gospel Codex: a dramatized account of how it may have come about." While Skeat never intended the latter piece to be published, it does illuminate some of the (it seems to me) anachronistic thinking present already in the published article cited above (A7) -- unity of Christian leaders on matters of gospel canon is assumed, council-like decisions are made that affect all Christendom, at the beginning of the second century! In fairness to Skeat, he does close A7 with a paragraph that underlines the conjectural nature of these suggestions. Nevertheless, along the way Skeat has taught us valuable things about many of the technological, economic, and conceptual factors involved in transition from scroll to codex, and has provoked his readers to search for more adequate solutions to this fascinating phenomenon of the appropriation of the codex format in early Christian circles.

For the reader interested mainly in the larger issues treated by Skeat, including some of his privately expressed ideas, Elliott's introduction and Appendix C should suffice. There is significant repetition between some of the articles and, as noted above, some evidence of development -- or vacillation - of thought. Elliott has not done any significant supplementation or modification of the previously published materials, beyond inserting cross references here and there (and missing some opportunities for more). Some typographical and similar blemishes occur, whether taken over from the original publications or introduced in the process of creating the anthology (see note 3 below). Perhaps the single most frustrating aspect of the book for most readers, and especially for those relatively unfamiliar with the subject matter, is the almost universal failure to provide English translations of key passages in Greek, Latin, French, German, Italian, etc. The old scholarly fiction that the reader ought easily to handle all those languages is preserved here, and Elliott does nothing to change that. It is a pity, for some of the arguments will be even more difficult to follow under these circumstances, which hardly advances the causes in which Skeat had invested so much time and effort. The same conceit compromises the utility of The Birth of the Codex (Roberts and Skeat, 1983), which is badly in need of updating and also shares some of the simplistic ideas about early Christianity, but even so, deserves to be better known and more widely used than it is.

In the end, Skeat is in some ways one of those almost nameless giants on whose shoulders we stand for certain very technical aspects of our studies where he clearly excelled (papyrology, codicology, paleography). He has much to contribute at the level of detailed analysis of the ancient artifacts and selected implications to be drawn therefrom. For "biblical studies," his additional direct contributions are less significant although not uninteresting. He made no claim to be a historian of early Christianity, and his occasional attempts to address that subject are more likely to be challenging than they are persuasive. Although some of his more bold published statements might seem to suggest otherwise, in person Skeat was a meek and modest British gentleman scholar (as Elliott also reminds us) with a keen eye for detail who will be sorely missed by those who knew and worked with him.The editor, series, and publisher deserve our thanks for this beautifully bound and attractively presented monument to aspects of his work.

Table of contents

PREFACE (vii), INTRODUCTION (ix-xxvi), and BIBLIOGRAPHY (xxvii-xxxiv) by J. K. Elliott


A1. The Use of Dictation in Ancient Book Production (Proc Brit Acad 42, 1956) 3-32

A2. Early Christian Book Production: Papyri and Manuscripts (Cambr Hist of Bible 2, 1969) 33-59

A3. Two Notes on Papyrus (Montevecchi Festschrift, 1981) 60-64

A4. The Length of the Standard Papyrus Roll and the Cost-advantage of the Codex (ZPE 18, 1982) 65-70

A5. Roll versus Codex -- a New Approach? (ZPE 84, 1990) 71-72

A6, Irenaeus and the Four-Gospel Canon (NovT 34, 1992) 73-78

A7. The Origin of the Christian Codex (ZPE 102, 1994) 79-87

A8. Was Papyrus Regarded as "Cheap" or "Expensive" in the Ancient World? (Aegyptus 75, 1995) 88-105


B1a. Four Years' Work on the Codex Sinaiticus (Daily Telegraph of London, 1938) 109-113

B1b. Striking Results of Experts' Detective Work (Daily Telegraph of London, 1938) 113-118

B2. The Provenance of the Codex Alexandrinus (JTS 6, 1955) 119-121

B3. The Codex Vaticanus in the Fifteenth Century (JTS 35, 1984) 122-134

B4. (With B. C. McGing) Notes on Chester Beatty Biblical Papyrus I (Gospels and Acts) (Hermathena 150, 1991) 135-140

B5. A Codicological Analysis of the Chester Beatty Papyrus Codex of the Gospels and Acts (P 45) (Hermathena 155, 1993) 141-157

B6. The Oldest Manuscript of the Four Gospels? (NTS 43, 1997) 158-192

B7. The Codex Sinaiticus, the Codex Vaticanus and Constantine (JTS 50, 1999) 193-237

B8. The Last Chapter in the History of the Codex Sinaiticus (NovT 42, 2000) 238-240


C1. The Lilies of the Field (ZNW 37, 1938) 243-246 -- Mt 6.28 (S*) & GThom

C2. ΑΡΤΟΝ ΦΑΓΕΙΝ: A Note on Mark 3:20-21 (ASP 42, 2001) 247-249

C3. A Note on πυγμῇ in Mark 7:3 (JTS 41, 1990) 250-251

C4. St. Mark 16:8: A Modern Greek Parallel (JTS 50, 1949) 252-253

C5. The 'Second-First' Sabbath (Luke 6:1): The Final Solution (NovT 30, 1988) 254-257

C6. Did Paul Write to "Bishops and Deacons" at Philippi? A Note on Philippians 1:1 (NovT 37, 1995) 258-261

C7. 'Especially the Parchments': A Note on 2 Timothy 4:13 (JTS 30, 1979) 262-266


A. The Formation of the Four-Gospel Codex: A Dramatized Account of how it may have come about 269-278

B. The Arival of the Fifty Bibles in Constantinople 279-280

C. T. C. Skeat on the Dating and Origin of Codex Vaticanus (by J. K. Elliott, originally in French for the 2001 conference on Vaticanus -- see xiv) 281-294

INDICES (Biblical Citations 295-296; Names 297-298; Subjects 299).


1.   Obituaries: Theodore Cressy Skeat passed away in June of 2003 at the age of 96. Details of his long life can be found in the various obituary notices, including those by his close colleagues J. Keith Elliott (online), Dorothy Thompson (online, with a photo), and J. David Thomas in Aegyptus: Rivista Italiana di Egittologia e di Papirologia 82 (2002 [sic! 2004 or later]) 249-251), plus relevant bibliography (251-257).

2.   A shorter version of this review appeared in the Review of Biblical Literature (03 Sept. 2005).

3.   Missing from this otherwise very comprehensive bibliography are (at least) the following: (Joint editor with E. G. Turner), Greco-Roman Memoirs 33-50 (London: Egypt Exploration Society 1955-1968), including Greek Ostraca in the Bodleian Library 2-3, Oxyrhynchus Papyri 23-35, Antinoopolis Papyri 2-3, and Papyri from Hermopolis. Review of C. H. Roberts, Manuscript, Society, and Belief in Early Christian Egypt, Journal of Theological Studies 31 (1980) 183-186. P.Turner 19, in Papyri, Greek and Egyptian, edited by various hands in honour of Eric Gardner Turner on the occasion of his Seventieth Birthday (Greco-Roman Memoirs 68; London: Egypt Exploration Society 1981). P.Oxy. 3523, in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri 50 (Graeco-Roman Memoirs 70; London: Egypt Exploration Society 1983).

4.   List of types of errata:

xiv line 3 of 2nd full paragraph: period should be a comma

xviii line 4 from below in the text (at n. 18), missing a period

xix (3rd line from bottom) and xx (next to last line of quoted letter): faulty Greek accent (ok on 254)

xx line 2 misunderstands Skeat p 255: TWI is not def art, but artificial agreement ending

xx line 2 of lower paragraph: 1937 should perhaps be 1938 (date of publication)

10 top line: omit "that"

43 line 13 from below, add "to" ("was to be inscribed")

58 (Bibliography) line 4 of 2nd paragraph: "sections on writing materials and die physical make-up of manuscripts" (what does "die" represent? "the"?)

90 line 10 of first full paragraph: can for con

97 top line, possibly "they could lay their hands on" (add could)

98 line two of no. 6: can "bitter" be correct? Perhaps "bitten"?

102 line 3 from bottom of section 7: can't be "60" -- perhaps "16"?

103 line 2 of first full paragraph: "is" not "it"

129 last sentence of paragraph no. 7: insert "title"?

149 line 7 from below: add "more" ("15 more complete pages")

174 lists P67 as P64 in the statistics, and disagrees with 175 on amount in fol. A (618 or 628?)

183 last line of text, superfluous period

201 line 2, superfluous comma

209 line 3 from end of section 1: "is," not "in"

231 line 2 from below: "had," not "bad"

286 end of first paragraph: put "(italics mine)" outside the quote marks

291 line 2: omits "century"

291 item "1)" something wrong in lines 1-3: omit "has been made"?

Cross-reference confusions or omissions:

156 n.10 (should refer to p.149 above, not p.16)

178 "overleaf" (diagram is now on the same page)

194 n.6 could use a cross-reference to article A1

206 "pp. 588-9 supra" refers to the original pagination

285 n.11 (and 287 n.15) could refer to item B7 (as in 286 n.12!).

5.   In a Monastery Library: Preserving Codex Sinaiticus and the Greek Written Heritage, by Scot McKendrick, with a brief final section (45-47) by Nicholas Pickwoad on "Preserving the Greek Written Heritage at the Monastery of St. Catherine, Mount Sinai" (London: The British Library, distributed by University of Chicago Press, 2007). Pp. 48. $13.00. ISBN 0-7123-4940-5.

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