Monday, August 06, 2007

Hebrew palimpsest

As noted in a recent post, the Cairo Genizah contains several palimpsests, most of which contain very early copies of rabbinic texts written over Christian ones. Some speculated that this was done purposely, maybe in a kind of reversal of the Christian belief in supersessionism. Prof. Neil Danzig once wrote that he had identified a fragment where both layers of text were in Hebrew.

The latest issue of Revue Etudes Juives - vol. 166, 1-2, January-June 2007 - contains an article by three people, one of whom I have not heard of. Judith Olszowy-Schlanger is emerging as a prolific paleographer, and Nicholas de Lange is, among other things, a scholar of Hebrew-Greek translations. The main discovery presented in this article is that another palimpsest, CUL T-S F 17.4, also contains two layers of Hebrew text. The upper text contains part of Yerushalmi Sotah, and was published by Ginzberg in his Seride Yerushalmi. The lower text was unidentified until now. Using digital images manipulated on Adobe Photoshop and ultra-violet images taken the old-fashioned way, they identified it as containing a Hebrew-Greek biblical glossary. The biblical words are written in a Hebrew script which the researchers were not able to date on its own merits. Nor were they able to date the Greek script. Assuming the upper text is from the 10th century, they attribute the glossary to around 900 CE.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps add the third author's name:
Natalie Tchernetska

She is best known for her work on the Archimedes Palimpsest.

11:52 PM  
Blogger manuscriptboy said...

Thank you. As I said, I didn't recognize her name. I'm glad you were able to supply that information.

12:03 AM  

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