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Re: orion-list writing systems, details

Robert Kraft wrote:

> Surely she [Rochelle] does not really think her approach is "objective" (see
> below),
> insofar as she is quite clear about making a variety of unverifiable
> assumptions about how scribes/copyists invariably operated (and still
> operate, in some cultures), what they can or cannot do, what they do or
> don't intend, etc. By definition, her scribes operate on a strictly
> controlled and predictable level, but there is no way to know what the
> situation might have been in the real world with any given individual who
> might indeed consciously or unconsciously vary from the ideal pattern.
> What is true "by definition" is not necessarily true "de facto."

I wonder, Bob, if part of the problem you're having isn't due to the fact that
you and Rochelle are working with different understandings of "scribe."  Your
writing of "scribe/copyist" suggests that you make no distinction between these
two, whereas Rochelle seems to use "scribe" where I would speak of "copyist."
Though one may choose not to employ different terms, to make a conceptual
distinction between the two would seem to be as important as it is to distinguish
between textual-criticism (cf. "copyist") and literary-criticism (cf. "scribe").
It seems to me we can with reasonable confidence speak about what "copyists" do
or do not do.

Al (freshly primed by Gene Ulrich's recent book which likewise uses "scribe" for
both) :-)

Albert Pietersma
Near&Middle Eastern Civilizations
University of Toronto
Toronto M5S 1C1
email albert.pietersma@utoronto.ca
homepage http://www.chass.utoronto.ca:8080/~pietersm/

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