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Re: orion-list writing systems (4 screens)
Hebrew has 27 members in its symbol set, not 22. The 5 finals are
the only variant forms that have lasted - and they were designed to
indicate the end of a word when a text was written in comprehension
units (breathings; "in scripto continuo"). There really is no need
for them when the text is written in semantic units.
I know that you have been studying the documents themselves and not
editions. Why do you think I am willing to hold discourse with you
on the subject.
>This claim that individual scribes of Qumran texts have no
>non-meaningful variability in the way they write the same letters
>is completely incorrect. (How much experience do you have
>with studying photographs of Qumran texts?)
I did NOT claim that there are _no_ non-meaningful variations... don't
take things too far or "put words in my mouth." (Well, actually, quite a
bit... even if it was indicated indirectly by a reference to the Oxford
series and a huge fascimile collection at a library... as well as photos
slowly collected over many years as they became available.)
>Anyone who has
>worked on Qumran texts knows scribes are not typewriters.
Anyone who has worked with ANY pre-printing press or hand-written documents
knows that. Even in something as carefully executed as _The Book of Kells_
there are differences - and the cursive square Armaic used in so many of
the Qumran texts will show much more individualism. What does not vary -
in terms of isolating hands - is the angle of attack, an individual's
tendency to leave graphs open, or a manner of writing "finishing" strokes.
>[snip] In pHab the same scribe
>closed some Samekhs and other Samekhs are not quite closed.
Greg, you are telling us that there are two scribes...
>[snip] You have NO case of a Qumran scribe writing letters in which
>there is NOT random, non-meaningful variability within a certain range.
The key words are "within a certain range" ... no? As far as mentally
filling in the graph, the human capacity for pattern recognition is
the key to script design <G>.
>I sure wish I knew where you were reading, so I could look at the
>photo and follow along too . . .
It looks like we are talking about 1QSa, 1Q28a.
>OK now something specific that I can find. I have your reference
>and the photograph in DJD II, Plate 1, Frg 4 with Ex 4.28-31, and
>Frg 5 with Ex 6.5-6.
>Now before you start telling me that what I am seeing, since it is
>in disagreement with your theory, is a different scribe, I'm
>willing to state categorically (subject to change only upon
>specific and detailed demonstration) that these two fragments
>were written by the same scribe.
I hope you like the taste of electrons, because we have two different
scribes on the fragments < -- Great Big Grin -- >.
Compare, for example, the alephs, bets, nuns, yods, and sins on Frag. 4
(Ex 4:28-31) with those on Frag 5 (Ex 6:5-6). Always look to the bound
forms for ideographs; the scribes cannot help writing their bound forms a
certain way. Take a word like 'beni' which appears on both frags and is a
bound form. In fact, both scribes "ligature" the nun-yod AND use stress
notation (the elongation of the yod is stress notation in action - it's
the equivalent of modern Greek 'accents' and means this is where the
Can you see how the scribe of Frag 4 uses a much sharper angle of attack
in his approach stroke, a much steeper angle on the "head" stroke of the
bet, and adds a "tail" at the bottom right, while the scribe of Frag 5
uses the merest 'chip' of an approach stroke and does not add a tail?
Can you see how the 'bet-resh' in line 4 of Frag 4 shows exactly the same
'bet' ideograph, in other words, this is the way this scribe writes 'bet'.
The nun-yods are also different. The scribe of 4 writes his nuns with an
angled, straight line lower stroke while the scribe of 5 rounds his nuns.
(On 5 the nun-yod of 'ani' is not ligatured; but can you see how the 'nun'
swings down below the lower limit? That's stress notation again.)
Now, the shin/sins. On Frag 5 there is only the one 'sin' in the word
'Israel'. The central stroke is clearly above the base and the aleph
again shows stress notation.
On frag 4 we have a number of shins in line 2 (moshe, shel-, asher).
On this line, the scribe always keeps the central stroke of the shins
within the outer legs, but there is no question that in 'shel' and 'moshe'
the central stroke comes right down the center, while the 'shin' in
'asher' meets the left-hand leg above the base... On the other hand,
in line 3, the sin in 'Israel' extends well below the base. (Note that
the 'aleph' in 'Israel', as in frag 5, is again written with stress
notation.) On line 4, the 'shin' in 'asher' appears to also extend below
the line, but close examination shows that this is a blob of ink and not a
purposeful extension. The last 'shin' on the frag is also a central stroke.
>So to conclude my bad student objection from the back of the
>class to your lecture, I say: what you claim exists simply
>isn't there, in any known data. Now do I pass or fail your
Object away - but before you do, please learn to isolate scribal hands.
Until then, I am afraid that you will fail.
PS: Sadly enough, don't you realize that I can no longer take your word
for it that there is only one scribe on 4QpNah?
Dr. Rochelle I. Altman, co-coordinator IOUDAIOS-L firstname.lastname@example.org
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