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Thread: "marginal notes have been partially cut off by the ancient binder."

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    Christian Remembrancer - 1863

    The original size of the leaves was rather larger than at present. This is proved by the loss of letters from notes added in the right-hand margin, and of the old quaternions, which were written in red at the top of the page. The present numbering of the quaternions was added previously to the binding of the Codex. The actual measurement of the leaves, as we now have them, is given in Plate XIX. of the photo-lithographs, from which it appears that a leaf measures 13 3/8 inches longitudinally, by 14 5/8 inches vertically.

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    With the Genesis fragment, we can see that at least a couple of extra lines were there before the Tischendorf

    Correction: 37 cm of parchment. That is the post-trim amount.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Let's stop for a second and look at a fragment in Genesis that was published in 1857.

    Genesis 23:19-24:20 3&side=v&zoomSlider=0

    Fragment of a sheet of the Codex Sinaiticus from the Tischendorf collection
    2 — The fragment was reproduced as illustration in the following publications:
    1)C. Tischendorf Monumenta sacra inedita. Nova collection II. Leipzig, 1857. S. XXXXVI, 321-322, Table 6;
    2) C. Tischendorf Appendix codicum celeberrimorum Sinaitici Vaticani Alexandrini. Lipsiae, 1867. S. XVI, 3-7;
    3) J.-B. Thibeaut. Monuments de la notation ekphonétique et hagiopolite de l'église grecque. St.-Petersburg, 1913. 2. Ill. no 2;
    4) H. Lake, K. Lake. Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus (et Friderico-Augustanus Lipsiensis). The New Testament… preserved in the Imperial Library of St.-Petersburg (The Old Testament etc.) now reproduced in facsimile from photographs… with a description and introduction. I-II. London, 1911-1922. (back to the text)

    Here is the 1857 page from Tischendorf .subscript.6vols.1857-1870/01.MonumentaSacraInedita.NCVA.FragEvangLucLibGen.v 1.Tischendorf.Subsc.1857.#page/n399/mode/2up

    Now go back to this page 3&side=v&zoomSlider=0

    Last edited by Steven Avery; 08-03-2018 at 05:35 AM.

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    Eric Kwakkel discusses the amount of blank space.

    Half Full, Half Empty: The Peculiar Medieval Page (June 5, 2015)

    The pages of the famous Codex Sinaiticus, a Greek New Testament copied around the middle of the fourth century, measures 381 x 345 mm (height x width), while the text itself only takes up 250×310 mm (height x width). A simple calculation reveals that the text takes up 58% of the page, while 42% is reserved for the outer margins. In other words, a little under half of this magnificent book is empty.
    My correction post is as follows:

    Nice discussion!
    One note, sort of a tweak.

    The original Sinaiticus, before the trimming (surely by Tischendorf) was quite a bit bigger. Using Metzger's numbers for the original size, the text is only 45.5% of the page, not 58%. However, Gregory's number would make it close to 50%.

    Details here:

    "marginal notes have been partially cut off by the ancient binder."

    Notice the Genesis fragment with large margins.

    And I can think of two reasons for the Tischendorf trimming.
    (1) Notes on the edges that could hurt the 4th century claims.
    (2) Ease of transport for heists.

    (1) is more likely since it matches claims that were made at the time that there were margin notes that were discomfiting to Tischendorf.

    And it is highly unlikely that Sinaiticus is more than 180 years old. So it does not make a good ancient or medieval example. However, there are other examples of low text to parchment ratios, like Codex Claromontanus.

    Steven Avery
    Dutchess County, NY
    Also from the blog post.

    Despite these add-ons, the schoolbook from c. 1100 is not really prepared to hold extensive notes. Baldwinus could have crammed more text in the margins, had he copied in a smaller script or increased the number of lines for the marginal text passages (presently, their number corresponds to the main text). However, this was not yet common practice in his day and age. In the scholastic age, by contrast, when university students needed to add a lot of extra information in the margin, these two tricks were applied, as seen in Fig. 3 – note the tiny script of the marginal notes, as well as the increased number of lines compared to the main text.
    Yet Sinaiticus has tinier script in spots.

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