Euthalius - per cola et commata - κατὰ κῶλα καὶ κόμματα - sense-lines - Uspensky key to later date

Steven Avery

κατὰ κῶλα καὶ κόμματα
per cola et commata

Canonizing Paul: Ancient Editorial Practice and the Corpus Paulinum (2013)
Eric W. Scherbenske

(quote needed) p. 149

... dated to sometime near the end of the fourth century,180-p312 contemporaneous with the production of the Euthalian edition. p. 156

The alternative goals in these examples of Graeco-Roman and early Christian editorial practice serve to differentiate those pursued by Euthalius. Euthalius’s edition transmits none of these specific features of scholarly editions. Although the colophon associated with the Euthaliana and affixed to Codex Coislinianus discusses collation and correction, evidence indicates that it most likely represents a later interpolation into Euthalius’s edition not long after its publication. In contrast to preparation for a scholarly audience, Euthalius deliberately used colometric sense-lines to assist initiates or the unlearned—a utility that I have shown was echoed by other pagan and Christian writers. This is not to suggest that scholars could not have used or profited from the text or paratexts of Euthalius’s edition. The stichometric calculations, “Divine Testimonies,” and kephalaia could all be employed profitably by scholars; even the colometric lineation of the text, while designed for novices or initiates, could aid a scholar in translation. But such widespread utility should not overshadow the fact that Euthalius himself identified a catechetical purpose for his edition. While we would imagine that such catechesis would, of course, have theological content, Euthalius’s concerns also do not reflect the pressing theological Questions of the time in which he issued his edition. p. 156-157

C. Codex Coislinianus (Hp, 015) and the Euthaliana

Scholars noticed early on that the sixth-century manuscript Codex Coislinianus had numerous features in common with the Euthalian edition of Paul’s letters.181 Along with the transmission of a text arranged in Euthalian fashion, that is, roughly κατὰ κῶλα καὶ κόμματα., H preserves the Euthalian kephalaia, a colophon associated with the Euthaliana, and remnants of the Euthalian divine testimonies. Since Codex Coislinianus represents our earliest physical evidence for the Euthalian edition of the Corpus Paulinum, there is arguably no better candidate for investigating the relationship between the Euthalian text and paratexts. p. 157

Problems associated with the purported correction of Codex Coislinianus as reported in its colophon have already been broached. It was noted that, although Murphy did not rule out that H may have been corrected toward this manuscript of Pamphilus, he demonstrated that there was no necessary connection between the colophon and the Euthalian text. p. 158

First, as has been noted, Euthalius made no mention of undertaking a programmatic revision of the text; his work on the text extended merely to its layout κατὰ κῶλα καὶ κόμματα. p. 158

Uspensky understood this well, and therefore said that Sinaiticus could be no earlier than c. 445 AD, based on his understanding of the date of Euthalius, the deacon of Alexandria.


Such a formulation of letters without grammatical prosody (versification), and the way of the writing of the sacred text, invented by the Alexandrian deacon Euthalius about 446 AD, and soon abandoned due to the many gaps between the columns on the expensive parchment, prove that this manuscript was published in the fifth century.

More from Scherbenske in his disseratation:


Eric W. Scherbenske

Scholars have tried to reconcile the edition produced by Euthalius with his words in the following ways. Robinson concluded that Euthalius’s work on the text was limited to facilitating “an intelligent reading of the sacred text by distributing it into short sentences.”116 Against those who saw in Euthalius the founder of stichometry in the NT, J. Rendel Harris, distinguished Euthalius’s format from this textual arrangement. 117 Stichometry was the arrangement of a text in lines corresponding to a sixteen syllable, thirty-six letter ideal line;118 Euthalius’s work corresponded to colometry, i.e. the arrangement of the text in sense-lines κατὰ κῶλα καὶ κόμματα. (per cola et commata).119 The measurement of the text and paratexts in Euthalius’s edition corresponded to stichometry;120 his arrangement of the text, colometry. p. 315

116 Robinson, Euthaliana, 13. He adamantly maintains that Euthalius took no action on the text itself (ibid. 12).

117 Harris, Stichometry, 34-48. For further discussions of stichometry in general, see
Friedrich Blass. "Zur Frage iiber Stichometrie der Alten," Rheinisches Museum for Philologie 24 (1869): 524-32;
Charles Graux, "Nouvelles recherches sur la stichometrie," Revue de Philologie de Litteratur et d’Histoire Anciennes N. S. 2 (1878): 97-143; Friedrich Blass, "Stichometrie und Kolometrie," Rheinisches Museum for Philologie 34 (1879): 214-36; and
Roland Schtitz, "Die Bedeutung der Kolometrie fur das Neue Testament," ZNW21 (1922): 161-84.
For recent discussions of stichometry in early Christian MSS see
Kim Haines-Eitzen, Guardians of Letters, 87-88.

118 Harris, Stichometry.

119 Robinson, Euthaliana. 17; and Zuntz. Ancestry 94-104.

120 Harris, Stichometry, 39-54.


Principles of per cola et commata
Rebecca Harisson per cola et commata/

For more, see my article:

"A Structural Arrangement of Text to Facilitate Reading," Classical Journal 102.3 (2007) 291-303.

On Biblical Poetry (2015)

F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp

Biblical Poetry - Sinaiticus.jpg

Called p. 233 in the center of the book but hard to get the direct url.

Bible Biography: Or, The Lives and Characters of the Principal Personages Recorded in the Sacred Writings; Practically Adapted to the Instruction of Youth and Private Families; Together with an Appendix, Containing Thirty Dissertations on the Evidences of Divine Revelation from Timpson's Key to the Bible; Being a Complete Summary of Biblical Knowledge, Carefully Condensed and Compiled from Scott, Doddridge, Gill [etc.] ... (1842)
Robert Sears

1840 book.jpg
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Steven Avery

Michaelis on the Euthalian sense-lines

Does Vaticanus have sense-lines in the uncial part?

Michaelis, citing Montfaucon, says no here:

Introduction to the New Testament, Volume 2, Part 2 (c. 1790, 1823 English edition)
By Johann David Michaelis

Michaelis has about two pages.
Michaelis p. 894.jpg
Michaelis p. 893.jpg

So, one argument for Codex Bezae being later, after Euthalius, is the presence of sense-lines. These are often in Codex Sinaiticus, so Uspensky was simply making the same point with Sinaiticus as Michaelis makes with Bezae.

Canon and Text of the New Testament (1907)
Caspar Rene Gregory

Codex Bezae ... Claromontanus ... Both manuscripts are of the sixth century, both are Greek and Latin, and both place the text before us that appears to have ... The Latin letters are in a way assimilated to the Greek letters, being rounded off like the latter. The words run together, save in titles and subscriptions. Here we meet a text that is not written straight ahead, but which is cut up into lines according to the sense. These are the oldest sense-lines for this part of the New Testament.
Except that Sinaiticus, if it was actually a 350 AD ms. is hundreds of years older, has many sense lines, and was copied from a sense-line ms., as you see in the homoeoteleutons!

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Steven Avery

CCEL - Euthalius

Euthalius (5), deacon of Alexandria (5), deacon of Alexandria

Euthalius (5), a deacon of Alexandria, afterwards bp. of Sulca; fl. a.d. 459. This date is confirmed by the fact that his works are dedicated to Athanasius the Younger, who was bp. of Alexandria about that time. Euthalius appears to have been then a deacon, devoted to the study of the N.T. text. He is now best known as the author of the Euthalian Sections.

The books of N.T. were written without any division into chapters, verses, or words. The first steps towards such a convenient division seem to have proceeded from the wish for easy reference to parallel passages. This was done by what are known as the Ammonian Sections, together with the Eusebian Canons. [Eusebius of Caesarea.] Ammonius of Alexandria, in the 3rd cent., is generally credited with dividing the gospels into sections, but the principle had not been applied to other books of N.T. Euthalius introduced a system of division into all those not yet divided, except the Apocalypse, which spread rapidly over the whole Greek church and has become, by its presence or absence, a valuable test of the antiquity of a MS. In the Epp. of St. Paul, Euthalius tells us, he adopted the scheme of a certain "father," whose name is nowhere given. But by his other labours, and the further critical apparatus which he supplied, Euthalius procured for it the acceptance it soon obtained. In Romans there were 19 capitula; in Galatians, 12; in Ephesians, 10; in I. Thessalonians, 7; 350in II. Thessalonians, 6; in Hebrews, 22; in Philemon, 2; and so on.
Three points in connexion with the text especially occupied Euthalius.

(1) The Larger Sections or Lessons. Fixed lessons for public worship no doubt passed from the synagogue into the Christian church, at least as soon as the canon was settled. But there seems to have been little or no uniformity in them. Individual churches had divisions of their own. The scheme proposed by Euthalius, however, speedily became general in all Greek-speaking churches. The whole N.T., except the Gospels and Apocalypse, was divided into 57 portions of very varying length (in Acts there were 16; in the Pauline Epp. 31; 5 in Rom.; 5 in I. Cor.; 4 in II. Cor.; in the Catholic Epp. 10; 2 in James; 2 in I. Pe.; 1 in II. Pe., etc.) Of these, 53 were for Sundays, which seem alone to have been provided for in the Alexandrian Synaxes, and Mill supposes that the other 4 were for Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and Epiphany (Proleg. in N.T. p. 90).

(2) The smaller divisions were the well known στίχοι—i.e. "lines" (Lat. versus), each containing either a few words complete in themselves, or as much as it was possible to read without effort at one breath. Like that of the capitula formerly spoken of, the plan of these "verses" was not introduced by Euthalius. It had already been adopted in some of the poetical books, and in poetical parts of the prose books of the O.T. The LXX had occasionally employed it. It had been sanctioned by Origen. The Vulgate had used it, and it is found in the psalms of the Vatican and Sinaitic MSS. It had been partially applied to N.T., for Origen speaks of the 100 στίχοι of II. and III. John., of a few in St. Paul's Epistles, and very few in I. John; while Eustathius of Antioch, in the 4th cent., is said to reckon 135 from John viii. 59 to x. 31 (Scrivener, Intro. to Codex D, p. 17). But these figures shew that many of these divisions cannot have been στίχοι in the strict sense, but of very unequal length, and generally much larger. What was before partially and imperfectly done Euthalius extended upon better principles and with greater care. In Rom. he made 920 such στίχοι; in Gal. 293; in Eph. 312; in I. Thess. 193; in II. Thess. 106; in Heb. 703; in Philemon, 37; and so on.

(3) The third part of his labour was an enumeration of all the quotations from O.T., and even from profane writers, found in those books of N.T. of which he treated. These he numbered in one catalogue; assigned to the various books whence they were taken in a second; and quoted at length in a third. If we may look upon the Argumenta as really the work of Euthalius, and not, as Zacagnius argues (Praef. p. 60), as the production of a later hand, he went also into the substance and meaning of the books edited by him, as the Argumenta contain short and excellent summaries of them. Euthalius also wrote a short Life of St. Paul, prefixed to his work on the 14 epistles of that apostle, but it is bald and meagre. It has been said that he also wrote comments on Acts and Luke; and that in an ancient catena on Romans there were fragments of his writings; but these statements seem to be incorrect (ib. p. 71).
In later life he became a bishop, and was known as Episcopus Sulcensis. Scrivener suggests Sulci in Sardinia as the only see of that name (Intr. p. 53, n. 1), but so distant a place is unlikely. Zacagnius thinks that Sulca may represent Psilca, a city of the Thebaid near Syene; but Galland throws doubt on this, and the point must be left unsolved.

His works remained long unknown, but in 1698 they were ed. and pub. at Rome by Laurentius Alexander Zacagnius, praefect of the Vatican Library, in vol. i. of his Collectanea Monumentorum Veterum Ecclesiae Graecae ac Latinae, in the long preface of which different questions relating to Euthalius are discussed with much care. This ed. has been printed in Galland (Biblioth. Pat. x. 197) and in Migne (Patr. Gk. lxxxv. 621). Notices of Euthalius may be found in the Prolegomena of N. T. of Wetstein and Mill, and in Scrivener's Intro. to the Criticism of N.T. But much light has recently been thrown on Euthalius by Dean Armitage Robinson in his "Euthaliana" (Texts and Stud. iii. 3), and in an article "Recent Work on Euthalius" in the Journ. of Theol. Stud. vol. vi. p. 87, Oct. 1904. In the latter art. the recent work on the subject by Von Soden and Zahn is noticed.
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Steven Avery

More from the Scherbenske dissertation, pointing out some usage of sense-line writing before Euthalius.

begins on p. 304 - whole section may be placed below

Although Euthalius claimed that he was aware of no precedent for the utilization of this format for scripture, there were in fact antecedents in pagan and Christian literature. We have evidence for the division of bilingual Greek-Latin Christian scriptural texts into sense-lines perhaps by beginning of the third century.134 We have also observed above that lyric poetry was reported to have been organized in such format already by Aristophanes of Byzantium (ca. 257-180 B.C.E.).135 In his preface to his revision of Isaiah, Jerome corroborates the early use of this format in editions of pagan authors, when he informs his readers he will issue this work “per cola.. .et commata” after the example of Demosthenes and Cicero so as to aid the reader.136 Hesychius of Jerusalem’s (died after 451) introduction to his edition of the twelve prophets echoes the utility of this arrangement, which he actually models on a book of the Apostle—likely an early fifth-century reference to the Euthalian edition.137

(continues explaining the format)

Yet even more important was this format’s relation to Euthalius’s ultimate goal: Euthalius intended this textual layout to have a chrestomathic effect on the reader so that through their daily meditation on scripture their souls might ascend step by step to contemplation of the divine.
p. 308-310

135 Sed et Paulus grammaticis istis silentium imponit dicens: Misit deus filium suum factum ex muliere. Numquid per mulierem, aut in muliere? Hoc quidem impressius, quod factum dicit quam natum; Simplicius enim enuntiasset natum. Factiun autem dicendo et uerbum caro factum consignauit et camis veritatem ex uirginis factae adseuerauit (Cam. Chr. 20.2-3 [CCSZ, 2 909,13-19]).


I plan to add a bit more here, especially from the Jerome section, it can be found by simply searching commata.

Also I have a few more books that might have helpful references (searching "sense line" in my bookmark program.)

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Steven Avery

Sinaiticus sense-lines - Euthalius - discussion on textual criticism forum - March 2017

[textualcriticism] This set of posts are 8655-8681

[textualcriticism] Claromontanus --> Sinaiticus homoeoteleutons

James Miller
Relatively few New Testament manuscripts were copied in cola; sense-lines wasted too much expensive writing material. Also, a stichos is a rather long line, and early manuscripts tended to use shorter lines. So stichoi count rarely corresponds to the actual number of lines in a manuscript. Among the relatively few manuscripts arranged in cola are Dea, Dp, Ea, and Hp. In addition, Fp and Gp seem — based on the size and arrangement of letters — to derive from an original in stichoi, though the lineation has not been preserved directly; the same is true of Δ. A number of vulgate manuscripts, includling Amiatinus, are also arranged in sense lines.
[textualcriticism] 2 sense-lines are a later (than Sinaiticus) manuscript feature -

Steven Avery

Mar 31, 2017
Hi textualcriticism forum,

First let us start with a basic point that Tommy Wasserman misses totally.

sense-lines are a later (than Sinaiticus) manuscript feature

Textual theory has been, up to this point, that the sense-line manuscripts take root around the 6th century. And Bezae, Claromontanus and Coislinianus are given as the three main examples of colometrically arranged manuscripts. Earlier mss were based on the box-column writing, often including the stichometry that gives the counts for the box writing.

A very good summary is given by Jack Finegan (1908-2000). Pages 39-42 are superb.

Encountering New Testament Manuscripts: A Working Introduction to Textual Criticism (1980)
Jack Finegan

The homoeoteleutons from Claromontanus taught us, surprisingly, that often the exemplar of Sinaiticus is written with sense-lines.
(Why was this not noticed earlier? With Sinaiticus, often the textual experts are not looking, since they "know" the ms. is fourth century.)

Since Tommy Wasserman did not really state his explanation of the phenomenon, let's try to state his necessary position here. The theory that would have to be propounded to keep a 4th-century date as possible with Sinaiticus, and yet acknowledges the homoeoteleutons, is rather a quirky and unusual and probability-difficult set of circumstances.

1) Claromontanus (likely in Sardinia) and Sinaiticus just coincidentally have the world's best fit for homoeoteleutons of any extant two mss. They are different in location, time, format, yet they fit incredibly. Again and again and again, the lines of Claromontanus are perfect for the Sinaiticus omission. Thus we have the Claromontanus-Sinaiticus homoeoteleuton "textbook case" lineups.

2) Sinaiticus was copied from a totally different manuscript that must be dated c. 300 and yet somehow had this 6th century feature of sense-lines.

3) The formatting of the unknown non-extant c. 300 AD ms. was, surprisingly, in many salient spots, identical to that of Claromontanus. (This even extends to some auxiliary formatting features beyond the strict homoeoteleuton.) An amazing coincidence. And this has nothing to do with vorlage, the point brought up by James Miller.

If Tommy Wasserman has a better explanation, consistent with the 4th century theory, please share. That is, if he has not departed to forums more controlled, and hostile to Sinaiticus examination.


A lot was made by Tommy Wasserman about the fact that Claromontanus was not consistently the exemplar for Sinaiticus. Fair enough.

We can share the style of Simonides of using multiple manuscripts, as seen in the Barnabas 1843 edition printed in Smyrna. And the Hermas editions, the first one in 1855. Both date before Sinaiticus, and both utilized the technique of multiple manuscript sources. In fact, the research on Barnabas is currently being done by David W. Daniels. And I expect that he will be able to give a short summary about the interspersing of different manuscripts in Barnabas (where Simonides gives much more information than Hermas.) Understanding this should make it easy to see:

the limited value of a counter-response to the Claromontanus-Sinaiticus homoeoteleutons that is based on pointing out that there are significant spots where Claromontanus could, but does not, match up with Sinaiticus.

Hopefully the textualcriticism forum will remain open to the examination. The "facts on the ground" will always trump perceived expertise that does not actually fit the facts.
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Steven Avery

Vemund Blomkvist

Euthalian Traditions: Text, Translation and Commentary (2012)
Vemund Blomkvist

Ending the Year on a High: The Euthalian Apparatus (2011)
by Dirk Jongkind

chapter titles (κεφαλαια - τιτλοι)
the introductions to the big divisions (προλογοι)
the υποθεσεις to the individual letters

Vemund Blomkvist reviews historical and modern scholarship, such as:

Text and Interpretation:Studies in the New Testament Presented to Matthew Black - (1979)
Nils Astrup Dahl
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Steven Avery

Euthalius - Arthur Charles Barrett matches the Uspensky information with 462 date

Companion to the Greek Testament
By Arthur Charles Barrett

The necessity of punctuation was to a certain extent done away with by the introduction of stichometry. This practice was introduced by (if it did not originate with) Euthalius (462), who published an edition of the N.T. in which the text was divided into lines or short verses ...

An Introduction to the textual Criticism of the New Testament, with Analyses, of the respective Books, and a bibliographical List of Editions of the Scriptures in the Original Texts and the ancient Versions: (1856)
Tregelles edition of Horne

Euthalius, deacon of Alexandria, and afterwards bishop of Sulca, published an edition (in the ancient sense of the term) of St. Paul’s Epistles stichometrically divided. This has been supposed with good reason to have caused stichomctry, (Grk), to be very generally adopted ; while others have assumed (too hastily as it will be shown) that this must have originated with Euthalius himself. The date of the Euthalian copy of the Pauline Epistles thus divided was A. D. 458., as is known from the reckoning of Euthalius himself, by which he carried on the computation of the period from St. Paul’s martyrdom, from the fourth consulship of Arcadius and third of Honorius (the point to which a writer from whom he copied had brought his computation) to his own time. This he.estimated pretty accurately to be 462 years after the birth of our Lord, whence some have given A.D. 462 as the date of the commencement of sticlio-metry.2 (much more, continues)

Bibliotheca Sacra (1843)
On the MSS. and Editions of the Greek New Testament p. 254-282
Professor Moses Stuart

Chamber's Encyclopedia (1886)

The earliest division of the New Testament into verses of which we read is that made by Euthalius, Deacon of Alexandria, 462 A.D. He arranged those words that were related to each other by the sense into stichoi or lines. Subsequently, to save space, a colon or point was substituted, until, finally, a complete system of punctuation arose. In the 13th c., as we have already seen, the division into chapters took place, and in the 16th the versicular division was perfected by Stephens. The arguments or contents prefixed to the several chapters are also of modern origin.
The primary ms. source would be helpful.

More discussions of this: &sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjtkfTTrcbdAhUy0FkKHRjXDr0QpwUIIQ&biw=1177&bih=517&dpr=1.25
Lipsius (1863)

Blackburn (1854)

History of the Sacred Scriptures of the New Testament, Volume 2 (1884)
Eduard Reuss
History of the Canon of the Sacred Scriptures (1884)

A Treatise on Biblical Criticism (1853)
Samuel Davidson

An Introduction to the New Testament, Volume 2
By Friedrich Bleek

And more

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Steven Avery

Charles E. Hill
Antiquity has handed down at least four separate schemes of numbered capitulation for the Acts of the Apostles, apportioning its text into 36, 40, 53, or 69 chapters. The margins of Vaticanus hold a primitive, 36-chapter capitulation, alongside of which a ninth-century hand has added a set of 69 chapters. This same 69-chapter set is also found, in part, in the margins of Sinaiticus.