Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A.C. Clark (1914) on homoeoteleuton (Pt. 2)

Continuing from A.C. Clark's first book, The Primitive Text of the Gospels and Acts (Oxford, 1914):
"Chapter 1 (p. 1fwd):

'I referred to homoeoteleuton as a frequent cause of omission.  The word strictly means similarity of termination, but it is often used for any similarity, e.g., at the beginning of words, which would more appropriately be called homoeoarcton, or for the repetition of the same word (repetitio or geminatio [=dittography]).  In all such cases, the copyist was liable to pass from one similar word to the other, omitting the intervening words [and one copy of the doubled word].   The most frequent cause of omission is the repetition of the same word. 
I now proceed outline the method which should be followed by anyone who embarks upon a similar inquiry.  The first task is to ascertain the content of a line in the archetype.  For this purpose 'telescoped' lines are of primary importance.  In all probability the common unit will be at once revealed.  The next step is to tabulate the omissions of the rival families, arranging them in order of magnitude.  It will then appear when multiples of a unit figure among the omissions.  The separate families should be treated in the same manner. 
The information thus acquired must be combined with that furnished by transpositions, dislocations, migratory variants, and corruptions of all kinds.   The most minute flaws are often the most important for the purposes of investigation. 
Above all the inquirer must not shrink from the labor of counting the letters.  No shorter method, such as that of numbering the lines of a printed text, can have any cogency which is possessed by the actual figures. 
I have seldom carried out a long numeration without being richly rewarded.  I imagine the reason to be that in the long passages occasional irregularities correct each other, and the average remains clearly visible.  Also, it is only in them that we can hope to find indications of the longer divisions, viz. columns, pages, and folios in the archetype.'

 Chapter 2 (p. 11 fwd)

"...I thought it well to prepare myself by making some examination of the Oxyrhynchus papyri.  ...I had to satisfy myself whether the lines exhibit regularity in content similar to the Old Latin MSS.  I found that this was so.  The papyri are of all shapes and sizes, sometimes written in long lines, but more commonly in columns of various breadth.  Sometimes they contain some 40 letters or more to the line, sometimes about 35, more frequently about 28, 24, or 22, very frequently 16-19, while a fair number, ...are written in very narrow columns, averaging 10-12 letters, or even less.  In all, however, although abnormally long or short lines occur, the general average soon asserts itself. 
In my work upon Latin MSS, I have found that where there are two or more columns in a codex, the tendency is for one column to be squeezed.  If there are three columns, it is generally the middle one that suffers; if there are two, the column on the left is often a little broader than the one on the right.  
The papyri are particularly free from abbreviations apart from a particular class, viz., nomina sacra.  ...
Also some of the Uncials, especially B and D, are chary in the use of abbreviations beyond IS XS THS PNA OUNOS PR US ANOS.  However on the whole, the bulk of the evidence is on their employment, and, as I do not wish to avail myself  of any license, I have treated this as normal.   There is some uncertainty as to the use of letters to express numerals.  ... The Uncials vary greatly in this respect.  On the whole it seems safest to suppose that the numerals were written in full, but the other possibility has to be taken into account.   
On examining the papyri I found many phenomena similar to those which I had observed in Latin MSS. "

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