Postgraduate Course: Greek Palaeography (PGHC11423)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||Manuscripts matter: for classical philologists, medieval manuscripts remain the primary source upon which the study of ancient literature is ultimately based. In particular, successful and objective textual criticism of classical Greek texts requires a correct evaluation of the work of Byzantine scholars and of the interpolation and corruption which may be found in each individual manuscript; this in turn requires an intimate knowledge of the historical and cultural context in which the Byzantine scribes and scholars worked.
For Byzantinists, medieval Greek manuscripts, besides carrying texts from the Byzantine millennium as well as from the classical period, remain a privileged key for deciphering the cultural world inextricably and complexly linked to Byzantine literary production. Manuscripts have only just begun to be exploited systematically for prosopographical, network, and cultural poetic studies. Over the eleven weeks of term, this class shall traverse the world of Greek handwriting from c.300 to c.1500, taking the surviving fourth-century codices of the Bible as its starting point and concluding with early prints in Greek manufactured at the workshop of Aldo Manuzio in Venice.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||The course will be normally be assessed by means of 5 in-term transcription exercises worth 25% of the total mark, a poster/oral presentation on the manuscript transmission of an ancient Greek or Bzyantine author worth 20% of the total mark, and one end-of-term research essay of ca. 3,500 words worth 55% of the total mark, though some variation will be permitted (for example, students might offer a description of a manuscript or a short essay on textual transmission/criticism in lieu of a transcription exercise).
||Students can expect written feedback and individual consultation on their work.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate in transcription exercises, class discussion and the essay that they can decipher Greek bookhands of all periods, including fairly intricate scholarly hands of the later Byzantine centuries, without requiring further guidance;
- Demonstrate in transcription exercises, class discussion and the essay that they can approximately date minuscule bookhands (ninth/tenth; eleventh/twelfth; thirteenth/fourteenth centuries; Renaissance) and place them on a sliding scale from formal to informal;
- Demonstrate in transcription exercises, class discussion and the essay that they can describe Greek bookhands by drawing on the appropriate technical vocabulary.
- Demonstrate in transcription exercises, class discussion and the essay that they can handle original manuscript material competently and independently, especially in the handling sessions in the Scottish National Library;
- Demonstrate in oral presentations and in writing (i.e. the transcription exercises and essay) the skill of analyzing and interpreting primary data, topics pertaining to the research fields of Greek palaeography and Byzantine manuscript studies.
|N. G. Wilson, 'Greek Palaeography', in E. Jeffreys & al., The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies (Oxford, 2008), 101-14|
S. Papaioannou, 'Greek Palaeography and Byzantine Book Culture (4th-16th c. CE): A Bibliographical Essay', available on academia.edu
N. Gaul, 'The Manuscript Tradition', in E. Bakker (ed.), Companion to the Ancient Greek Language (Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 69-82.
N. Wilson, Medieval Greek Bookhands: Examples Selected from Greek Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries, 2 vols (Cambridge, MA, 1972/3; repr. 1995)
R. Barbour, Greek Literary Hands AD 400-1600 (Oxford, 1981)
P. Easterling and C. Handley (eds), Greek Scripts: An Illustrated Introduction (London, 2001)
A. Turyn, Dated Greek Manuscripts in the Libraries of Great Britain (Washington, D.C., 1981)
La paleographie grecque et byzantine, Colloques internationaux du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris 21-25 octobre 1974, No 559 (Paris, 1977)
D. Harlfinger and G. Prato (eds), Paleografia e codicologia greca. Atti del II Colloquio internazionale, Berlino-Wolfenbuttel, 17-21 ottobre 1983 (Alessandria, 1991)
G. Cavallo, G. de Gregorio and M. Maniaci (eds), Scritture, libri e testi nelle aree provinciali di Bisanzio. Atti del seminario di Erice, 18-25 settembre 1988 (Spoleto, 1991)
G. Prato (ed.), I manoscritti greci tra riflessione e dibattito. Atti del V Colloquio Internazionale di Paleografia Greca, Cremona, 4-10 ottobre 1998, 3 vols (Florence, 2000)
B. Atsalos and N. Tsironis (eds), Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Greek Palaeography, Drama, 21-27 September 2003, 3 vols (Athens, 2008)
A. Bravo Garcia and I. Perez Martin (eds), The Legacy of Bernard de Montfaucon: Three Hundred Years of Studies on Greek Handwriting. Proceedings of the Seventh International Colloquium of Greek Palaeography (Madrid-Salamanca, 15-20 September 2008) (Turnhout, 2010)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Students who successfully pass this course will be able to:-
- decipher Greek bookhands of all periods, including fairly intricate scholarly hands of the later Byzantine centuries, without requiring further guidance
- approximately date minuscule bookhands (ninth/tenth; eleventh/twelfth; thirtheenth/fourteenth centuries; Renaissance) and place them on a sliding scale from formal to informal
- describe Greek bookhands by drawing on the appropriate technical vocabulary.
Additionally, by means of visits to the Scottish National Library, the course familiarizes participants with the advanced skill of handling original manuscript material competently and independently and thus prepares them for visits to research libraries. Participants will thus gain the skill of analysing and interpreting primary data, and to present orally and in writing topics pertaining to the research fields of Greek palaeography and Byzantine manuscript studies.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||W1: Introduction: 'Framing' Greek palaeography (lecture); Survey of majuscule bookhands (lecture); majuscule bookhands (reading exercise)
W2: Majuscule bookhands (reading exercise)
W3: Survey of formal minuscule bookhands; ninth-century formal miniscule bookhands (reading exercise)
W4: Tenth-century formal minuscule bookhands (reading exercise)
W5: Eleventh- and twelfth-century formal minuscule bookhands (reading exercise)
W6: Survey of informal minuscule bookhands (lecture); early informal bookhands (reading exercise)
W7: Tenth- and eleventh-century informal bookhands (reading exercise)
W8: Twelfth- and thirteenth-century informal bookhands (reading exercise)
W9: Fourteenth-century informal bookhands (reading exercise)
W10: Trip to the National Library of Scotland; conclusions
W11: Humanist scholarly minuscule and early printing; conclusions
|Course organiser||Prof Niels Gaul
Tel: (0131 6)50 3776
|Course secretary||Miss Sara Dennison
Tel: (0131 6)50 2501