Eibert Tigchelaar has posted the schedule for the IOQS conference in Munich this summer here, along with abstracts. I will be presenting a paper on Tuesday afternoon at 15:30, for those who might be interested.
"Scribal Treatment of Defective Exemplars: Not Just a Modern Dilemma"
Drew Longacre (University of Birmingham)
The tasks of ancient copyists and modern editors are normally worlds apart, but when handling physically defective exemplars, these two worlds converge to a large degree. Modern scholars are accustomed to dealing with manuscripts ravaged by time, but it is easy to forget that manuscripts were also often damaged in antiquity. When ancient copyists encountered lacunose or illegible texts in their exemplars, they were forced to take on an essentially editorial role. By looking at selected examples from "biblical" and "non-biblical" Qumran scrolls (with particular reference to 1QIsaa and 4Q252), I intend to illustrate three methodologies scribes utilized in these situations. First, they could insert blank space in the new copies corresponding to the defective text and leave the resulting text untouched. Second, they could insert blank space in the new copies corresponding to the defective text and then attempt a full or partial reconstruction of the missing text based on whatever text remained legible in the exemplar, memory, and/or contextual clues. And third, they could attempt a full or partial reconstruction of the defective text without inserting corresponding blank space before proceeding. Acknowledgement of these scribal practices has the potential to illuminate numerous difficult textual problems in Dead Sea Scrolls studies.