Saturday, June 19, 2021

Codicology Jobs

For those interested in ancient codicology and cultural heritage, Brent Nongbri has recently announced openings for two postdoctoral fellowships on his exciting new EthiCodex project.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Facebook AI and Automated Stylized Text Generation

Facebook AI researchers have announced a new TextStyleBrush feature that can extract text and style from both printed and handwritten sample words and apply that same style to generate new text in the same style. This is a fascinating new development with possible applications for style classification in ancient handwritten scripts as well.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Paleographic Style and the Forms and Functions of the Dead Sea Psalm Scrolls

My article on the style and function of the Dead Sea Psalm scrolls has now been published as an advance article! By way of background, this is a crucial part of my argument that the forms of the manuscripts suggest possible functions, which in turn helps us interpret their contents.

Drew Longacre, "Paleographic Style and the Forms and Functions of the Dead Sea Psalm Scrolls: A Hand Fitting for the Occasion?" Vetus Testamentum (2021): 1-26.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Roman Writing Equipment

Anna Willi has published a beautiful volume for the LatinNow project on writing materials. The book is published freely as an e-book: Manual of Everyday Roman Writing, Vol. 2: Writing Equipment.

HT Peter Head

Monday, May 31, 2021

Scribes and Their Remains

T&T Clark has a new book out called Scribes and Their Remains. From the website, the book includes the following chapters, mostly on early Christian scribes, manuscripts, and scribal practices:

About Scribes and Their Remains

Scribes and Their Remains begins with an introductory essay by Stanley Porter which addresses the principal theme of the book: the text as artifact. 

The rest of the volume is then split into two major sections. In the first, five studies appear on the theme of 'Scribes, Letters, and Literacy.' In the first of these Craig A. Evans offers a lengthy piece that argues that the archaeological, artifactual, and historical evidence suggests that New Testament autographs and first copies may well have remained in circulation for one century or more, having the effect of stabilizing the text. Other pieces in the section address literacy, orality and paleography of early Christian papyri. 

In the second section there are five pieces on 'Writing, Reading, and Abbreviating Christian Scripture.' These range across numerous topics, including an examination of the stauros (cross) as a nomen sacrum.

Table of contents

Editors Introduction 
Text as Artifact: An Introduction - Stanley E. Porter, McMaster Divinity College, Canada
Part I: Scribes, Letters, and Literacy
1. Longevity of Late Antique Autographs and First Copies: A Postscriptum - Craig A. Evans, Houston Baptist University, USA
2. Greek Writ Plain: Village Scribes, Q, and the Palaeography of the Earliest Christian Papyri - Gregg Schwendner, Wichita State University, USA
3. My Lord and Protector: Papyri and Skepe Patronage in Sirach and 3 Maccabees - Christopher J. Cornthwaite, Canadian Institute in Greece, Greece
4. Hilarion's Letter to His Wife, Child Exposure, and Early Christianity - Jeremiah J. Johnston, Houston Baptist University, USA
5. Fetishizing the Word: Literacy, Orality and the Dead Sea Scrolls - Ian C. Werrett, St Martin's University, USA
Part II: Writing, Reading, and Abbreviating Christian Scripture
6. Signed with an “X”: Stauros and the Staurogram Among the Nomina Sacra - Benjamin R. Overcash, Macquarie University, USA
7. New Light from the Papyri: The Sacred Background of Biblos in Matthew 1:1 - Michael P. Theophilos, Australian Catholic University, Australia
8. The Early Papyri, “Gospel-Parallel” Variants, and the Text of the New Testament in the Second Century - Roy D. Kotansky, Independent Scholar
9. Terms of Kinship from Usage in Everyday Language to Official Christian Life - Eleonora Angela Conti, University of Florence, Italy 
10. Early Christian Rolls - Marco Stroppa, University of Florence, Italy

Tercatin on Biblical Paperbacks and the Psalms

Rossella Tercatin has written a nice Jerusalem Post article on my ongoing work on the Psalms entitled 2,000 years ago Jews used biblical ‘paperbacks’. I like the analogy with modern paperbacks very much, and she does a great job summarizing some of my main directions of research. If anyone is curious to learn more about the early dating of some of the Psalm scrolls, check out my recent lecture Digital Paleography & Diachronic Development in the Dead Sea Psalm Scrolls.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

University of Pretoria Dead Sea Scrolls Conference Recordings

The University of Pretoria's International Dead Sea Scrolls conference recordings have now been uploaded for online viewing. They include several presentations relevant for OTTC.