examples of Sinaiticus tiny and micro-miniature script

Steven Avery

We have the proposed heiroglyphics referenced on another thread.
Those are all tiny, and only one scholar has discussed them.

markings, acrostics hieroglyphics

Matthew 28:19. Is that really a microminiature sigma at the end of the NS for PNEUMATOS, or just a punctuation mark? If it really is a sigma, look around and see if you can find any more like it.

Bob RelveaIt looks like a sigma, or possibly omicron to me. It looks too big and round to be some form of punctuation mark. There are several micro sigmas on the same page, two are quite close to the same size: Math 28:8 : μεγαλης and μαθηταις.

Matthew 28:8

Matthew 28-8.jpg

Matthew 28:19

Matthew 28-19.jpg


Here is a Hermas homoeoteleutons, done in tiny script.

These have a special panache, as we may be able of find the exemplar, and maybe with a sense-line, that makes for these homoeoteleutons.

However, for now we are curious about the phenomenon of tiny or micro writing.

Shepherd of Hermas, 7:4 - 10:2 library: BL folio: 342b scribe: B2

Hermas homoeoteleutons.jpg

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Steven Avery

Simonides used bone pens:

The British Quarterly Review

' I began,’ says he, immediately after the resignation of Dionysius, to study the principles of caligraphy as much as was needed. I do not mean that I began then to learn caligraphy (as Mr. T. Silke, my translator, has incorrectly interpreted my words), but that I learned the art of preparing suitable materials for writing, the proper ink, the making of bone pens, the polishing of the skins, the cleaning by chemicals a few leaves soiled by time, the careful and proper division of the columns, the adoption of the style of writing, and such other things as are proper to archaeology.’

Journal of Sacred Literature

Now, we can well understand and acquiesce in the appropriateness of such a gift, made by a body of religious men, to one whom they regard as the head of the Church to which they belong. And, that Church being the Greek Church, we can appreciate their good taste in having the MS. written in the Greek language, and in Greek characters. Moreover that the oldest style of character should be used; that the writing should be on vellum or parchment, according to the ancient practice of the church. All such particulars legitimately attach themselves to a perfect renaissance, which it would seem it was intended this MS. should be. But when we are told that the colour of the ink (a faded one doubtless) on the most ancient MSS. was carefully matched; that bone pens were made, and the hue of the skins imitated ; and of course every little peculiarity of letter affected, so that the minutest evidence of antiquity might not be wanting;—I say, on all these accounts, and many others of a like kind, there does appear to be prima facie evidence of an intention to deceive, to cozen, to trick into a belief in the existence of something which had none.
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Steven Avery

Discussion on Facebook

Today we are going to look at a correction anomaly that has been recognized as a puzzle by the Sinaiticus theorists. Hold on to your hats.

Matthew 5:45
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:
for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good,
and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

There was an omission that was placed in the margin. If any of our researchers want to get the transcription in here, kewl. (Sometimes it is easy to cut-and-paste from CSP.) Right now I'll give some pics for study. We will start with the pic of the manuscript.

Matthew 5:45 margin correction
CSP url

And the pic of the Tischendorf facsimile, from:
Full Collation (1864) - Scrivener
One discussion

(Now I'll take a little break, and come back and discuss this some.)

Your head spins on this one if you try to follow all the back and forth involving Tischendorf, Scrivener, Lake, Milne-Skeat, and the modern references from Amy Myshrall and Dirk Jongkind. I was gonna include some of that, but not now.

The basic question we have is simple. Did they write this way in the fourth century? They discuss a lot whether the scribe of the main text is the same scribe as the correction, yet they generally seem to be unconcerned with size of letters, style (e.g. flourishes) and letter forms (e.g. the lower case beta in Mark 2:22).

Here is the transcription from Skeat-Milne. Maybe, using CSP, we can determine if all the letter forms are, other than being small, normal majuscules forms. Granted, it is hard to read, and the pic is not great resolution.



There is a spot where they noticed mixed large and small letters.

Matthew 5:45

CSP Better.jpg

Since this was given special reference by Skeat, it might do well as a point to get the palaeography scholars involved in small letters.

"Corrections showing alternation of small and large letters were ascribed to scribe D by Tischendorf who argued this on the basis of the correction in Matt 5:45, in which both uncials and small letters are used. Though Lake is not totally convinced by this particular example ..."

Skeat writes about that verse on p. 44:

Skeat p32 #1.jpg

Skeat p44 #2.jpg

Written about by Jongkind.jpg
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Steven Avery

I posted this question on the Fountain Pen Network

2) tiny writing

Apparently there were real physical limitations mitigating against small writing in the early centuries, having to do with both the writing utensil used and the nature of the ink. Patrick in Ireland in the 400s is said to have helped institute smaller writing, although how small is unclear.

If we see margin and note writing that is 1/5 to 1/10 the size of a "standard" lined uncial writing on a manuscript, can this help us with dating the particular margin and notes writings?

And followed up on the Classicists email list
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Steven Avery

Vaticanus - the original writing ?

Kirk DiVietro
"Vaticanus does not have a clearly defined right margin but there are examples of miniature letter to finish a word."