Matthew and Hermas accents - Galatians 5:21 - historical understandings from Tischendorf to David Daniels! - “gradually merge”

Steven Avery


"When Greek was written for native Greek readers, or for those who were well acqua inted with the language, accent and breathing marks were not normally used (any more than we indicate the accent when writing ordinary English). In papyri and the earlier uncial manuscripts marks of this sort are rare and sporadic. By about the seventh century scribes tend to introduce accent and breathing marks in greater numbers, and by the ninth century they are universally used in uncial and minuscule manuscripts."

Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An Introduction to Greek Palaeography 1981/91, p.12.]
Bruce Manning Metzger,


You can tell that the Siniaticus "breathing" marks are very ancient by their shape. You can easily see from the manuscript that they are in the ├ and ┤form, which is the very earliest. If the manuscript has been a Simonides production, he would have used the ‘and’ forms.


"The rough and the smooth breathings at first represented the left '├ 'and the right half '┤'of the letter H, which itself was originally the aspirate. They were soon worn down to └ and ┘ in which shapes they are found in early MSS. : and eventually these square forms beeame the rounded ‘ and ’, the period at which they definitely arrived at this last stage being the twelfth century. Only occasionally are marks of breathing found in the more ancient MSS.. and then it is generally the rough breathing that is distinguished"

An Introduction to Greek and Latin Palaeography - p.61
By Sir Edward Maunde Thompson · 1912

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