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INTRODUCTION

THE CODEX CORBEIENSIS

A BRIEF description of the Codex, together with an imperfect collation in St. John, St. Luke, and St. Mark only), is given by Bianchini in his Evangeliarium Quadruplex, which appeared in 1749. The select readings given by Bianchini are, however, far from accurate.

Sabatier also gave variant readings (rather less accurately than Bianchini) in the third volume of his great work Bibliorum Sacr. Latinae Versiones Antiquae seu Vetus Italica, completed in 1749. How inaccurate the quotations of Bianchini and Sabatier are may be gathered from the fact that Tischendorf's citations in his Ed. viii maior, which are taken from their work, contain in St. John's Gospel alone not fewer than 153 false readings.

In more recent times the Norwegian scholar Belsheim has published an edition of the text (without the Capitula or the Prologue to St. Luke), Christiania, 1887. In Belsheim's work there is no attempt to render the Codex line for line and page for page. The editor tells us that he noted in a copy of the Vulgate the variant readings he saw in the MS., and printed his edition from this annotated copy. The result has been to give the Codex the appearance of having a Vulgate base in many passages where no such Vulgate base exists.

Finally, the learned English editors of the Vulgate give a very full collation of the MSS. in St. Luke and St. John. (In St. Matthew and St. Mark they seem to rely solely on Tischendorf's citations, which are not always accurate.) This collation is the outcome of the critical sagacity of the late Samuel Berger, whose work in deciphering old Latin MSS. (notably Le Palimpseste de Fleury) entitles him to the gratitude of all students of the Latin text of the New Testament.

The early history of the MS. is involved in utter obscurity. The copyist left no record of his name or environment. His work shows him unacquainted with the Latin language.

The MS. belonged anciently to the Benedictine Monastery of Corbey near Amiens-once the home of many precious records of the early Christian ages'. It entered in comparatively recent times into the Bibliothèque Royale, whose red stamp it bears on its last page. It has now found a home in the Bibliothèque Nationale, where it is numbered Lat. 17,225.

The Codex has lost three out of eight quires in St. Matthew. The first three quires have perished down to xi. 16 (not xi. 6 as Belsheim says). The first leaves of ancient MSS. seem most exposed to loss : e has lost its first five quires. Two leaves are missing from St. John containing xvii. 15-xviii. 9 and xx. 23-xxi. 8 respectively. Three leaves are wanting in St. Luke; two of these were consecutive and contained ix. 45–8. 20; the third contained xi. 45-xii. 6. Happily St. Mark is complete except that three leaves—the last two and the third of Quire xxvi-are mutilated. The first two extant leaves of St. Matthew are also slightly mutilated ?.

The Codex originally consisted of twenty-seven gatherings of eight, and a gathering now 1 Some account of this ancient Benedictine House may be found in Delisle, Cab. des MSS., ii. p. 104.

? The verses lost through this mutilation are St. Matt. xi. 20; xii. 3 ; St. Mark ix. 19, 23, 24, 28, and in part 19, 20, 29, 31, 33 ; xvi. 17 (except three letters), and in part 16, 18, 20.

consisting of five separate leaves, but which may have once been a ternion. The quires of the MS. were as follows: i-iii (lost), iv-xiii, xiv (1 and 8 lost), xv-xviii, xix (4, 5, and 7 lost), xx-xxviii.

About two centuries ago (so it appears) the extant leaves were numbered throughout, but carelessly enough, inasmuch as two consecutive leaves are both numbered 55 and two other consecutive leaves are marked 88. The last leaf is numbered 190, and the Codex therefore, in its present form, contains neither 190 nor 191, as has been previously stated, but 192 leaves.

Twenty-three signatures are found at the foot of the inner margin of the verso side of leaves numbered 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 55 bis, 63, 71, 79, 92, 100, 108, 116, 121, 129, 137, 145, 153, 161, 169, 177, and 185. The leaf that followed 85 and was signed xiiii is lost.

In addition to the mode of numbering by quaternions signed at the foot of the page there survives a trace of another method of counting by binions. On sol. 48 verso under the title is written the letter R by the same hand that wrote the signature uiiii below. Now this R stood originally on the seventy-second leaf of the MS., and 4 x 18=72.

The vellum is exceedingly fine, so much so that when photographed the letters on the other side appear through the vellum. Looking at a photo of fol. 48 verso one might easily read adcepit in St. John iii. 32 for adcipit owing to part of the letter m of homo being visible through the vellum.

Some pages of the MS.—notably fol. 49 verso-are as clear to-day as when they left the hand of the copyist fifteen centuries ago; but others are faded and only fully decipherable by observant study of the MS. as a whole.

There are two columns of twenty-four lines on each page. Every page before being written on has been accurately ruled with twenty-four horizontal lines and four vertical lines. To guide the horizontal ruling a vertical line of twenty-four prickings was first made, extending down the page and about three inches from the right-hand edge of the vellum.

Each vellum leaf measures 28.5 cm. by 24.5 cm., or 112 in. by 9 in. (approximately the measurement of e); but originally was somewhat larger, having been clipped in the process of binding

The leaves are now bound in a binding not more than 200 years old, and uniform with that of other manuscript books in the Library,

The compendia are only those found in the most ancient MSS., and some are peculiar to ff:

as, đm, đi, đo (the full form diï is used in the nom. plur, ; deus in full is found once). dns, dms, dāms (once), dom (dominus in full is found twice; dñm is not found). iħs, iñm, iħu, iħo (the voc. is its 4/7); xps, xpm, xpi, xpo, xpe. sps, spm, spui, spo, spu (the full form is found fairly often in the sing., and is usual in the plural). sēs, sñc (once), sēm, sēi, são (but as often as not the form is written in full, viz. spu sancto). The following ligatures occur, but only at the end (or near the end) of a line :—with u: ua, uc, ue, ul, um, un (in unt and unc), up, ur, us, ut, uu (ui is not found). With n: ne, ne, ns, nt. With o: os (frequent in 1). With e as second letter): ae, ne, ue, re. The ligatures unt and unc are also found. At the end of a line the letters m and n, and the combination nt, are frequently expressed by a little line above the preceding letter.

Punctuation by the scribe himself is exceedingly rare. In the whole of St. Mark's Gospel (if we except the pointing of numerals) there are only five stops.

With reference to the Capitula, found in our MS., but wanting in most old Latin MSS., there is good reason to believe that they did not form part of the archetype from which the text of ff was copied, but were gathered from another MS. which had affinities with the parent of the DPGQ aur c group, whose Capitula are given by Wordsworth and White in their edition of the Vulgate Gospels.

As regards the paragraphs in ff, they exhibit a curious correspondence with those in e. It may be roughly stated that five out of every six breaks in the narrative in e are also found in ff. The paragraphs in b and ff in St. John are almost identical.

The result of the comparison of the palaeography of f with that of other ancient Latin MSS. has convinced the present writer that ff must rank with a in point of antiquity. It is earlier than hacts or n, and also earlier than b. Many of the letters in ff resemble the uncial letters current in the fourth century. The M in ff is a replica of the M of the fourth century Cicero Palimpsest at Rome, Pal. Soc. ii. Pl. 160.

One cannot tabulate all the palaeographical impressions that are received from a MS. and that lead to the belief that it is earlier or later than another. The great simplicity of the letters in ff, the absence of all knobs or ornamental points, the smallness and plainness of the capitals, the straightness and thinness of lines marking abbreviations, the extreme rarity of punctuation-all these contribute to the conviction that ff belongs to a remote antiquity, and that it surpasses in age all other Old Latin MSS. with the exception of a.

Character of the Codex. The study of a MS. involves a twofold mental process—the ascertaining of the character of the scribe's exemplar and at the same time the ascertaining of the character of the scribe himself.

The licence of Western scribes is almost proverbial, and has been used by Hort as a strong argument for dismissing as summarily as he has done the evidence of Western MSS. When a MS, such as e writes, for example, capharnaum for naim, and capharnaum also for corozain, confounds Cleophas and Cephas and alters the context accordingly, the student may well hesitate about accepting any singular readings of such a codex. A witness who distorts even a few facts impairs the value of his evidence as a whole.

The striking character of ff is the absence of any such errors as those just named. There are unconscious errors of transcription such as are found in all MSS.; but of wilful alteration of the text from 'supposed fitness for immediate and obvious edification' there is, to the best of the present writer's belief, not a single instance.

The singular readings of ff are quite different in character from most of the singular readings of e, or even of b or k.

Another source of obliteration of ancient readings is the Harmonistic proclivity of many scribes the result of such compilations as Ephrem's Diatessaron. Again, ff can be shown to be more free from this influence than any extant Latin or Greek MS.

1 The subscriptions after St. Matthew and St. John bear out this conclusion. The subscription after St. Luke varies.

Summary.
Evidence for assigning f to as early a date as 375–425 may be discovered in

(a) The unfixedness of the spelling to a degree unparalleled in any other MS. Of this almost every page of the MS. furnishes proof.

(3) The exceeding rarity of punctuation.

(y) The absence of all observance of the rules of grammar; and the persistence of vulgarisms in both grammar and spelling.

(8) The shape and form of the letters, especially of E, T, M and O.

(e) The large amount of verbal variation from the Vulgate, especially in such well-known and often quoted verses as St. Matt. xi. 28, St. Luke ii. 14, St. Mark xiv. 24.

(5) The comparative freedom of ff from the harmonizings which are found in other texts. The earliest texts would be the least harmonized. [Cf. St. Matt. xxiv. 35, xxvii. 34 ; St. Luke iii. 21, vi. 31 ; St. Mark iv. 39, xiv. 24.]

(0) The agreement of ff with the Old Syriac Version; and with Irenaeus and Origen in ancient readings lost in all other MSS.

The cumulative force of the evidence from these sources cannot be negatived by imputing to ff the textual timidity of the fifth century'. That the text of ff keeps on the whole nearer to the Text. Recept. than do the other ancient Old Latin MSS. (with the exception of a) is a fact which must be recognized, but it determines nothing either for or against the antiquity of our MS. or of its text. In this case, as in others, theories must be subserviated to ascertained facts. The large measure of support given by the two oldest Latin MSS. a and ff to the Text. Recept. is a fact which can no longer be neglected, especially when it is remembered that the text has been preserved with less alteration in the versions than in the MSS?

The reader is referred for a full discussion of this evidence to the writer's articles in the Journal of Theological Studies for October, 1905, and January, 1906.

The text that follows is an exact print, line for line and column for column, of the whole MS. Where italic type occurs, it always, except in the headings of the pages, denotes rubricated letters in the original. All corrections in the MS. earlier than the twelfth century have been faithfully given either in the text or in the Appendix at the end of the volume. The copious later Vulgate corrections have (for the most part) been omitted.

Postscript. My warmest thanks are due to the Rev. H. J. White, who, among other services, has revised the printed sheets of ff with the MS. itself, and has thus conferred on the present edition a high degree of accuracy.

I have also to thank my learned friends, Mr. A. Souter and the Rev. J. F. Bethune-Baker, and my obligations to Professor Burkitt, of Cambridge, and Dr. Sanday, of Oxford, are too many to be here set out in detail. From M. Henri Omont and the other authorities at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris I have received nothing but courtesy during the past eight years in which I have been a frequent visitor at their magnificent Library of MSS.

Postscript from London,

Feast of the Epiphany, 1907.

Fol. 1.

Fol. 2. Est pueris sedentib. Iudicii quam uobis In domum di et panes Consilium facie in foro et adclama XXXI11126 In illo tempore propositionis man bant . aduersus euTM tibus ad inuicem 17 et pondens iħs dixit [res ducauit quod non li ut eum perderent dicentibus · canta confiteor tibi pater

cebat ei manducare 15 Iħs autem secessit uimus uobis . et no dñe caeli et terrae neque his qui cum illo inde et sequeban saltastis lamenta quia abscondisti haec erant nisi solis sacer tu]r eum multi et uimus uobis et non a sapientibus et pru

dotibus

cu rauit eos 16 omnes planxistis 18 uenit dentibus et reuelas 6 Aut non legistis in lege au tem quos cura iohannis neque ma- ti ea paruolis ? ita pa quia sabbatis sacerdo uit praecepit eis ne ducans neque bibens ter quoniam sic fu tes in templo sabbatu- perJuulgarent eum et dicunt demonium it beneplacitum an uiolant et sine crimi 17 ut adi npleretur habet 19uenit filius te te

ne sunt dico autem quod dictum est 27 Omnia mihi tradita uobis quia sabbato per esejiam profe hominis manducas sunt a patre meo et

maior est hic

tam dicentem et] bibens et dicunt nemo nouit filium

? Si enim sciretis quid 18 ecce puer meus ecce] homo uorax et nisi pater et patrem est misericordiam

quem ejlegi dilec potator ujini amicus quis nouit nisi filius uolo et non sacri

tus meus in quo publicanorum et pec et cui uoluerit fili

ficium numquam

bene conplacuit catorum et iust]ifica us reuelare condemnassetis

anima mea . po 28 Uenite omnes qui

innocentes 8 dms est nam spiristum laboratis et onera

enim sabbati filius meum super eu ti estis et ego uos (re hominis

et iudicium ge ficiam 29 tollite iu XXXU1° Et inde transies tibus adnu]ntia gum mesum super uenit in synagoga

bit o non conten

n

m

Egerunt penitentia Uos et discite a me

Eorum 10 et ecce ho 31 Uae tibi corozain et

mo erat ibi manum bedsaida quia si in

quia mitis sunt et hu habens aridam tyro et sidonae fac milis corde et inue Et interrogabant tae sunt in uobis olim nietis requiem ani dicentes si licet salb in cilicio penitentia

mis uestris 30 iugum e batis curare ut ac egissent

nim meum suaue et cusarent eum 22 Uerum tamen dico onus meum leuae est

"Ipse autem dixit (illis uobis tyro et sidoni XXXU 12' In illo tempore qui ex uobis qui habet remissius erit in die

abiit iħs per segetes ouem et ceciderit iudicii quam uobis

sabbatis discipuli au in foueam sabbatis 23 Et tunc capharna tem eius seruientes

t um numquid usq.

coeperunt uellere nonne enesbit eam in spicas et manducare

et leuauit "[quan caelum exaltaberis 2 Pharisaei autem ui[de to magis melior usquae in infernu tes illos et dixersunt est homo (oue itaq. discendis quia in so illi ecce discipuli tui licet sab batis bene domis factae fuisse faciunt (quod non

facere uirtutes quae factae licet seis facere sab 13 Tunc ait homini ex sunt in te forte ma- bastis

tende (manum tu sissent usque in ho SA[d.

am {et extendit diernum 24 tame

man um suam et di co uobis quia ter

restituta est sicut rae so domorum

et altera Remissiu)s erit in die

14 Et

det neque clama
bit neque audiet
aliquis in plateis
uocem eius . 20 haru
dinem quassata
non confringet
et linum fumiga
tem non extinguet
donec eiciat in
uictoria iudiciu-
21 et in nomine eius

gentes sperabunt
22 Tunc oblatus est ei
homo daemoniu-
habens caecus et mu
tus et curauit eum
ita ut loqueretur
et uideret
23 Et stupebant omnes
uturbe et dicebant
numquid hic est filius
dauid 24 parisaei aute-
audientes dixerunt
hic non eicit demonia

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