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Detail of Lavra Greek manuscript 335 of The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian
Two pages and a detail of Coislin 370 Greek manuscript of The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian

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Sources of the Ascetical Homilies: 2. 10-cent. Greek MSS • I

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Paris Greek MS 370 of the Ascetical Homilies

Pages 107–8 of the Introduction of the Ascetical Homilies list the manuscripts used to establish the Greek text. Shown at left is Paris 370, one of the oldest, dating to the 10th century.

Pages 86–7 of the Introduction give an example of a reading for which the earliest Greek MSS agree with the Syriac, also showing variants introduced in later Greek MSS progressively further from the original. Page 87 shows a detail from this same Paris 370 MS where the reading matches the Syriac.

Yet the antiquity of the Greek MS does not always ensure a reading closer to the Syriac. The reading shown in the detail at left is from Homily 6, which on p. 176 of our edition reads, “There are good thoughts and good volitions; there are evil thoughts and an evil heart.” This is the reading in Theotokis’s 1770 Greek text, and in Bedjan’s Syriac text; but the reading at left, which is eight centuries older than Theotokis’s text, and might be expected to match the Syriac better than Theotokis’s, is not as close: “There are good and evil thoughts, as likewise there are also good and evil volitions.”

Lavra Greek 335

Lavra MS 335, dating to the late 10th century, is extremely difficult to make out in the microfilm.

The passage at left is one link in the progression of variant readings discussed on p. 86 of the Introduction, and the passage shown in modern script just below its corresponding words in the MS is “I shall tell you something, and do not disdain it.”

Coislin 370, Folio 38 verso and Folio 39 recto, © Bibliothèque nationale de France. This image is licensed for use on this website only; further use of it is forbidden without the prior written permission of the BnF.

The detail in the bottom half is from Folio 38 verso. Note the lines scored into the vellum to guide the scribe to write a straight line.

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