Fragments of Eusebius in the Mingana collection

PDF’s are such a blessing.  I’ve been looking at the PDF of volume 1 of the Mingana collection of Syriac manuscripts in Birmingham.  How quickly we take these for granted!  Once, just to consult such a volume, would have meant a day off work, a 60 mile journey, and being robbed blind for copies — if I was even allowed copied.  That was the situation, only five years ago.  Not now!

This will be a dull post, I fear.  Because I ordered some photos of manuscripts in the collection, but no longer remember what was so precious in them!  This post is my journey of discovery.

On p.599 of the PDF (col. 1197 of the book), there is listed the various snippets of Eusebius in various manuscripts.  In July 2008 I went through these, and ordered the following from the Mingana:

Ms. Mingana Syr. 332      Folios 1-9a          Eusebius
Ms. Mingana Syr. 480      Folios 29a-31b       Eusebius
Ms. Mingana Syr. 589      Folios 1-6a          Eusebius

Time to refresh my memory on these!

First I’m opening the Mingana catalogue in Adobe Acrobat and running an OCR on the file to create scannable text.  I only wish Adobe used some decent OCR software.  Come on chaps, talk to Abbyy!

 OK.  On p. 308 of the PDF (col. 616) we find ms. 332.  On ff.6b-7a there are quotations on the genealogy of Jesus, from Ephraim, Eusebius of Caesarea, and Philoxenus.  Wonder why I ordered as far as 9a.

 On p. 432 of the PDF (col. 863) is ms. 480.  Ff. 29a-31b consist of tables to show that there is no contradiction between the two genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke.  The first table is from Severus of Antioch; the others from Ephraim, Eusebius and Philoxenus.  Not sure why I thought this stuff was worthwhile, now.

On p. 562 of the PDF (col. 1125) is ms. 589. 

  • Ff.1b-3b = A short treatise on ecclesiastical chronology dealing with the lunar and solar months. 
  • Ff. 4a-5a : Another short treatise on chronology by Eusebius of Caesarea (called Eusebius of Palestine).
  • Fol. 5 : The months in which the year begins in the calendar of the Jews, the Arabs, the Copts, the Syrians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians and the Armenians.
  • Ff. 5b-17b: A medical treatise on the composition of the human body, by Ahud’ immeh Antipater, who mayor may not be the same man as Ahud-‘immeh of Tegrit.
  • and so on.

Fascinating stuff… or not.  This is what so manuscripts consist of, tho; pages of short, dubious-looking texts.

The upshot is that there is unlikely to be much here to impact on my Eusebius project.  Wonder what the “short treatise on chronology is”?  I might toss that over to my translator and ask.


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