Via AWOL I discovered the existence of a search engine for Greek manuscripts, made by David Jenkins and online at Princeton here. I promptly started looking for examples of the “summaries” or “tables of contents” in Greek texts. Not many of the texts that I looked at had them; but a few did.
First off, let’s have a look at an 11th century manuscript of Eusebius’ Church History, BML Plut. 70.28. On folio 2v we find this:
But none of this material is in the body of the manuscript as far as I could see.
Here’s a 16th century version of the same thing, much influenced by the age of printing no doubt. This is Ms. Vatican Ottobonianus gr.108. Fol. 1v looks like this:
It’s neater: but not fundamentally different in content.
Next up, a 9th century manuscript (Pal. gr. 398) from Heidelberg of Arrian’s Cynegetica. Fol. 17r looks like this:
If we then look at the start of the text on fol.18, we see the same material – numerals appear in the margin against each chapter, while the “chapter heading” is in the right margin:
Unfortunately I found no early examples in the manuscripts listed. The majority of manuscripts listed were biblical (as this is where digitisation has concentrated), which is not what I am looking for. Manuscripts of Plato’s works had no table of contents; nor did a manuscript of the histories of Herodotus. But my search was by no means comprehensive.
It’s still nice to see these things, tho. What I nowhere saw was modern-style chapters, blank lines followed by titles with numbers and another blank line. Which is interesting itself.