"The Gestation of the Codex" or, "From Scroll and Tablets to Codex and Beyond"
The following is stage one [only minor changes to the original text] of an updated and adapted version by Robert A Kraft and associates* of the following [see Table of Contents], as of 21 April 2008 (with some references to Joseph van Haelst, "Les Origines du Codex" [1989] added). For an early draft of the revision, see Gestation :




  Oxford University Press, Walton Street, Oxford ox2 6DP
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(C) 1987 reissue [1983] The British Academy

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ISBN o 19726061 6
Jacket illustration :
Painting of a young man holding an open Codex, from the catacomb of
SS. Peter and Marcellinus, Rome, third century.
By Permission of the Pontifica Commissione di Archeologia Sacra

Printed in Great Britain
by the University Press, Cambridge

[[From: Robert Kraft [mailto:kraft@ccat.sas.upenn.edu]
 Sent: 13 December 2006 04:12
 To: Fang-Fang Lam
 Cc: Robert Kraft
 Subject: Permission Procedures?

Some weeks before T. C. Skeat died, I had written him to explore the possibility of producing an updated version of "The Birth of the Codex" (1987 edition by T.C.Skeat, based on the earlier work of C.H.Roberts). Unfortunately, I never received a response. It is a tremendously useful handbook, but difficult for modern students (and some scholars) with minimal skills in the relevant languages (Greek, Latin, German, French, Italian) to use efficiently.  I propose to supply English translations as appropriate. It also needs to be updated with reference to more recent work on the subjects covered.

Since I have been working in this subject area for several years now, in the intersections of papyrology and the study of early Judaism and early Christianity, I am very interested in producing such an updated version for use in the current worlds of scholarship and general interest. I would want to make it available electronically on the internet (with appropriate links to images, and to enable regular updating), but am not opposed to hardcopy byproducts as well. Since the British Academy holds the rights to the book, I'm inquiring how to pursue such a request.
Thank you for your help.
R. A. Kraft
Emeritus Professor of Early Judaism and Early Christianity

> Dear Professor Kraft
> Thank you for your enquiry regarding the possibility of producing an updated version of "The Birth of the Codex".
> The volume is still available and continues to sell as an important scholarly contribution in its own right.
> We would have no objection to a new independent publication which builds upon the work, but we do not wish to produce a revised, or updated  edition of "The Birth of the Codex" itself.
> Yours sincerely
> Amrit Bangard
> Amrit Bangard (Ms)
> Publications Assistant
> British Academy=20
> 10 Carlton House Terrace
> London SW1Y 5AH
> Tel:  020 7969 5216
> Fax: 020 7969 5414
> www.britac.ac.uk =20

Return-Path: <kraft@ccat.sas.upenn.edu>
From: Robert Kraft <kraft@ccat.sas.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: The Birth of the Codex
To: a.bangard@britac.ac.uk (Amritpal Bangard)
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2007 23:25:04 -0500 (EST)

Thanks for getting back to me. I will pursue the possibility of developing a project (perhaps "Codex Origins and Early Developments") that expands and updates the Roberts-Skeat materials, with due credit of course. It will primarily be an online publication, and perhaps at a later time the British Academy will explore the possibility of issuing it in print.


PREFACE                                                                                               vii
LIST OF PLATES [plus some added images]                                           ix

+ Greek and Latin Vocabulary relating to "books"
1  INTRODUCTION                                                                                    1
·PAPYRUS AND PARCHMENT                                                              5
THE WRITING TABLET                                                                         11
+ Ancient School Practices


6 THE EVIDENCE OF LEGAL WRITERS                                                  30
+ Other "Paraliterary Formats and Practices

7 ROLL AND CODEX: EVIDENCE OF GREEK                                        35


+ Ancient Bookselling and Booksellers
+ Roll and Codex in early visual representations

8  THE CODEX IN EARLY CHRISTIAN LITERATURE                             38
    [[fairly simplistic and historically uncritical]]

9 WHY DID CHRISTIANS ADOPT THE CODEX?                                    45

    [[fairly simplistic and historically uncritical]]

     [[expand with additional hypotheses]]

    [[much to update, show complexities]]

12 THE CODEX IN NON-CHRISTIAN LITERATURE                                   67
     [[update, combine with chapter 8]]

13 EPILOGUE                                                                                                  75
    A LIST OF THE TEXTS REFERRED TO                                                    77
+ Bibliography
+ Reviews
+ Extra Notes



The predecessor of this monograph, The Codex, was published in the Proceedings of the British Academy 40 (1954) 169-204 and was substantially based on two lectures delivered as the Special University Lectures in Palaeography at University College, London, in January 1953. When stock was exhausted, it was clear that in view of subsequent discoveries and further work on the subject more than a reprint was called for. Since at that time I was not free to undertake the revision myself, Mr T. C. Skeat generously agreed to do it on my behalf. The present book, a completely revised and in some respects enlarged version of its predecessor, is the result of his work; for the structure of the whole and the first seven Sections he is solely responsible. We have, however, collaborated throughout and the work as it stands represents our joint views.

      Two books have greatly lightened our task, Sir Eric Turner's The Typology of the early Codex (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977) and the Abbé Joseph van Haelst's Catalogue des Papyrus Littéraires Juifs et Chrétiens (Paris, 1976) and to their authors we wish to express our indebtedness.

                                    C. H. Roberts



I        Inscribed wax tablet, mid third century B.C.E. [at least four tablets hinged horizontally, inscribed on only one side each]: account of expenses incurred on journey in Lower Egypt. Actual measurement of each tablet 9.1 cm x 5.7 cm.

             By courtesy of the Petrie Museum, University College, London (ref. UC36088,36089)

+Wax tablet and stylus, ca 600 CE, Schoyen collection: Cheikh Fadl, Egypt, 21x11 cm (wax 18x8 cm), 9+4(?)+3 lines in Greek cursive script, hinged vertically, with the original writing stylus of bronze [P.J. Sijpesteijn, Stud. Pap. 21;  H. Harrauer & P.J. Sijpesteijn: Neue Texte aus dem antiken Unterricht, Mitt. Pap. Ost. Nat. NS XV (1985)]

+Pottery Depictions of vertically hinged tablet codices from early 6th century BCE [see the online collection assembled by Andrew Wiesner and the Perseus images]

+Pottery Depictions of vertically formatted scrolls from early 6th century BCE [see the online collection assembled by Andrew Wiesner and the Perseus images]
+Sarcophagus representation, boy with scroll (folded) and open horizontally hinged tablet codex, and group with similar objects  including an open scroll held with one hand, a horizontally hinged tablet codex, and a bundle of scrolls on the floor [Rome, Vatican Museum, Gallery of the Candelabrum. Credits: Barbara McManus, 2003];

+Painted depictions of woman with horizontal hinged tablet codex (Pompeii), and another similar image (Rome)

II         Notebook on thin leather, second century A.D., with notes of labor employed and payments made. Actual measurements 7.5cm x l 1.8cm.
By permission and with the kind assistance of Professor Dr. Wolfgang Müller, Direktor des Aegvptisches Museums und Leiter der Papyrus-Sammlung der Staallichen Museen zu Berlin (P.  Berol. 7358/9)

+Sarcophagus representation, man with scroll, and woman with mini-scroll [Rome, Vatican Museum. Credits: Barbara McManus, 2003]

+boy with mini-scroll (Rome, 50-70 CE; Boston, Museum of Fine Arts. Credits: Barbara McManus, 2003)
+Painting of child reading scroll, woman holding scroll [Roman, first century CE; Pompeii, Villa of the Mysteries. Credits: Barbara McManus, 2003]

+Depiction of scroll cabinet (scrinium) and two handed reader [from Aquileia; Rome, Museum of Roman Civilization. Credits: Barbara McManus, 2003], one hand folded scroll posture [closeup] (Hadrumatum mosaic, Tunis, Bardo Museum. Credits: Barbara McManus, 1982); similar  and another angle (Rome, "Gardens of Pomey" 180-200 CE; now in London, British Museum. Credits: Barbara McManus, 2001)

+Statues of toga clad men with scroll in left hand and capsa beside left foot: St.Petersburg, Hermitage Museum. (Credits: Barbara McManus, 1988); Octagonal court of the Vatican (two);

III        Papyrus Codex of the Pauline Epistles, third century A.D.: the conjoint leaves show Romans 11.24-33 on the left and on the right the end of Philippians and the beginning of Colossians.  Actual measurements 19 cm x 30 cm.

             By courtesy of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (Papyrus II, ff 15r and 90r)

The start of Hebrews in the same codex, part of which is at U.Michigan

List of some NT papyri, with an image of p\13, an opisthograph (Livy on the other side; P.Oxy. 657)

IV        Parchment Codex of Demosthenes, De Falsa Legatione, second century A.D.: the plate shows the two pages of a bifolium, slightly reduced, each with two columns to the page. Actual measurement of a page 19 cm x 16.5 cm.

             By permission of the British Library (ref. Add.  MS. 34473, art. I)

V          Parchment Codex of the Bible, Codex Sinaiticus, fourth century A.D.: the bifolium shows in part Psalms, xix-8 -- xxiii 5. Actual measurement of a page 37.6 cm X C. 24. 7 cm.

             By permission of the British Library (ref. Add.  MS. 43725, ff  92v, 93r)

An image of a poetic, 2 columed page of Codex Sinaiticus, Psalms 5-6 [British Library]

A non- poetic, 4 columned page of Sinaiticus [Leipzig]

VI        Painting of a young man holding an open Codex, from the catacomb of SS. Peter and Marcellinus, Rome, third century.

This, the earliest representation of the codex in art, is an exception to the practice whereby in the early centuries the roll is the symbol of the book in Christian as well as in secular art.

             By permission of the Pontifica Commissione di Archeologia Sacra

+Catacomb of Domitilla, fresco including codex and scrolls [Rome, after 356]

+for some other images, search also the collection of Barbara McManus (roll, tablet, school, etc.)

+Greek and Latin Terms Relating to "Books" 

discussed in R&S
"book(s)" generic
βίβλοι librum (libri)

tablets (pages)
δέλτοι tabellae chs 3-4
δελτάριον, γραμματεῖον codex, pugillares





chartae volumina
parchment (leather) διφθέραι membranae volumina
scroll box








cabinet for books


(poetic) lines



THE MOST momentous development in the history of the book until the invention of printing was the replacement of the roll by the codex; this we may define as a collection of sheets of any material, folded double and fastened together at the back or spine, and usually protected by covers. There has never been any doubt about the physical origin of the codex, namely that it was developed from the wooden writing tablet; there should have been little doubt about the time when this development took place, although it has needed the impact of successive discoveries, mainly but not entirely in Egypt, during the present [20th] century to induce scholars to take notice of what their literary authorities told them. But the questions why this change took place when it did, in what circles the codex was first used, and why it eventually supplanted the roll, are more complex and uncertain. The aim of the present work is to suggest at least provisional answers based upon a reappraisal of our literary sources coupled with an analysis of the evidence from papyri.

     It is no part of the plan of this work to attempt to compile a bibliography of the vast literature (much of it now antiquated and inaccurate, or falsified by subsequent discoveries) concerning the codex, its origins and development. Any worker in this field must begin by expressing his obligations to Theodor Birt's Das antike Buchwesen in seinem Verhältnis zur Literatur, Berlin, 1882, supple­mented many years later by his Kritik und Hermeneutik nebst Abriss des antiken Buchwesens (Iwan v. Müller, Handbuch der Altertums­wissenschaft, I. Band, 3 Abt., München 1913). As a collection of the literary material Birt's work is indispensable and calls for few supplements, but the eccentricity of its interpretations makes it an unsafe guide even to these sources. Much can be learned from W. Schubart's Das Buch bei den Griechen und Römern (2nd edition, Berlin, 1921; the so-called 3rd edition, by E. Paul, Heidelberg and Leipzig, 1961, though embellished with additional illustrations, omits the notes which are so valuable a feature of the 2nd edition), [[02]] which still remains not only the most readable but also the most reliable introduction to the whole subject. There are many valuable observations in K. Dziatzko's Untersuchungen über ausgewählte Kapitel des antiken Buchwesens, Leipzig, 1900, supplemented by his articles 'Buch' and 'Buchhandel' in Pauly-Wissowa, Real Encyclopädie. Considering the period when he wrote, Theodor Zahn's admirable treatment of the evidence for the Christian book in his Geschichte der neutestamentlicher Kanons, i, pp. 60 sq. (Berlin, 1888) is vitiated only by the then common assumption that papyrus implies the roll and parchment the codex. All these discussions, even to a large extent that of Schubart, were written before the full effect of the Egyptian discoveries had been appreciated, and these set the sources the authors quoted in a different light. A notable attempt to re-assess the question against the background of these discoveries is that of H. A. Sanders, The Beginnings of the Modern Book: the Codex,\1/ University of Michigan Quarterly Review, 44, no. 15, Winter 1938, pp. 95-111, while among studies which have appeared since the first edition of the present work, mention may be made of H. Hunger, O. Stegmüller, and others, Geschichte der Textüberlieferung der antiken und mittelalterlichen Literatur, Zürich, 1961, especially pp. 47-51 (Hunger), 346-50 (K. Büchner). F. Wieacker, Textstufen klassischer Juristen (Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, Phil.-hist. K1., 3. Folge, Nr. 45, 1960), especially in his § 4, 'Rolle und Codex, Papyrus und Pergament', discusses the transition from roll to codex in relation to his principal thesis, namely that the works of the classical jurists (Ulpian, Paulus, etc.) were originally published in rolls, and were transferred to codices circa 300 C.E., and that hand in hand with this transference went a re-edition of the works themselves. Tönnes Kleberg, Buchhandel und Verlagswesen in der Antike, Darmstadt, 1969, includes (pp. 69-86) an "Exkurs über die Buchherstellung und die Formen des Buches in der Antike" which provides an excellent summary of the question. Sir Eric Turner's The Typologv of the Early Codex, 1977, though a mine of information concerning all physical aspects of the codex, explicitly (cf. pp. 1-2) excludes any discussion of the origin of the codex form. The latest treatment, by Guglielmo Cavallo in his composite [[03]] volume, Libri, Editori e pubblico nel Mondo antico, 1975, is considered in Section 12 below. It should be added that the task of assembling the data on texts other than Christian has been immeasurably lightened by the publication of Roger A. Pack, The Greek and Latin Literary Texts from Greco-Roman Egypt, University of Michigan Press, 1st edition 1952, 2nd edition 1965, here referred to as Pack-1 and Pack-2. In the predecessor of the present work the evidence was based on Pack-1; here it has been revised with the aid of Pack-2 and brought up to date with the aid of other bibliographies. For Christian texts the bibliographies of Kurt Aland and Joseph Van Haelst mentioned below (p. 38) have been of outstanding value.[+add references to new online resources]

\1/ See also the articles of C. C. McCown, 'Codex and Roll in the New Testament', Harvard Theological Review 34 (1941) 219-250, and ‘The earliest Christian books' in The Biblical Archaeologist 6 (1943) 21-31.

This introductory section may suitably close with a warning. An overwhelming proportion of the evidence comes from Egypt, and even then not from the centre [center] of literary and bibliographical studies, Alexandria, but from various provincial towns and villages.\2/ The chances of such a limited field of discovery enjoin great caution, and we cannot assume that, for example, the proportions of rolls and codices, or of papyrus and parchment, which have survived from different periods, reflect the position in the ancient world generally. It is to some extent reassuring that, for instance, similarities can be traced between the finds at two different city-sites, Oxyrhynchus and Antinoë,\3/ but these are less than 100 miles apart, and some correspondence would be expected.  It is also reassuring that the statistics on pp. 36-37 [??link] below, based on Pack-2 with additions, reveal much the same position as those in the first edition of this work, based on Pack-1.  But it must be borne in mind that apart from a few isolated discoveries, the bulk of the additions come from the same sources as before, and indeed most of the additional Oxyrhynchus material was actually excavated even before the publication of Pack.

\2/ On the distribution of finds see E. G. Turner, Greek Papyri, 1968, chapter 4: Place of Origin and Place of Writing; the Geographical distribution of Finds, pp. 42-53. The paperback edition of 1980 contains, on pp. 201-202 some supplementary notes. Over 50% of all literary papyri of known origin come from Oxyrhynchus, cf. P. Mertens, Proceedings of the 12th International Congress of Papyrology, pp. 303-4.

\3/ Mertens, ibid., pp. 304-7. 

    Two passages which sum up the difficulties and dangers in evaluating the material may be quoted here. The former is from T. Kleberg's Buchhandel und Verlagswesen mentioned above (p. 67): [[04]] "This presentation could provide only some fragmentary witnesses from the history of ancient book trade. But we must recognize that actually everything that we know in general about this detail of ancient life consists of fragmentary episodes that, taken together, attest to different situations and must be filled out through inferences that are not always as well grounded. And so it is generally with most areas of ancient everyday life. The ancient authors very seldom provide us with complete coherent portrayals. At most we must content ourselves with individual sparse notices that are strewn about in the large portions of the surviving literature and in inscriptions."\4/  The same point had been made long before, and even more incisively, by Prof. F. Zucker in a review of K. Ohly's Stichometrische Untersuchungen; "I need to point out that in general, with respect to knowledge of books, we are dependent on the proposal of possibilities to a much greater extent than one often appears to recognize. The material is dangerously irregular, in some respects exceedingly rich, in others very poor. Above all one must be forewarned about filling out gaps in our knowledge on the basis of certain general assumptions that seem to us to be obvious."\5/

\4/ 'Diese Darstellung konnte nur einige bruchstückartige Züge aus der Geschichte des antiken Buchhandels bieten. Aber wir müssen tatsächlich feststellen, dass alles, was wir überhaupt von dieser Einzelheit des antiken Lebens wissen, bruchstückartige Episoden sind, die zusammengestellt, von verschiedenen Seiten aus beleuchtet und durch nicht immer gleich gut begründete Schluss­folgerungen ergänzt werden müssen. So steht es übrigensmit den meisten Gebieten des antiken Alltagslebens. Die Schriftsteller der Antike bieten uns äusserst selten vollstandige zusammenhangende Schilderungen. Meist müssen wir uns mit einzelnen spärlichen Notizen begnügen, die sich über grosse Teile der erhaltenen Literatur und in Inschriften verstreut finden' [English translation supplied by RAK]. A very similar warning is given by Schubart, Das Buch ...2, p. 36

  \5/ 'Ich möchte überhaupt grundsätzlich bemerken, dass wir im Buchwesen in weit grösserem Ausmass als man vielfach anzunehmen scheint, auf die Erwägung von Möglichkeiten angewiesen sind. Das Material ist gefährlich ungleichmässig, in mancher Hinsicht überaus reich, in mancher überaus dürftig. Vor allem muss man davor warnen, Lücken unserer Kenntnis auf Grund gewisser allgemeiner Vorstellungen auszufüllen, die uns selbstverständlich erscheinen' (Gnomon 8 [1932]  384) [English translation supplied by RAK].




   As emphasized in the preceding section, the origin of the codex form of book is a question quite distinct from that of the material which the book is composed.  Throughout the whole of the period here studied papyrus and parchment were both, though in varying proportions, in common use, and although our story begins with the papyrus roll and ends with the parchment codex the dominant form of book, there is no evidence whatever to indicate whether the change of material influenced the change of form, or vice versa. What is certain is that the papyrus roll, the papyrus codex, the parchment roll, and the parchment codex were all perfectly adequate and acceptable forms of book,\6/ and each, in different areas and at different periods, remained in use for many centuries.

\6/ It is, for instance, quite wrong to describe the papyrus codex as a 'Bastardform' (Wieacker, op. cit., p. 100) or as a 'Surrogat' for the parchment codex (ibid., p. 97, n. 22).

   Nevertheless, since it has been seriously claimed that the increasing use of parchment in some way promoted the transition from roll to codex,\7/ it seems desirable to consider briefly both these materials.

\7/ Even so relatively recent a work as that of E. Arns, La Technique du Livre d'après S. Jerome, 1953, could state (p. 23, n.) 'Le codex est d'ordinaire en parchemin' [[The codex ordinarily was made of parchment]].

   First, the sources of information. The history of papyrus from every aspect in the period which concerns us is amply covered by Naphtali Lewis, Papyrus in Classical Antiquity (Oxford, 1974), a new and enlarged edition of his well-known L'Industrie du Papyrus dans l’Egypte gréco-romaine (Paris, 1934). Until recently no similar study has been devoted to the history of parchment, but now a full-scale scientific and technical investigation is available in R. Reed, Ancient Skins, Parchments and Leathers (Seminar Press, 1972).\8/ To complement this there is a useful collection of the historical and literary evidence in the University of California dissertation of Richard R. Johnson, The Role of Parchment in Greco-Roman Antiquity, [[06]] 1968 (published by University Microfilms in both microfilm and xerox form).

\8/ Cf. also the same writer's later publication, The Nature and Making of Parchment, 1975. [[publ??]]

One of Johnson's principal services is to collect and elucidate the confused and partly contradictory accounts of the 'invention' of parchment at Pergamum in the second century B.C.E. The 'invention' as such is baseless, since leather and parchment were certainly in common use in Western Asia much earlier, and Johnson also dismisses as absurd the statement that through jealousy of the growing Pergamene library the Ptolemies placed an embargo on the export of papyrus to Pergamum (how could they in fact have taken such a step while maintaining supplies to the rest of the Mediterranean world?), and concludes that what actually happened was that the Pergamene authorities were forced to fall back on parchment when Egyptian supplies of papyrus were interrupted during the invasions of Egypt by Antiochus Epiphanes (170-168 B.C.E.). It was during the same period that Pergamene scholars introduced the new material to Rome, where no doubt the shortage of papyrus was no less keenly felt.\9/ This suggestion is of importance for our study, since it would help to explain the Roman development of the parchment notebook which will be considered in the next Section.\10/

\9/ In a subsequent publication, 'Ancient and Medieval accounts of the "Invention” of Parchment', California Studies in Classical Antiquity 3 (1970) 115-122, Johnson reproduces, sometimes verbatim, but with some rearrangement and additions, most of the material in pp. 22-49 of his dissertation, omitting, however, the lengthy refutation (pp. 25-32) of Reifferscheid’s ascription to Suetonius of the account found in Isadore of Seville.

\10/ There is, of course, no reason whatever for supposing that the parchment volumes in use at Pergamum were in codex form, as conjectured by Marquardt, Privatleben der Romer 2, p. 819; they must certainly have been rolls, cf. H. Ibscher, p. 5 in the article cited in the next note, and Johnson, op. cit., pp. 56-57.

To explain the eventual supersession of papyrus by parchment a number of reasons have been put forward, and although most of them have little bearing on the origin and development of the codex, they may be briefly considered here. The comparative qualities of papyrus and parchment have often been compared, usually to the disadvantage of the former.\11/ The durability of both under normal conditions is not open to [[07]] doubt. Many instances of the long life of writings on papyrus could be quoted, but this is no longer necessary, since the myth that papyrus is not a durable material has at last been authoritatively and, one would hope, finally refuted by Lewis (op. cit., pp. 60-61). At the same time Lewis finds no difficulty in dispelling another popular delusion, namely that papyrus was essentially a fragile and brittle material.\12/ He demonstrates that it was in fact extremely strong and flexible. Wieacker's claim that parchment was preferred for the codex because papyrus was too brittle to fold is totally without foundation.

\11/ A notable exception is the article by H. lbscher, 'Der Codex' in Jahrbuch der Einbandkunst 4 (1937) 3-15, in which he discusses (pp. 5-7) the relative durability of papyrus and parchment and concludes that, at any rate in the climatic conditions of Egypt, papyrus had the advantage. This may be true, but then these conditions are peculiar to Egypt.
\12/ Cf., e.g. Wieacker, op. cit., p. 97, n. 22: 'da sich Papyrus schlecht falten lasst' [[papyrus can be folded only with difficulty]] or p. 99: 'das Papyrusblatt sich schwerer heften und, ohne zu brechen, in Lagen legen Lässt' [[the papyrus page is heavier and can be laid out in a sheet without breaking]].

    A further question which has often been fruitlessly debated is whether papyrus or parchment was the more costly material ­-- fruitlessly because objective criteria are almost wholly lacking. Richard R. Johnson (op. cit., pp. 113-117) quotes a number of earlier opinions,\13/ but finally concludes that the question is both unanswerable and meaningless. The great difficulty is that we have no comparative figures for the cost of papyrus and parchment during the same period of time.  Of the few certain prices of papyrus rolls collected by Lewis (op. cit., pp. 131-134)\14/ the latest (10 dr. 3 chalk.) is dated third century [[C.E.]], but as the amount shows it must antedate the massive inflation which marked the latter part of the century. Conversely, the only certain price recorded for parchment is that given in Diocletian's Maximum Price Edict of 301 C.E.;\15/ and there is no way in which the one can be balanced against the other. 

\13/ For further bibliography see Wieacker, op. cit., p. 97,  n. 22.   

\14/ For an attempt to determine the length of a standard papyrus roll, and thereby the approximate cost of papyrus, cf. T. C. Skeat, 'The Length of the Standard Papyrus Roll and the Cost-advantage of the Codex', Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 45 (1982) 169-75 [[reprinted in Elliott]].

\15/ Cf. Marta Giacchero, Edictum Diocletiani et Collegarum, 1974. The entry in question (7.38[40]) is mutilated, but has been plausibly restored to read: 'Membranario in quaternione pedali pergameni vel crocati (denarii) xl.' [[for membrane (parchment) in quaternio a foot in size white or yellow, 40 denarii;  A New Fragment of the 'Edictum Diocletiani' Marcus Niebuhr Tod The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 24, 1904 (1904), pp. 195-202]] This is taken to mean that a quaternion or quire of eight leaves (= 16 pages) of parchment cost 40 denarii. We now know (contra N. Lewis, L'Industrie du papyrus, pp. 154-60) that the Price Edict also included a section on papyrus (33.1-4), but unfortunately only the heading, περὶ χαρτῶν (concerning papri), plus a few odd letters, is preserved. In P. Petaus 30 (second century C.E.) there is mention of the purchase of some μεμβράναι (parchments), but as we do not know what these were, how much parchment they contained, or whether they were blank or contained written texts, the price(?) of 100 dr. for eight of them affords no evidence.

   Despite all that has been said above, even the strongest supporters of papyrus [[perhaps??]] would not deny that parchment of good [[08]] quality is the finest writing material ever devised by man. It is immensely strong, remains flexible indefinitely under normal conditions, does not deteriorate with age,\16/ and possesses a smooth even surface which is both pleasant to the eye and provides unlimited scope for the finest writing and illumination. Above all, it possesses one outstanding advantage over papyrus: whereas production of papyrus was limited to Egypt, parchment could be produced wherever the skins of suitable animals were available in sufficient quantity. The possible effect of this factor will be considered below.

\16/ Cf. Pliny, N.H. 13, 70, describing parchment as 'rei qua constat immortalitas hominum'. [[something that guarantees human immortality]]

    Why, and when, parchment replaced papyrus is a complex question detailed discussion of which is outside the scope of this book. The manufacture of papyrus in Egypt continued right up to the twelfth century C.E.,\17/ long after it had for practical purposes been replaced by parchment in both the Western and the Eastern [Mediterranean] worlds, so the disuse of papyrus cannot have been caused simply by the cessation of its production. The Arab conquest of Egypt in 641 has often been thought to have caused interruptions in the export of papyrus, but papyrus continued to reach even Western Europe long after this event,\18/ and in any case the gradual replacement of papyrus by parchment had begun much earlier.

\17/ Lewis, op. cit., pp. 92, 94, n. 10.

\18/  Cf. Lewis, op. cit., pp. 90-4, and the article by E. Sabbe, 'Papyrus et parchemin au haut moyen age,' Miscellanea historica in honorem Leonis van der Essen 1 (1947)  95-103.

    As already mentioned, parchment had the advantage over papyrus in that it could be manufactured virtually anywhere. At first sight this advantage would seem to be so overwhelming that one is inclined to pose the question, not in the form 'Why did parchment replace papyrus?', but rather 'Why did parchment take so long to replace papyrus?' Here there is a technological factor which has not hitherto been sufficiently appreciated. Whereas the manufacture of papyrus, like that of paper, is basically a simple and straightforward process, and the technical skills necessary had in any case been elaborated by the Egyptians over thousands of years, the production of parchment poses very different problems, the nature of which can best be illustrated by the following quotations from R. Reed, Ancient Skins, Parchments and Leathers:

 It is perhaps the extraordinarily high durability of the product, produced by so simple a method, which has prevented most people from [[09]] suspecting that many subtle points are involved.... The essence of the parchment process, which subjects the system of pelt to the simultaneous action of stretching and drying, is to bring about peculiar changes quite different from those applying when making leather. These are: (1) reorganisation of the dermal fibre network by stretching, and (2) permanently setting this new and highly stretched form of fibre network by drying the pelt fluid to a hard, glue-like consistency. In other words, the pelt fibres are fixed in a stretched condition so that they cannot revert to their original relaxed state (pp. 119-120).\19/

\19/ In The Nature and Making of Parchment, pp. 43-4, Reed conjectures that the innovation of the Pergamenes consisted in the discovery that 'by simplifying the composition of the pelt preparation bath, allied with a special mode of drying wet unhaired pelts (by stretching them as much as possible) smooth taut sheets of uniform opacity could easily be obtained.'

      Where the medieval parchment makers were greatly superior to their modern counterparts was in the control and modification of the ground substance in the pelt, before the latter was stretched and dried .... The major point, however, which modern parchment manufa­cturers have not appreciated is what might be termed the integral or collective nature of the parchment process. The bases of many different effects need to be provided for simultaneously, in one and the same operation. The properties required in the final parchment must be catered for at the wet pelt stage, for due to the peculiar nature of the parchment process, once the system has been dried, any after treatments to modify the material produced are greatly restricted. (p. 124).

      This method, which follows those used in medieval times for making parchment of the highest quality, is preferable for it allows the grain surface of the drying pelt to be "slicked" and freed from residual fine hairs whilst stretched upon the frame.  At the same time, any processes for cleaning and smoothing the flesh side, or for controlling the thickness of the final parchment may be undertaken by working the flesh side with sharp knives which are semi-lunar in form. . . . . To carry out such manual operations on wet stretched pelt demands great skill, speed of working, and concentrated physical effort. (pp. 138-9).

      Enough has been said to suggest that behind the apparently simple instructions contained in the early medieval recipes there is a wealth of complex process detail which we are still far from understanding. Hence it remains true that parchment-making is perhaps more of an art than a science. (p. 172).

From these statements it will be clear that a parchment industry on a scale adequate to enable it to challenge the [[10]] dominance of papyrus could not have been created overnight. Many years -- perhaps even centuries -- would have been required to work out the details of the process by trial and error, and to build up and train a sufficient labor force spread over the length and breadth of the Roman Empire. We must also bear in mind the probable nature and size of the opposition which it had to face.  Although our knowledge of the subject is virtually a blank, it is obvious that the organization of the manufacture and distribution of papyrus must have been on a gigantic scale, involving many thousands of persons and supported by massive invested capital.  This alone would have provided a formidable obstacle to any potential competitor, especially when backed by the natural conservatism of the public and popular reluctance to abandon a traditional and well-tried material. When we add to all this the technological difficulties already mentioned, it can readily be understood why the changeover took centuries to complete.

        This brief survey will, it is hoped, be sufficient to show that the transition from papyrus to parchment was of an entirely different character from, and quite unconnected with, the transition from roll to codex, to which we will now turn.

[[add notes \20/ and \21/ or modify numbers]]




    THE writing tablet need not long detain us.  It was commonly formed of two or more flat pieces of wood, held together either by a clasp or by cords passed through pierced holes; the central area of the tablet was usually hollowed slightly to receive a coating of wax, while a small raised surface was often left in the centre to prevent the writing on the wax being damaged when the tablet was closed. [[Such tablets are depicted in both a "vertical" form (opening away from the user) and a "horizontal" form (opening to the side), with multiple pieces sometimes attached accordian style (see n.23 below). These variations also mirror different ancient scroll formats (vertical and horizontal).]] Writing in ink or chalk was sometimes placed directly on the wood. It was one of the oldest, if not the oldest,\22/ recipient of writing known to the Greeks, who may have borrowed it from the Hittites.\23/ [[add information on its wide use in the Near East]] Homer knew of it, for it was on a folded tablet or diptych [["two piecer"]] that Proitos scratched the 'deadly marks' (Iliad 6.168 sq.) that were intended to send Bellerophon to his death. To the Greeks of the classical age the tablet had a tradition behind it and a dignity that the papyrus roll lacked;\24/ in Sophocles, Agamemnon orders the muster roll [list] of the Greek princes to be read from a tablet, and it is on a tablet that Zeus, in a fragment of Euripides, records the sins of men.\25/ In later Greece they [tablets] were the familiar recipient of anything of an impermanent nature -- letters, bills, accounts, school exercises [+add somewhere the details from Cribiore's research], memoranda, a writer's first draft. Already in the [[12]] fifth century [[B.C.E]] tablets of several leaves were in use,\26/ but the nature of the material would set a limit to their number, and in fact no specimen surviving from antiquity has more than ten.\27/ [[add rabbinic reference to 12?]] The earliest surviving Greek tablets, seven in number, date from the middle of the third century B.C.E.  All surfaces [[? both sides??]] were covered with wax, sometimes black, sometimes red; they contain rough accounts of expenses during a journey on the Nile.\28/ In Rome they were equally familiar from an early date and were employed not only for the casual purposes of everyday life but for legal documents and official certificates [[e.g. debts and birth records]].  Of their use as the author's notebook Pliny the Younger gives a vivid picture in his account of his uncle at work.\29/ By his side stood a slave with a book to read to his master and tablets on which to take down in shorthand anything that had to be extracted or noted; from these tablets (pugillares) were compiled the immense commentarii, filling 160 rolls and written on both sides of each roll [["opisthographs"]] in a minute hand.  These rolls must have been inconceivably cumbrous to use, particularly in the composition of a work such as the Natural History, and it is odd that, with the tablets at his side to point the way, Pliny did not anticipate the invention of the codex by substituting for the opisthograph roll a collection of folded sheets of papyrus.

\22/ The Mycenaean Greeks, of course, used clay tablets and also, possibly, papyrus (cf. clay sealings containing impressions of papyrus fibres, Marinates, Minos, i, p. 40; Maurice Pope, "The Cretulae and the Linear A Accounting System," Annual of the British School at Athens 55 [1960] 201), but neither seems to have survived the collapse of Mycenaean civilization.

\23/ See C. Wendel, Die griechisch-römische Buchbeschreibung verglichen mit der des Vorderen Orients, 1949, p. 91. A Western Asiatic origin is suggested also by the set of ivory tablets from Nimrod, dated to about 707-705 B.C.E.; these, which still retained some of their yellow wax coating, had originally been hinged together on both sides so as to fold up concertina-fashion, whereas the tablets of walnut wood found with them had perforations so that they could have been strung together [[on one side only]] by, e.g. leather thongs (Iraq 16 (1954) 65, 97-9; 17 (1955) 3 20). For representations of wooden writing-tablets in Neo-Hittite reliefs of the same period see B. van Regemorter, 'Le codex relié à 1'époque néo-Hittite,' Scriptorium 12  (1958) 177-181 [[and J. A. Szirmai, "Wooden Writing Tablets and the Birth of the Codex," Gazette du livre me/die/val 17 (1990) 31-31 (see also Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible 209)]].

\24/ On this see Dziatzko, op. cit., p. 138, quoting a paper by Fr. Marx (not accessible to us); the gods are represented as using δέλτοι, διφθέραι, ὄστρακα, σκυτάλαι (tablets, parchments, ostraca, stick-codes), anything in fact except βίβλοι, written papyrus rolls.  Cf. L. Koep, Das himmlische Buch in Antike und Christentum,1952, pp. 15-16.

\25/ Sophocles, fr. (Pearson) 144; Euripides, fr. 506 (Nauck). [[The association of tablets with divine activities and information is strong in the ancient middle east; (add bibliog)]]

\26/ Cf. Euripides, I.T. 727, δέλτου μὲν αἵδε πολύθυροι διαπτυχαί (of a tablet, then, many folding pages). Schubart's comment (op. cit., p. 175) that πτυχή (fold) is not strictly applicable to a hard material such as wood, and that therefore in this passage it implies a previous use of folded leather, papyrus, etc., is misconceived, since πτυχή can be used of the folds of doors. Cf. LSJ and Pollux, Onomast., ed. Bethe, i, p. 207 [= TLG 418, 2nd century CE]: καὶ Ἡρόδοτος (VII 239) μὲν λέγει `δελτίον δίπτυχον,’ οἱ δ’ Ἀττικοὶ ‘γραμματεῖον δίθυρον,’ καὶ θύρας τὰς πτύχας ἄχρι δύο, εἶτα πτύχας, καὶ τρίπτυχον καὶ πολύπτυχον (and Herodotus said "two-fold tablet," but the Attic commentators "two-paged notebook," and pages/doors the folds until two, then folds, even tri-fold and multiple-fold) [[check ET of Herodotous 7.239]].

\27/For the uses to which tablets were put see Schubart, Das Buch...2, pp. 24 sqq., and notes, p. 175; the ninefold wax tablet illustrated on p. 24 must originally have had ten leaves (see Plaumann's article referred to by Schubart, p. 175). P. Fouad 74 of the fourth century C.E. refers to and describes a δελτάριον δεκάπτυχον (ten folded little tablet). [[Jewish rabbinic literature refers to a 12 leafed version -- see Lieberman, etc.]]

\28/ Published by H. I. Bell and Flinders Petrie, Ancient Egypt 3 (1927) 65-74. For photographs of three of them see Petrie, Objects of Daily Life, pl. lix. One is reproduced here as Plate I.

\29/ Ep. 3.5.15 sq. [[To Baebius Macer -- 10 Post cibum saepe - quem interdiu levem et facilem veterum more sumebat - aestate si quid otii iacebat in sole, liber legebatur, adnotabat excerpebatque. Nihil enim legit quod non excerperet; dicere etiam solebat nullum esse librum tam malum ut non aliqua parte prodesset. 11 Post solem plerumque frigida lavabatur, deinde gustabat dormiebatque minimum; mox quasi alio die studebat in cenae tempus. Super hanc liber legebatur adnotabatur, et quidem cursim. . . . 15 In itinere quasi solutus ceteris curis, huic uni vacabat: ad latus notarius cum libro et pugillaribus, cuius manus hieme manicis muniebantur, ut ne caeli quidem asperitas ullum studii tempus eriperet; qua ex causa Romae quoque sella vehebatur. 16 Repeto me correptum ab eo, cur ambularem: 'poteras' inquit 'has horas non perdere'; nam perire omne tempus arbitrabatur, quod studiis non impenderetur. 17 Hac intentione tot ista volumina peregit electorumque commentarios centum sexaginta mihi reliquit, opisthographos quidem et minutissimis scriptos; qua ratione multiplicatur hic numerus. Referebat ipse potuisse se, cum procuraret in Hispania, vendere hos commentarios Larcio Licino quadringentis milibus nummum; et tunc aliquanto pauciores erant.
[ET Harvard Classics Letter #27] After a short and light refreshment at noon (agreeably to the good old custom of our ancestors) he would frequently in the summer, if he was disengaged from business, lie down and bask in the sun; during which time some author was read to him (liber legebatur), while he took notes and made extracts (adnotabat excerpebatque), for every book he read he made extracts (excerperet) out of, indeed it was a maxim of his, that “no book was so bad but some good might be got out of it.” [11] When this was over, he generally took a cold bath, then some light refreshment and a little nap. After this, as if it had been a new day, he studied till supper-time, when a book was again read (liber legebatur) to him, which he would take down running notes upon (adnotabatur). . . . [15] A shorthand writer [notarius] constantly attended him, with book and tablets [cum libro et pugillaribus], who, in the winter, wore a particular sort of warm gloves, that the sharpness of the weather might not occasion any interruption to my uncle’s studies: and for the same reason, when in Rome, he was always carried in a chair. [16] I recollect his once taking me to task for walking. “You need not,” he said, “lose these hours.” For he thought every hour gone [lost] that was not given to study. [17] Through this extraordinary application he found time to compose the several treatises [volumina] I have mentioned, besides one hundred and sixty volumes of extracts [electorumque commentarios] which he left me in his will, consisting of a kind of commonplace, written on both sides [opisthographos], in very small hand [minutissimis scriptos], so that one might fairly reckon the number considerably more. He used himself to tell us that when he was comptroller of the revenue in Spain, he could have sold these manuscripts to Largius Licinus for four hundred thousand sesterces, and then there were not so many of them.]

      The correct designation in Latin for a plurality of tablets or for multi-leaved tablets was codex, whether the material used was wood, as was usual or, e.g., ivory. When Seneca [[the Younger]] enlarges\30/ on that inane studium supervacua discendi, [[vain passion for learning (digressing on ??) useless things ]], an infection the Romans had contracted from the Greeks, he cites as an example the enquiry [[13]] whether Claudius Caudex, one of the consuls of 264 B.C.E., was so called 'quia plurium tabularurn contextus caudex apud antiquos vocabatur, unde publicae tabulae codices dicuntur.'[[because among the ancients a structure formed by joining together several tablets was called a caudex, whence also the Tables of the Law (?? public tablets??) are called codices]]. Already in the time of Cato the Censor\31/ the words tabulae and codex were interchangeable, and both are frequently found in Cicero for tablets used for business purposes.\32/ But neither now nor for a long time to come was there any question of the word codex denoting a book.

\30/ De Brevitate Vitae 13. [[An English translation is online at http://www.stoics.com/seneca_essays_book_2.html#%E2%80%98VITAE1]] Seneca's account may derive from Varro ap. Nonius Marcellus p. 535 M (quod antiqui pluris tabulas coniunctas cortices dicebant [[because the ancients called many tablets joined together cortices]]); cf. Seneca [[the Elder]], Contr. 1, praef. 18.

\31/ [[late 3rd, early 2nd century BCE]] Cato ap. Fronto, Ep. ad Ant. i 2, p. 99 N: iussi caudicem proferri ubi mea oratio scripta erat... tabulae prolatae[[ ... usque istuc ad lignum dele.  I called for the book to be brought forth in which my speech
was written ... the records were produced ... delete that right down to the wood]

\32/ G.E.M. de Ste Croix, 'Greek and Roman Accounting' in Studies in the History of Accounting, ed. A. C. Littleton and B. S. Yamey, 1956, pp. 41-3; P. Jouanique, 'Le codex accepti et expensi chez Cicéron', Revue historique de Droit francais et étranger 46 (1968) 5-31.

        Two passages which have been claimed as evidence for the use of parchment in codex form during the Republican period may be briefly considered here. At the funeral of Clodius in 52 B.C.E. the mob broke into the Senate House and piled up wooden furniture and codices librariorum (books from the library) to form a funeral pyre, which burned so fiercely that the Senate House itself was consumed. Schubart in discussing this passage strangely concludes that these codices were volumes of the official Acta of the Senate (Aktenbände), and implies, though he does not specifically say so, that they were on parchment. There is no evidence whatever for this hypothesis, and indeed no reason to suppose that codices in this passage had any other than its then normal significance of sets of waxed tablets.\33/ As Sanders pointed out,\34/ they were seized upon by the mob precisely because, like the wooden furniture, they were highly flammable, whereas parchment is not flammable and burns only with difficulty.\35/

\33/ For the view that the official records of the Senate were on wood or waxed tablets e.g. G. Cencetti, 'Gli archivi dell' antica Roma nell' eta repubblicana', Archivi d'Italia, Ser. 2, 7 (1940) 14 n. 29.

\34/ 'Codices Librariorum,' Classical Philology 29 (1934) 251-252, and 'The Codex', 98-99. The same view is taken by E. Kornemann, art. 'Tabulae Publicae' in Pauly-Wissowa, RE; R. R. Johnson, op. cit., pp. 65-6; E. Posner, Archives in the Ancient World, pp. 162-3; N. Lewis, Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 11 (1974) 49-51.

\35/ For the effect of heat on parchment see R. Reed, Ancient Skins, Parchments and Leathers, pp. 316-18.

      The second passage, on which much ink has been spilt to little profit, is the statement by the elder Pliny that Cicero had reported a copy of the Iliad on parchment which could be enclosed in a [[14]] nut (in nuce inclusam Iliadem Homeri carmen in membrana tradit Cicero).  This is quoted by Pliny (N.H. 7.21.85) to illustrate a case of extremely good eyesight. It has often been denounced as an absurdity.\36/  Sanders, for instance,\37/ sarcastically remarks that to contain a manuscript of the entire Iliad the nut must have been a coconut.  He then attempts to rationalize the story by suggesting that in nuce, instead of meaning 'in a nut-shell,' could also mean 'in boards of nut-wood,' i.e. the manuscript must have been a codex bound in boards of a wood such as walnut. Bilabel, art. Membrana in Pauly-Wissowa, RE, takes much the same line, suggesting a box of nut-wood. However, as has been justly pointed out, if in nuce does not mean 'in a nut-shell,' the whole story loses its point. Of course, what Cicero meant [e.g. a play on words?] and what Pliny understood [as literal] -- and what we understand -- may be quite different. See further Bagnall lectures.

\36/ Cf., e.g. R. R. Johnson, op. cit., pp. 66-8.

\37/ The Codex..., pp. 103-4.

         The trouble is that none of the scholars who have commented on this passage have investigated the subject of microscopic writing, and therefore have no conception of what can be achieved by ingenuity and application. To take but a single example, Harley MS. 530 in the British Museum contains (f. 14b) a contemporary account of a Bible written by the celebrated Elizabethan writing-master Peter Bales so small that it could be contained in a walnut-shell. If Peter Bales could put the entire Bible into a walnut-shell in the sixteenth century C.E. there seems no reason why the much shorter Iliad\38/ could not have been similarly accommodated in the first century B.C.E.  But in reality the whole story is of no practical importance; it is simply one of the ‘curiosities of literature'\39/ and should not feature in any serious discussion of either the employment of parchment\40/ or the origin of the codex. The attention which has been paid to this trifling anecdote demonstrates only one thing -- the extraordinary poverty of our sources of information. [+add somewhere the details from Cribiore's research; also add [so Parsons review] mention of the Vindolandia tablets and the discussion by A. K. Bowman and  J. D. Thomas, Vindolanda: The Latin Writing Tablets (1983) 40ff]

\38/ Very approximately, the Bible is six times as long as the Iliad. [+ Mani codex size, etc.]

\39/ Isaac D'Israeli, Curiosities of Literature, 1881-1882 edition, pp. 99-100. D'Israeli quotes the story of the Peter Bales Bible as an example of minute writing, and then goes on to discuss the Pliny passage, remarking that three centuries earlier the scholar Pierre Daniel Huet had demonstrated that it was perfectly possible to write a copy of the Iliad small enough to go in a walnut-shell.

\40/ The choice of parchment rather than papyrus was no doubt dictated by the fact that parchment can be pared down to any thinness required, whereas the thickness of papyrus is [[relatively]] unalterable. Sanders appears to assume that the manuscript was a codex, but an opisthograph roll would have occupied less space and fitted better inside a nut-shell. See also Evan T. Sage, "The Publication of Martial's Poems," TransAm. Phil.  Ass. ... (1919) 173, who assumes it was a codex.





   It would seem that it was the Romans, rather than the Greeks, who developed the writing tablet to a size where it could accommodate lengthy accounts (they distinguished, as the Greeks did not, between the large tablet and the pugillares that could be held in a closed hand). Certainly it was the Romans who took the decisive next step, that of replacing the wooden tablet by a lighter, thinner and more pliable material [[including very thin wood, as at Vindolanda]]. We have seen that, according to our literary evidence, the Romans may have been made familiar with parchment as a writing material before the middle of the second century B.C.E. But if, as also our sources suggest, it was intended as a substitute for papyrus, it would probably have been used, like papyrus, in roll form.\41/  In any case it is probable that after the temporary interruption of supply [[in the early 2nd century B.C.E.]] papyrus regained its former predominance, though some know­ledge of the usability of parchment may have subsisted.\42/

\41/ Cf. p. 6 at note 10 above.

\42/ Apart from the Pergamene experiments, parchment was certainly being used in Priene in the first century B.C.E., cf. the inscriptions discussed by R. R. Johnson, op. cit., pp. 57-9. These relate to the writing of local records in dual form, ἐν δερματίνοις καὶ βυβλίνοις τεύχεσιν (made on pieces of leather and of papyrus).  Did the official Zosimus, whose initiative is commemorated, appreciate the superior lasting quality of parchment later emphasised by Pliny?

        Evidence from the last years of the Republic is scanty and of doubtful interpretation.  We have already dismissed the suggestion that the codices librariorum which contributed to the funeral pyre of Clodius were of parchment [[above, at n. 34]]. A letter of Cicero to Atticus, written in 45 B.C.E., contains the sentence 'Quattuor διφθέραι sunt in tua potestate' [[four διφθέραι [leather copies of Varro's writings] are in your possession]], and it has been conjectured that these parchments were in the form of rolls; but there is so much uncertainty about the interpretation of the passage that it cannot safely be used as evidence.\43/ All we can perhaps infer is that Cicero's use of the Greek word διφθέραι (leather pieces) indicates that although the use of parchment as a writing material was known in cultured [[16]] Roman society, it was not sufficiently familiar for it to have a recognised Latin equivalent. [[?? analogies show that language doesn't always develop that way!]]

\43/ Ad Atticum 13.24.1. Cf. D. R. Shackleton Bailey, Cicero's Letter to Atticus, vol. v, no. 332, and commentary pp. 379, 380.

      Another passage which has often been quoted in this connection is Catullus 22.4-8:

[[... idemque longe plurimos facit uersus.]]
puto esse ego illi milia aut decem aut plura
perscripta, nec sic ut fit in palimpsesto
relata: cartae regiae, novi libri,
novi umbilici, lora rubra, membrana
derecta plumbo, et pumice omnia aequata.

[Suffenus] also makes many more verses.
I suppose there to be a thousand or ten or even more
written out in full -- and not, as is often done,
on reused material: imperial paper, new rolls,
new rollers, red ties, parchments,
all ruled with lead and smoothed with pumice.

There are a number of textual problems in these lines, but these do not concern us here. There can at least be little doubt about the significance of membrana in 1ine 7: it is the parchment wrapper used to protect the papyrus roll. [[Parsons (review) asks: "was the ruling really on the parchment wrapper of the roll?"]] Controversy has however raged about the meaning of 'in palimpsesto.'  It has, for instance, been argued that 'palimpsest' means 'scraped again,' as in the case of parchment manuscripts of later centuries from which the original writing has been removed to enable the material to be re-used; and that since such vigorous action could not have been safely applied to a delicate material like papyrus, the term 'palimpsest' implies the use of parchment.

       There is much misconception here. In the first place, the Greek form of the word shows that it was invented in an area of Greek culture, where papyrus would have been the normal writing material, and that the term must have applied, originally at any rate, to papyrus and not parchment. [[Big assumption!]]  This is confirmed by the statement of Plutarch,\44/ that Plato compared Dionysius of Syracuse to a βιβλίον παλίμψηστον [[reused book]], because traces of the tyrant showed through the veneer of refinement just as traces of earlier writing might remain in a papyrus roll from which the text had been washed off.  Another passage in Plutarch,\45/ ὥσπερ παλίψηστα διαμολύνοντες (like corrupted palimpsests), is less illuminating, but is also likely to refer to papyrus, since there is nothing to suggest parchment. Finally, the word recurs in Latin dress in a letter of Cicero: nam quod in palimpsesto, laudo equidem parsimoniam; sed miror quid in illa chartula fuerit.' [[as for your writing it on a palimpsest, I certainly find this thriftiness admirable; but I'm puzzled what can have been on that little papyrus sheet (chartula), so that you preferred rubbing it out to the idea of not writing your letter -- unless it was your own forms (formulas) . . . [unless you're indicating that] you haven't even got a supply of papyrus (ne chartam quidem tibi suppeditare) ?]]\46/  Here the 'palimpsest' is unquestionably of papyrus, since it is equated with the following chartula [little papyrus].\47/

\44/ Moralia [Maxime cum principibus philosopho esse disserendum] 779 C.                

\45/  Moralia [De garrulitate] 504 D.

\46/ Ad fam. 7.18.2.           

\47/ Cf. R. R. Johnson, op. cit., pp. 60-61. [[G.O.Hutchinson, Cicero's Correspondence: A Literary Study (Oxford University Press 1998)  183-185 (he seems to assume papyrus). In the context, Cicero wonders if his own letters are being thus reused.]]

     One further passage which may be relevant for the writing practices of Republican Rome occurs in Suetonius, Divus Julius 56.6,\51/ where he describes the form of Julius Caesar's despatches to the Senate in the following words: Epistulae quoque eius ad Senatum extant, quas primum videtur ad paginas et formam memorialis libelli convertisse, cum antea consoles et duces non nisi transversa charta scriptas mitterent. [[Some letters of his to the senate are also extant, and he seems to have been the first to convert such documents to pages and the format of a memorandum book, whereas previously consuls and generals did not send their reports except (on sheets) written against the papyrus fibers.]] Unfortunately the sense of the passage is far from clear. The first problem is to determine the form of writing used by Caesar's predecessors, from which his innovation constituted a departure. Suetonius describes these earlier dispatches as 'transversa charta scriptas.' Dziatzko,\52/ followed by Maunde Thompson,\53/ suggested that this meant written at right angles to the length of the roll (and therefore parallel with its axis).  It has [[19]] been objected that although such a manner of writing is found occasionally in Ptolemaic papyri of the third century B.C.E.\54/ and again in papyri of the Byzantine age, there are no examples of either literary or documentary papyri so written from the intervening period. Nevertheless it now seems to be agreed\55/ that this is the only possible interpretation of transversa charta, particularly as the only alternative, viz. with lines written parallel to the length of the roll, would simply be the normal method of writing and would require no special description. [[But it is not necessary to posit a roll; the point may be that earlier reports were on unbound sheets, while Caesar made them into bound pages. Why such unbound sheets would be inscribed against the fibers is another matter.]]

   Thus all the evidence points to the conclusion that a 'palimpsest' [[17]] was a papyrus from which the writing had been removed to enable it to be re-used.

         The second misconception concerns what may for convenience be termed the palimpsesting process. As Birt showed,\48/ the verb ψάω does not necessarily connote anything so vigorous as 'scrap­ing'; it means in fact nothing more than 'smoothing' or 'rubbing' which would be quite appropriate to the action of washing off the writing from papyrus with a sponge or cloth. Indeed, even in the case of parchment palimpsests of later ages the process was by no means so drastic as is commonly supposed: to quote E. A. Lowe,\49/ 'The word palimpsest comes, as everyone knows, from the Greek παλίνψηστος, meaning scraped or rubbed again. Although the word enjoys general favour, it can be misleading. For one thing, the membranes of the palimpsests treated here were usually not subjected to a second scraping; the process was the more gentle one of washing off their original writing. It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to resuscitate the lower script if the membranes had been scraped again as thoroughly as they had been the first time....' Independent evidence of the nature of the palimpsesting process applied to papyrus is provided by a recipe in the Papyrus Holmiensis (ed. O. Lagercrantz, 1913, GAMMA, II.18-29 [= TLG Fragmenta Alchemica, Tractatus alchemicus (fragmenta) (P. Holm.) 12 ]. This recipe is for a kind of paste intended primarily for whitening pearls, but which can also be used for removing writing from papyrus: Αὕτη δὲ καὶ χάρτας γεγραμμένους πάλιν ψᾶ, | ὥστε δοκεῖν μηδέποτε γεγράφθαι . . .  ἐὰν δὲ εἰς χάρτην, μόνα τὰ γράμματα | χρῖε. [[ET Now this also can be rubbed again on inscribed papyrus sheets/rolls so that they seem never to have been inscribed ... but if on papyrus touch only the letters]]. As Lagercrantz points out in the notes (pp. 160-161), 'Die Wörter­bücher geben ψῶ wieder durch "kratze, reibe, streiche". Für unsere Stelle muss die Bedeutung "säubere" vorausgesetzt werden, und zwar so dass die Art und Weise, wie die Säuberung geschieht, ganz in den Hintergrund tritt. Durch Kratzung lässt sich Schrift auf Pergament, Wachs, usw. tilgen. Aber nicht auf Papyrus, der zu spröde ist, um eine Behandlung dieser Art vertragen zu können. Papyrus wird hingegen in der Regel gewaschen - πάλιν ist streng genommen tautologisch.' [[The lexicons translate ψῶ with "scrape, rub, smooth."  For our passage the meaning "remove" must be present, and indeed so that the manner and procedure as to how the removal occurred, recedes entirely into the background. Through scraping writing is removed on parchment, wax, etc. But not on papyrus, which is too fragile to be able to survive a procedure of this sort. As a rule, however, papyrus would be washed -- πάλιν has become strictly speaking tautological.]] Although Lagercrantz does not enlarge upon his final observation, that πάλιν is tautologous, there can be little doubt that πάλιν ψᾶ [rub again] (which might even be written παλίμψᾶ [[get subscript]]) is the verb of which παλίμψηστος [[18]] is the verbal adjective. We could thus translate 'This (recipe) can also be used for palimpsesting written papyrus rolls' etc.

\48/ Kritik und Hermeneutik, p. 290; cf. R. R. Johnson, op. cit., p. 61.

\49/ 'Codices Rescripti: a list of the oldest Latin palimpsests with stray observations on their origin,' E. A. Lowe, Palaeographical Papers 2, pp. 480-519.

  However, by far the greatest source of confusion has been the employment by modern palaeographers of the convenient term 'palimpsests' or its factitious Latin equivalent 'libri rescripti' to denote re-written parchment manuscripts, with the result that the word 'palimpsest' has become inextricably linked with the use of parchment, in defiance of all the ancient evidence. This miscon­ception has coloured all discussion of the Catullus passage down to the present day.

   This lengthy digression has been necessary to demonstrate that the Catullus passage has nothing to do with the use of parchment for writing material -- let alone a parchment note-book, which for Suffenus's poem, which ran to over 10,000 lines and would thus have filled three papyrus rolls of normal size, would have been hopelessly inadequate. All the passage tells us is that it was normal practice (ut fit) for an author to use old papyrus rolls from which the text had been washed off for his own draft.\50/ For publication this would, of course, be handed over to the scriveners for professional copying.  Catullus here hits at the ridiculous vanity of Suffenus, who insisted on using only the finest materials for this first and transitory stage of composition.

\50/  So R. Quinn, Catullus: the Poems,, 1973, pp. 157-8  correctly translates it second-hand papyrus.

See C. H. Roberts, 'A Note on Suetonius, Divus Julius 56, 6', J.R.S. 23 (1933) 139-42; Sanders, The Codex, p. 102.

\52/ Op. cit., p. 124

\53/ An Introduction to Greek and Latin Palaeography, 1912, p. 46, n 3.

For the Ptolemaic evidence see J. Vergote, Le Muséon 59 (1946) 253-8.

\55/ See most recently E. G. Turner, The Terms Recto and Verso: the Anatomy of the Papyrus Roll (Papyrologica Bruxellensia 16), 1978, pp. 27-32.

  We now have to decide the nature of Caesar's innovation. In the first place his writing was certainly in a succession of columns, since this is the only possible meaning of paginas. [[why so? what were single sheets called?]] Suetonius has thus adequately described the method of writing, and he now turns to the format (ad formam). It has been claimed that this form was simply the normal papyrus roll; but if so, why did Suetonius find it necessary to employ the unusual expression memorialis libelli?\56/ If he had meant written in ordinary book form\57/ he would presumably have said simply ad formam libri. If, on the other hand, memorialis libri means 'note-book' or, more literally, 'memorandum-book,' we may conjecture that Caesar fastened a number of sheets together, like the parchment note-books (membranae) of which we shall hear later. If it is objected that in such a case Suetonius might have been expected to write ad formam membranarum, this might have been confusing since Caesar undoubtedly used papyrus, like his predecessors (transversa charta): Suetonius says that Caesar changed the form of his despatches, not the material.\58/

\56/ The examples quoted in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, s.v. memorialis, do not contribute anything positive to the interpretation of the phrase memorialis libelli.

\57/ As concluded by J. Vergote, op. cit., and F. G. Kenyon, Books and Readers in Ancient Greece and Rome, 2nd ed., 1951, p. 57, n. 1. This is also the position which E. G. Turner, op.cit., p.32, is 'inclined to prefer.'

\58/ Sanders (op. cit., p. 102) believed that Caesar used parchment, but there is no evidence whatsoever for this, and apart from Suetonius's wording, the Roman army's consistent use of papyrus over the centuries is against it.  [[or possibly wood?? see nowVindolanda; Parsons review, reporting their argument: "...transversa charta means 'across the fibres', so that Caesar will have sent his despatches from Gaul not in the form of a rotulus, but 'in the forma of a note-book' (so they interpret memorialis libelli, plausibly, against Turner) -- did he have this partly in mind, when he entitled the collected version Commentarii?"]]

  That Julius Caesar may have been the inventor of the codex (and, at that, of the papyrus codex) is indeed a fascinating proposition; but in view of the uncertainties surrounding the passage it is doubtful whether any such [[firm]] conclusion can be drawn. [[But indeed, the clues are strong, if a connection of notebook/codex and commentarii can be sustained.]]

   [[20]] Passing on to the Augustan age we reach firmer ground with two quotations from Horace:

Sic raro scribis, ut toto non quater anno
membranam poscas, scriptorum quaeque retexens (Sat. ii. 3, 1-2)
[[So rarely do you write, that hardly four times each year
do you require parchment, (and) a scribe unravelling everything]]

                ,Si quid tamen olim
scripseris, in Maeci descendat iudicis auris         
et patris et nostras, nonumque prematur in annum,
membranes intus positis: delere licebit
quod non edideris (Ars Poetica, 386-390)
[[Yet if one day you ever do
write, let it reach the critic Maecius’ ears,
and your father’s and ours, and conceal to the ninth year
placing the parchments inside: it is permissible to delete
what you will not edit.]]

       We can see that by this time it was a well-established practice to use parchment for rough drafts of literary works. We can also conclude, from the reference to deletion in the second passage, that parchment was employed for this purpose because it possessed the same advantage of re-usability as waxed or wooden tablets, since the ink could easily be washed off the parchment.\59/ Although there is no direct evidence at this period that these membranae consisted of sheets of parchment sewn or fastened together in what we may now call codex form, this is highly probable in view of the fact that they appear as alternatives to the waxed tablet. But it is not until late in the first century C.E. that this probability becomes a certainty [[for literary works]], as will be shown below.  In any case, we can see that already by the time of Horace a differentiation had arisen between the singular membrane, meaning the material, and the plural membranae, meaning the parchment note-book.

\59/ This would be particularly easy with the carbon ink then in use, which has poor adhesion to parchment, cf. R. R. Johnson, op. cit., pp. 102-3, 109-10. The earliest example of metallic ink in the Graeco-Roman world is perhaps P. Oxy. 44.3197, dated C.E. 3 [[?? 111CE, division of slaves ed. J. D. Thomas]] (cf. P. Oxy. 44, p. 169, n.).

  The story of the parchment note-book is continued in the first century C.E. by a quotation from Persius (circ. 55-60 C.E.), when he lists the items needed by the student:

iam liber et positis bicolor membrane capillis
inque manus chartae nodosaque venit harundo (Sat. 3.10-11)
[[Now a book, and bicolored parchment devoid of hair
and there comes to hand papyri and a knotty reed]]

Positis capillis clearly refers to the depilation of the skin in the process of parchment making.  Bicolor is more difficult to interpret, but probably refers to the difference in color between the flesh-side of parchment and the hair-side, which is often markedly [[21]] yellower.\60/ This difference would not leap to the eye in the case of a parchment roll, in which all the membranes would be sewn together the same way round, but it would be very noticeable in the case of a parchment note-book in codex form, particularly if care had not been taken to arrange the leaves so that flesh- and hair-sides faced each other. The passage may thus be taken to indicate that the membranae, at this period if not earlier, were parchment note-books in codex form.

\60/ So Sanders, The Codex, p. 101, and R. R. Johnson, op. cit, pp. 72-3. In the edition of Persius by Dominicus Bo (Turin, 1969), the editor notes: "'bicolor" autem dicitur uel quod pars crocea (cf. schol. ad Iuu. vii 23 sq.) pars flaua (cf. Ov. trist. iii 1, 3), uel quod pars candida, pars subnigra erat.' [[ET But it is said to be "bicolor" either because it was partly saffron yellow (cf. scholion to Iuu 7.23 f.) partly golden yellow (cf. Ovid trist. 3.1.3), or because partly white, partly darker.]]

The final proof is provided by Quintilian (circ. C.E. 90), who gives the following advice: [[It is best to write on wax owing to the facility which it offers for erasure, though weak sight may make it desirable to employ parchment by preference. The latter, however, although of assistance to the eye, delays the hand and interrupts the stream of thought owing to the frequency with which the pen has to be supplied with ink (32) But whichever is employed, blank pages (tabellae) must be left in which one is free to make additions at will.]] Scribi optime ceris, in quibus facillima est ratio delendi, nisi forte visus infirmior membranarum potius usum exiget... re­linquendae autem in utrolibet genere contra erunt vacuae tabellae, in quibus libera adiciendi sit excursio.\61/ Here the allusion to the wax tablet and the blank pages show that the codex form was in question.  With Quintilian we have reached a stage in the history of the codex when it is more than a tablet but still less than a book.

\61/  Inst. Or. [10.]3.31; cf. idem 10.3.32, where mutatis codicibus refers to sets of waxed tablets  [[(the passage continues without break) For lack of space at times gives rise to a reluctance to make corrections, or, at any rate, is liable to cause confusion when new matter is inserted. The wax tablets should not be overly wide; for I have known a young and over-zealous student write his compositions at undue length, because he measured them by the number of lines, a fault which persisted, in spite of frequent admonition, until his tablets (codicibus) were changed, when it disappeared. (33) Space must also be left for jotting down the thoughts which occur to the writer out of due order, that is to say, which refer to subjects other than those at hand.]]. It is an interesting fact that the two earliest papyrus note-books that have survived, one from the third, the other from the fourth century [[C.E.]], both leave alternate blank pages as Quintilian recommended; the former, P. Lit. Lond. 5 + 182, written in a rough hand, contained Books II-IV of the Iliad, and a grammatical text bearing the title Τρύφωνος τέχνη γραμματικοί [Tryphon's Grammatics Method/Rule] (most recently edited in A. Wouters, The Grammatical Papyri from Graeco-Roman Egypt, no. 2, pp. 61-92); the miscellaneous contents of the latter are published as P.S.I. 1.23 and 34, and 8.959-60 [=TLG Anonymi Grammatici Gramm., Fragmentum grammaticum (P. Lit. Lond. 182 = P. Lond. 126) (fort. auctore Tryphone Alexandrino), line 122]. A parchment notebook of the third century used for business purposes is illustrated in Plate II. We may also note a parchment codex (if it is a codex) of Homer, of the third(?) century C.E. in which the versos of the pages are left blank (P. Berol. 10569 = Pack-2 689).

Independent confirmation of the same trend comes from the evidence of contemporary legal writers. Ulpian, in a passage which will be discussed in detail below (p. 30) quotes an opinion of Gains Cassius, the jurisconsult who was Consul in
30 C.E. and died under Vespasian, regarding legacies of books: Gaius Cassius scribit deberi et membranas libris legatis. [[
Gaius Cassius writes that where books are bequeathed, the parchments are also included.]] The membranae to  which he refers are no doubt the writer's note-books, and the et indicates that their status was still far removed from the proper book, i.e. the papyrus roll.  The second piece of evidence is a citation in the Digest to the liber sextus membranarum [[book six of the parchments]] of the jurist Neratius Priscus, a contemporary of Trajan.\62/ Some scholars have thought to see in [[22]] this a very early reference to a codex.\63/ But it is much more likely that membranae here is a title; membranae were so familiar in court that to use it in the title of your work was equivalent to calling it Jottings from a Lawyer's Notebook.\64/ [[Of course, such a "notebook" probably would have been in codex format at some point in their history; is it likely that they were then copied into scrolls for the jurist's purposes? See n. 64!]]
\62/The Digest includes quotations from all seven books, cf. Lenel, Palingenesia 1, cols. 765-74.

\63/ So Schubart, op. cit., pp. 114 sq.

\64/ So also Sanders, The Codex, p. 103: 'it seems that the title membranae recalls the original form and material of the personal note-books which the earlier lawyers used.' Wieacker, op. cit., p. 105 and n. 78 agrees. Dziatzko, op. cit., p. 135, had taken much the same view.  An exact parallel to giving his published work a title of this nature is provided by the 'Testament' of Fabricius Veiento, who suffered under Nero, cf. Tacitus, Ann., 14.50.  Haud dispari crimine Fabricus Veiento conflictatus est, quod multa et probrosa in patres et sacerdotes composuisset iis libris quibus nomen codicillorum dederat. [[A similar accusation caused the downfall of Fabricius Veiento, who had composed many things and libels on senators and pontiffs, to which books he gave the title "codicils."]] [[Should the same argument be applied to Caesar's "commentarii"?]]

 As was mentioned at the beginning of this section, all the evidence points to the parchment note-book having been a Roman and not a Greek invention. This is neatly confirmed by the only Greek writer of the first century C.E. to mention the parchment note-book, Paul [[put "Paul" in quotes?]]. In 2 Timothy 4.13 he writes: [when you come, bring the cloak that I left in Troas with Karpos, and the books, namely the parchments] τὸν φαιλόνην ὃν ἀπέλιπον ἐν Τρῳάδι παρὰ Κάρπῳ ἐρχόμενος φέρε, καὶ τὰ βιβλία, μάλιστα τὰς μεμβράνας.\65/ The fact that Paul had recourse to a Latin word [membranas] indicates that he was referring to something which had no recognised Greek designation, and this rules out parchment rolls, for which διφθέραι [diphtherai; but see n.66 below!] was readily available. We can thus conclude that Paul's μεμβράναι [membranai] were of the same nature as the contemporary Roman membranae, i.e. parchment note-books.

\65/   It has been shown (T. C. Skeat, 'Especially the Parchments: a note on 2 Timothy iv. 13', Journal of Theological Studies 30 (1979) 173-177) [[now republished in ...]] that μάλιστα [especially, specifically] here introduces a definition, particularising the general term βιβλία [books], i.e. the μεμβράναι [parchments] are the βιβλία [books]. It is futile to speculate on the possible contents of these μεμβράναι [parchments]  (ibid., p. 177), nor is the fact that "Paul" initially describes them as βιβλία [books] significant, since early Christians would not have been concerned with literacy or legal distinctions of this kind. [[but see Justin on the gospels as "memoirs"! (begs the question)]

Apart from Paul [[quotes again?]], the only Greek writer of the first two centuries C.E. to mention the parchment note-book is Galen. In his De Compositione Medicamentorum he discusses a preparation alleged to be useful in arresting the spread of baldness and mentions that his friend Claudianus (himself a celebrated doctor) had come across it in a parchment note-book which he had acquired after the owner's death.\66/ Why Galen should have recorded the form in which the recipe was found is not clear, unless it was to indicate that it came from a private compilation not intended for publication.

\66/ Opera, ed. Kuhn, 12.423 [= TLG De compositione medicamentorum secundum locos libri x]: τοῦτο τὸ φάρμακον οὕτω γεγραμμένον εὗρε Κλαυδιανὸς ὁ ἑταῖρος ἡμῶν ἐκ πυκτίδι διφθέρᾳ, τοῦ χρωμένου αὐτῷ ἀποθανόντος, . . . . [[ET this prescription as written our colleague Klaudian took from a hand-held parchment (roll!? see above!) after his associate had died ]] (cf. also iii. 776 [= TLG De usu partium], where Galen refers to λευκαὶ διφθέραι [white parchments], as bad for the eyes). [[check other Galen refs to PUKT....]]

  [[23]] It is, however, unnecessary to pursue the parchment note-book further, since already before the end of the first century C.E. a surprising and, as it turned out, decisive step had been taken in the evolution of the codex as a literary form; this will be the subject of the next section.





   By itself the parchment note-book does not take us very far. In the first two centuries of the Empire polite society [[seems to have]] acknowledged one form and one form only for the [[literary]] book -- the roll. Such was the force of convention that even when the codex was in common use for books Augustine feels obliged to apologize for writing a letter in codex form,\67/ and Jerome, who remembers that he is a gentleman as well as a scholar, writes his letters correctly on rolls, even though he keeps his books in codices.\68/ The first hint that the dominance of the roll is to be challenged comes towards the end of the first century. We have noticed (p. 18) that Suetonius goes out of his way to mention Julius Caesar's idiosyncratic way of writing his dispatches; and the reason why this impressed him may be found in the works of his contemporary Martial, where we have the first unmistakable reference to literary publication in codex form.\69/ The evidence is confined [[mainly]] to 1.2 -- a poem introducing a revised edition of Books I and II reissued together\70/ ­and to a number of verses in the Apophoreta; all alike fall within the years C.E. 84-86.\71/ The former runs as follows:

Qui tecum cupis esse meos ubicumque libellos You who are keen to have my books with you everywhere
  Et comites longae quaeris habere viae,   and want to have them as companions for a long journey,
Hos eme, quos artat brevibus membrane tabellis: Buy these ones which parchment confines within small leaves [check uses of tabelli];
  Scrinia da magnis, me manus una capit.   provide cylinders for the great [authors] -- one hand can hold me.
Ne tamen ignores ubi sim venalis et erres So that you may not fail to know where I am for sale, and wander
  Urbe vagus tota, me duce certus eris:   aimlessly throughout the whole city, with me as guide you will be certain:
Libertum docti Lucensis quaere Secundum Look for Secundus, the freedman of learned Lucensis
  Limina post Pacis Palladiumque forum.   behind the threshold of the Temple of Peace and the forum Palladium.\71+/

\67/ Ep.171 [[to Maximus: To our honorable brother Maximus we gave/sent letters, thinking that he would receive them appreciatatively. Whether, however, we might be of some help, on the present occasion, than you are able to ascertain, we deign to rewrite. Know that without wordy letters to those most familiar to us, not only laity but even bishops, is how this is written, to those we only write so that they also might quickly write and using papyrus which is appropriate for them to read, lest if this habit of ours is misunderstood, it is deemed a wrong to you. Ad honorabilem fratrem nostrum Maximum litteras dedimus, credentes eum gratanter eas suscepturum: utrum tamen aliquid profecerimus, proxima occasione, quam reperire potueris, dignare rescribere.  Sciat sane prolixas epistolas ad familiarissimos nostros, non solum laicos, verum etiam episcopos, sic quomodo ista scripta est, ad eos scribere nos solere, ut et cito scribantur, et charta teneatur commodius cum leguntur, ne forte istum morem nostrum nesciens, factam sibi arbitretur injuriam. (ed note 0751 Sic optimae notae Mss. At Lov.: Nos scribere non solere, ut et cito scribantur, et certa teneantur.) see also n. 108a below and provide ET; were literary letters expected to be on scrolls? The Augustine passage seems only to indicate that papyrus is being used [not parchment?], not that the format is a codex.]]

\68/ H. I. Marrou, 'La technique de l'édition à l'époque patristique,' Vigiliae Christianae 3  (1949) 208 sq.; E. Arns, La Technique du Livre d'après S. Jérôme, pp. 120, 122, n. 2. [[Jerome, get passage]]

\69/  The word codex is never applied by Martial to the books in question. [[The term is first used for a proper book  by Commodian, Carmen Apologeticum 11; Seneca used it earlier for the notebook  (so Resnick n. 5, above n.30)]]

\70/ Or possibly of Books I-VII. See also Evan T. Sage, "The Publication of Martial's Poems," TransAm. Phil.  Ass. ... (1919) 168-176, who opts for only book 1.

\71/  For the chronology of the epigrams see J. W. Duff in The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1970 (with bibliography); Friedlander, Sittengeschichte 4 (Eng. trans.), pp. 36 sq.

\71+/ (translation adapted from:
Howell 1980: 31 = Peter Howell.
A Commentary on Book One of the Epigrams of Martial. London)

[Or online at http://martialis.blogspot.com/2004_06_01_archive.html; by "Nick" ??]
 You who long for my little books to be with you everywhere and want to have companions for a long journey, buy these ones which parchment confines within small pages: give your scroll-cases to the great authors - one hand can hold me. So that you are not ignorant of where I am on sale, and don't wander aimlessly through the whole city, I will be your guide and you will be certain: look for Secundus, the freedman of learned Lucensis, behind the threshold of the Temple of Peace and the Forum of Pallas.]

 [[25]]  The presents for the Saturnalia celebrated in Book 14, which range from slaves [[e.g. 14.205, 220]] and silver plate [[14.120]] to dice [[14.015]] and toothpaste [[14.056]], include a number of writing tablets and books [[3-11, 177-195 -- Here are the headers and the most relevant sections (comment on the alternation of expensive and inexpensive -- see further below):]].

Pugillares citrei
Tablets/notebooks of citrus wood
Quinquiplices [cera]
Five-leaved tablets/notebooks [waxed]
Pugillares eborei
Ivory tablets/notebooks
Three-leaved tablets/notebooks
Pugillares membranei
Parchment tablets/notebooks

Esse puta ceras, licet haed membrana vocetur:
Suppose it to be wax, though it is called parchment

delebis, quotiens scripta novare voles.
You will erase whatever you want to write anew.
Vitellian tablets [for love notes]
The same [requesting money]
Chartae maiores
Large sheets of papyrus
Chartae epistulares
Papyrus sheets for letters
Homeri Batrachomyomachia
Homer's "Battle of Frogs and Mice"
Homerus in pugillaribus membraneis. Homer in hand-held parchments (notebooks?)

Ilias et Priami regnis inimicus Ulixes The Iliad and Ulysses, enemy of Priam's kingdom,

Multiplici pariter condita pelle latent. are there together, preserved in many folds of skin
Virgili Culex
Virgil's "Gnat"
14.186 Vergilius in membranis.  Vergil on parchment

Quam brevis inmensum cepit membrana Maronem! How small a quantity of parchment has comprised vast Maro!

Ipsius vultus prima tabella gerit. The first leaf bears his own countenance
Menandrou Qais [Greek]
Menander's "Thais"
14.188 Cicero in membranis.  Cicero on parchment

Si comes ista tibi fuerit membrana, putato If this parchment will be your companion, suppose

Carpere te longas cum Cicerone vias. yourself to be making a long journey with Cicero
Monobyblos Properti
The "Monobiblos" of Propertius
14.190 Titus Livius in membranis. Titus Livy on parchment.

Pellibus exiguis artatur Livius ingens
Compressed in tiny skins vast Livy, 

Quem mea non totum bibliotheca capit for whom complete my library has not room.
14.192 Ovidi Metamorphosis in membranis. Metamorphoses of Ovid on parchment

Haec tibi, multiplici quae structa est massa tabella, This mass that has been built up for you with multifold tablets

Carmina Nasonis quinque decemque gerit. contains the fifteen lays of Naso
Calvi de aquae frigidae usu
Calvus "On the Use of Cold Water"

Of the former some are made of ivory or valuable woods, one set is said to be of parchment ([[14.007]] pugillares membranei). Of the books, some are simply described by their titles Tibullus, Sallust, the Thais of Menander -- and are clearly [[apparently (argument from silence)]] papyrus rolls; others, five in all,\72/ have after the name of the author or the work the words in membranis [[on parchments; 14.186 (Vergil), 188 (Cicero), 190 (Livy), 192 (Ovid Metamorphosis)]] or in pugillaribus membraneis [[on hand held  parchments 14.184 Homer]],\73/ the latter expression proving that the books were in codex form and emphasising the small size of those so described. If we read these five epigrams as a group we notice that here again, as in 1.2, Martial is at pains to commend the form of the parchment codex to a public unaccustomed to it [[or perhaps unaware of its availability]], pointing out, for instance how convenient such a book is for the traveller [[188 (Cicero)]], or how much space it saves in the library when compared with the roll [[190 (Livy)]].\74/ It has been observed \75/ that the authors who appear in this format are all classics and it is likely enough that the fashionable author or discriminating bibliophile would not readily accept a format which suggested the lecture-room or the counting-house; the inference is that these volumes were designed to appeal rather to the literate bourgeoisie. [[But note that "newness" or "innovation" are not mentioned or even hinted at by Martial -- apparently use of this format on the part of some booksellers was already known and accepted by his imagined Roman audience.]]

\72/ Viz. 184 (Homer),    186 (Virgil)  (see also 1.53.n2) ], 188 (Cicero) , 190 (Livy) , 192 (Ovid, Metamorphoses). [[ From searching ET for "page," and "book" -- See also 2.77 on the "double-sided page" for lengthy epigrams (saepe duplex unum pagina tractat opus -- often two pages of Marsus and of learned Pedro treat of a single theme) -- do a search for Martial's use of "pagina"? Also 11.16 "little book [libelli] ... shut my volume" (check word for "shut" -- posuitque meum ... librum)]] See also
6.60 Rome praises, loves, and recites my little books,
And every pocket, every hand has me.
(Laudat, amat, cantat nostros mea Roma libellos,

     meque sinus omnes, me manus omnis habet.)
11.3 but my book . . . is frequented by the hardy/rigid centurion
and Britain is said to recite our verses;
. . . But what immortal papyri-pages [verses] could I compose . . .
(sed meus . . .
    a rigido teritur centurione liber,
dicitur et nostros cantare Brittania versus
. . . at quam victuras poteramus pangere chartas . . . )

\73/ On the question whether this should read membraneis or membranes see Birt, Buchwesen, p. 85; F. Bilabel, art. "Membrana" in Pauly-Wissowa, RE, points out that Martial's terminology finds a parallel in CIL 10.6.8, an undated inscription mentioniing pugillares membranacei operculis eboreis [[parchment notebooks ... ET]]; he suggests that it records a gift of books to the Temple of Apollo.

\74/ Cf. the discussion in Section 9 of reasons, real or imagined, for the superiority of the codex over the roll.

\75/ E.g. by Birt, Die Buchrolle in der Kunst, p. 31, and Abriss, p. 353.

     It has also been questioned whether they were normal books in the sense of complete texts, or whether they were anthologies or extracts of some kind.\76/ This doubt is certainly misplaced in the case of the Homer and the Virgil (the epigram on the latter, with its immensum Maronem, would lose its point if an anthology were in question), while the Ovid is explicitly stated to contain the entire Metamorphoses. The Cicero, it is true, need not have been [[26]] more than a selection from the works; but a problem is raised by the Livy.  Do the lines:

Pellibus exiguis artatur Livius ingens
Quem mea non totum bibliotheca capit
[[14.190 ET]]

really imply that a complete Livy of 142 books had been produced in codex form?

\76/ Cf F. G. Kenyon, Books and Readers in Ancient Greece and Rome, 2nd ed, 1951. He writes (apropos of the epigram on the Livy), p. 94: 'It is evident from this that these were not ordinary copies of the authors named, but were miniatures of some sort, presumably either extracts or epitomes.' Presumably he had in mind the word artatur (discussed at length below), though he does not mention it.

    This has been doubted, both on internal and external grounds.  The internal grounds are founded upon Martial's use of the word artatur.  Originally Birt, in his Buchwesen (pp. 85 sq.), regarded these codices as containing the complete works in each case (except for the Cicero, where there is nothing in the text of Martial to oblige us to think that anything more than one or two works by Cicero were included), but by the time he wrote his Abriss he regarded them all as epitomes or anthologies, in defiance of the clear meaning of the Latin in at least two instances, namely Epigram 186 (Virgil) and 192 (Ovid). To justify his view Birt appealed (p. 349) to the meaning of the word artare, which he claimed implies an epitome or abridgment; but he begs the question by arguing that when Martial uses the same term for the collection of his own early epigrams in 1.2 (hos eme, quos artat brevibus membrana tabellis [[
buy these ones which parchment confines within small leaves]]) this re-edition was merely a selection -- a theory for which there is no evidence whatever.

Birt's view can be justified to the extent that coartare is used for abridging a speech for publication as early as Cicero,\77/ and certainly artare in later Latin is the technical term for abridgment.  But it can also mean simply 'compressing' or 'confining' (i.e. between the covers of a book), and when Jerome says 'Esdras et Neemias in unum volumen artantur [[ET Esdras and Nehemiah are combined into one book (i.e. 1 Esdras?)]] (Ep. 53, 8), or mentions 'duodecim prophetae in unius voluminis angustias coartati' [[ET the twelve (minor) prophets combined into one slim book]] (ibid.)\78/ there is clearly no question of abridgement. But the most powerful refutation of Birt's views is the argument put forward by, for example, R. P. Oliver,\79/ who points out that if these codices (including the Livy) 'were extracts or epitomes, the epigrams become pointless, for there is nothing wonderful about the fact that an epitome is shorter than the original.' [[is that the point of the epigrams?!]]

\77/ For coartare = abridge cf. Cicero, De Orat. 1.163, Seneca, Ep. 94.27. [[get]]

\78/ The Twelve (Minor) Prophets contain 3000 στίχοι, in the stichometry of Nicephorus, and could thus have easily been accommodated in a very thin (cf. angustias) codex.

\79/ Trans. Am. Phil. Ass. 82 (1951) 248-9. See also Evan T. Sage, "The Publication of Martial's Poems," TransAm. Phil.  Ass. ... (1919) 168.

   [[27]] It has also been objected that a complete Livy in codex form, which must have filled a large number of volumes, would have been out of scale with other gifts described by Martial, many of which are objects of quite small dimensions. Thus Kenyon (Books and Readers in Ancient Greece and Rome \2, p. 94) observes 'A Christmas present of a complete Livy in 142 books is a ‘reductio ad absurdum.' But, as has again been pointed out by Oliver,\80/ 'it would certainly be a fairly expensive gift, but certainly less expensive than such "Christmas presents" as a good cook (14.220), a Spanish girl as accomplished as the one described in 203, or a whole troop of actors (214).' In short, there are no good reasons for thinking that the Livy was anything other than a complete unabridged text.\81/ 

\80/  Cf. also L. Ascher, 'An Epitome of Livy in Martial's day?' The Classical Bulletin 45 (St Louis 1969) 53-54.

\81/  R. R. Johnson, op. cit., pp. 77-8 fully supports Oliver.

    One other question which these epigrams raise admits of no answer. The gifts which are the subject of the Apophoreta are divided into those intended for the rich and those intended for the poor, and the objects are correspondingly expensive or cheap. The epigrams are arranged in pairs; in each pair, as Martial himself explains (14.1, Divitis alternas et Pauperis accipe sortes [[ET]]), one epigram describes an expensive present, the other an inexpensive present. But no theory that papyrus books are necessarily dearer than parchment books, or that the reverse is the case,\82/ can be maintained without rearranging the order of the epigrams. It is in any case highly probable that the order in this book is disturbed; and it follows that the epigrams cannot be used in the profitless debate (see p. 7 above) on the question whether papyrus or parchment was the more expensive material.

\82/ The latest proponent of the view that the parchment codices were presents for the rich is R. R. Johnson, op. cit., pp. 78-9.

Martial's codices would seem to have been designed for the traveller rather than the bibliophile; reissues of standard authors in pocket format, they were the Elzevirs, if not the Penguins, of their day. They were an innovation; had they not been, there would have been no reason for so emphasizing their superiority to the roll, nor would Martial have gone out of his way in 1.2 to give the address of the publisher where they could be bought.  But whether this innovation, marketed jointly by a struggling author and an enterprising publisher, was a success is another question; there are reasons, as we shall see, for thinking that it [[28]] was not, and in that case it cannot be regarded as the most important link between wooden tablet and modern book. Argu­ments ex silentio are notoriously dangerous, especially in matters of bibliography (it is a sobering thought to consider how different our view of the history of the codex would have been if the poems of Martial had not survived to us), but it is worth noting that in the later years of Martial's literary activity there is no further reference either to the parchment codex or to the publisher Secundus.  Nor is there any mention of the parchment codex as a literary form in the writings of other classical authors of the first two centuries, such as the two Plinys, Suetonius, Aulus Gellius, Lucian, Aelius Aristides or Galen, all of whom were bookish men and are well represented by their surviving works; the reference in Galen discussed in p. 22 above certainly relates to the parchment note-book.\83/

\83/ R. R. Johnson, op. cit., p. 80, n. 1 objects to the inclusion of Greek writers on the ground that they would be less likely to know of a Roman invention.  This is true, but overlooks the fact that Lucian worked in Gaul and Italy before settling in Athens, while Galen spent most of the last forty years of his life in Rome.  Nor should we forget the Latin literary texts which have come to light in Egypt. [[examples?]]

     Against this silence we can perhaps set the earliest extant fragment of a parchment codex in Latin – the anonymous fragment of a historical work, christened De bellis Macedonicis, found at Oxyrhynchus (though not necessarily of Egyptian origin), which has been convincingly attributed, on the ground both of its letter forms and its spelling to a date not far from C.E. 100. \84/ But for the moment this fragment stands alone among the remains of Latin literature found in Egypt, the next oldest Latin parchment codex being perhaps the Leiden fragment of the Sententiae of Paulus, assigned to the third-fourth century.\85/ The most ancient Latin papyrus codices are no older. In any case, the relative scarcity of early Latin fragments from Egypt,\86/ coupled with the doubt whether they accurately reflect the reading habits of Rome and the West, warn us against basing any conclusions on such slender evidence.

\84/  P. Oxy. 1.30 = E. A. Lowe, C.L.A. 112.207 and Supplement, p. 47. E. G. Turner, The Typologv of the early Codex, p. 38, accepts a date early in the second century, but on p. 128, no. 497, it is dated first century.

\85/ E. A. Lowe, C.L.A., 10.1577, where the date is given as 'Saec. IV'.  Turner, op. cit., p. 126, no. 473 says 'iii-iv.'

\86/ The Corpus Papyrorum Latinarum of R. Cavenaile, 1958, contains nearly 400 items, as against an estimated 30,000 Greek papyri so far discovered. [[i.e. published or inventoried??]]

    [[29]]  To sum up, it appears, so far as we can see, that Martial's [[i.e. Secundus' ??]] experiment was still-born. And if we ask why, an obvious answer lies in the fact that at this time, and throughout the second century, Greek influence in Roman cultural life was perhaps more marked than at any other period; and that in consequence an invention of the practical Latin genius in the field of literature (where convention, we may suspect, governed the form in which a book appeared no less strictly than its composition) would have been at a discount. An additional, or alternative, reason may have been the technical difficulties, discussed in Section 2, of manufacturing parchment on a scale large enough to enable it to provide a viable alternative to papyrus. [[revise??!! -- the impression from Martial is hardly that this is a tenuous experiment!]]

      Before we leave Martial, there is one final point which deserves consideration. In the poems we have discussed the codex form is so inseparably linked with the use of parchment that scholars have generally regarded it as axiomatic that the parchment codex preceded, and indeed provided the model, for the papyrus codex. Today this is by no means so certain. The whole matter has been debated at length in Sir Eric Turner's The Typology of the early Codex, Chapter 3 (pp. 35-42), 'The Priority of Parchment or Papyrus?' in which he asks the pertinent question: 'If the papyrus codex is confessedly modeled on the parchment codex, why should it at an early date have developed idiosyncratic forms (idio­syncracies which, as a succeeding enquiry will show, may also have extended to its make-up)?"\87/ To this question there is as yet no answer; and the possibility cannot be excluded that the papyrus codex, even if it did not antedate the parchment codex, may have developed in parallel with it.  At present the question is wide open.

\87/ Op. cit., p. 40.



   As we have seen, for a century and more after the situation [R&S "experiment"!] described by Martial our literary sources are silent regarding  the development of the codex. The evidence of the classical jurists is thus especially welcome, the more so since they would be expected to take account of general social attitudes rather than reflect the idiosyncracies of individual authors.\88/

\88/ This point is well made by E. Schönbauer, IVRA 12 (1961) 137. [[On the Justinian Code in general, and English translations of many of its provisions, see http://uwacadweb.uwyo.edu/blume&justinian/default.asp ]]

   Roman lawyers had to decide what the terms 'books' and 'libraries' denoted, particularly when they occurred in wills or bequests. One of the problems they had to face, namely how to distinguish between books and an author's manuscript or notes, does not concern us except insofar as the very existence of the question illustrates how easy it was for a parchment notebook to acquire, almost imperceptibly, the [[legal]] status of a book.  But the only question which is relevant to our present enquiry is the following: is the codex a book? Ulpian, writing between C.E. 211 and 217 in connection with bequests, says: 
Under the heading "books" (librorum) all volumes (volumina) are included, whether they are made of papyrus (in charta), of parchment (in membrana), or of any other material whatsoever; but even if they are written on wood-slabs (in philyra) [Parsons review "bark" = Scott ET]  (as is sometimes done), or upon any kind of prepared skins (in alio corio), they come under the same appellation. If, however, they are codices of parchment (in codicibus sint membraneis), or papyrus (vel chartaceis), or even ivory (vel etiam eboreis), or any other material, or are composed of wax tablets (in ceratis codicillis), let us determine whether they ought to be included? Gaius Cassius writes that where books (libris) are bequeathed, the parchments (membranas) are also included. Hence, it follows that everything relating to them will be included if the intention of the testator was not otherwise. \89/  Then, after discussing the question whether a bequest of libri [books] covers unwritten papyrus rolls (chartae) and unwritten parchments (membranae), he adds: Wherefore, when books (libri) are bequeathed, the question is not inappropriately asked whether those are included which are not yet written upon (nondum perscripti). I do not think they are included, any more than cloth which is not yet entirely woven is included under the heading "clothing." But books which have been written (perscripti libri), but have not yet been beaten or ornamented [??], are included in such a legacy, as well as such as are not glued together,\90/ or corrected [repaired?],\91/ and also parchments (membranae) which are not sewed, are also included.\92/

\89/ Digest 32.52 praef. (online Latin)-- 'Librorum appellatione continentur omnia volumina, sive in charta sive in membrana sint sive in quavis alia materia: sed et si in philyra aut in tilia (ut nonnulli conficiunt) aut in quo alio corio, idem erit dicendum. quod si in codicibus sint membraneis vel chartaceis vel etiam eboreis vel alterius materiae vel in ceratis codicillis, an debeantur, videamus. et Gaius Cassius scribit deberi et membranas libris legatis: consequenter igitur cetera quoque debebuntur, si non adversetur voluntas testatoris.’[[ET adapted from Samuel P. Scott (1932 -- online -- who struggles with the second sentence and takes it to refer to bindings: "If, however, the books are bound in leather, or papyrus, or ivory, or any other substance, or are composed of wax tablets, will they be considered to be due? Gaius Cassius says that where books are bequeathed, the bindings are also included"); for the process by which the material from Ulpian was preserved, see http://www.law.berkeley.edu/robbins/RomanLegalTradition.html -- in the 530s the emperor Justinian caused to be created the Digest, which collected and summarized decisions of earlier "classical" jurists (including Papinian and Ulpian), the Code, which contained the actual laws at that time, and the Institutes to summarize the Digest and serve as a textbook for students; the Novellae [new laws of Justinian] collection was created about two decades later to update the Code and summarize Justinian's legislation, although actual manuscripts of it have not survived intact.]]

\90/ On the meaning of these terms cf. Lewis, Papyrus in Classical Antiquity, pp. 51-52, 63, 68-69, especially p.68:  ‘It is clear that gluing and malleting were normally thought of not as processes in the manufacture of papyrus sheets but as finishing processes applied to already constructed and even already written rolls.’

\91/ Emendati perhaps refers to the repair of minor blemishes in the material, cf. Lewis, op. cit., pp. 63-64.

\92/  Digest 32.5 -- 'Unde non male quaeritur, si libri legati sint, an contineantur nondum perscripti. et nonputo contineri, non magis quam vestis appellatione nondum detexta continetur. sed perscripti libri nondum malleati vel ornati continebuntur: proinde et nondum conglutinati\90/ vel emendati\91/ continebuntur: sed et membranae nondum consutae continebuntur.’ [[The ET is adapted from Scott]]

   [[31]] These passages, especially the former, deserve more detailed analysis than they have hitherto received. In the clause quod si in codicibus sint [if they are in codices] etc., the subject of sint [they are] cannot be, as one might expect, volumina [scrolls], since Ulpian is clearly at pains to draw a distinction between volumina [scrolls? or perhaps written entities] and codices [codices], and an expression volumina in codicibus [scrolls/entities in codex format] would thus be a contradiction in terms; it thus seems much more likely that the subject of sint is libri [books], understood from the opening words of the passage (librorum appellatione [The designation "books"]). In listing the various forms of writings of which the inclusion in the term libri is, for Ulpian, in doubt, he appears to divide them into two classes, the second introduced by the words vel etiam [or even], suggesting an even greater degree of dubiety than in the case of those previously mentioned. On this basis the two classes of disputed materials are as follows:

 (1)                                                              (2)

codices membranei [parchment codices]      codices eborei [ivory codices]
codices chartacei
[papyrus codices]             codices alterius materiae [codices of any other material]
                                                                     cerati codicilli [waxen codicils]

The question now arises whether the term codices membranei denotes, or includes, the parchment notebook which we have already investigated [Parsons review says yes -- "Ulpian's first group could comprise, or at least include, notebooks"] . The repeated association of the parchment notebook with the waxed tablet from which it originated leaves no doubt [[!!]] that Ulpian would have placed it in his Group 2, covered, we may presume, by the words alterius materiae. It follows, therefore, that his Group 1 represents papyrus and parchment codices in our sense of the term. [[also possible is that the initial word volumina is not meant to specify scrolls, but has already become synonymous with "book" (of any format), as is also suggested by the quotation about Homer, below; such vocabulary could also have been modified in the history of transmission of these materials, when the terms did indeed interchange. -- get examples??]]

       It will be seen that in order to decide whether materials in both these classes are to be accepted as libri, Ulpian quotes an opinion of the first century jurisconsult Gaius Cassius which has already been discussed on p. 21 above [[Gaius Cassius writes that where books (libris) are bequeathed, even parchments (membranas) are included.]].  It has been objected,\93/ that the quotation from Cassius does not answer the question posed by Ulpian, but this is to misunderstand Ulpian's reasoning. It is true [[32]] that Cassius only specifically mentions membranae. Given the date at which Cassius was writing this must [[!! unless perhaps it included Martial's parchment codices!]] mean parchment note-­books.  Ulpian would have argued that since Cassius says et membranae, 'even membranae' the same must apply (consequenter) to all the analogous forms (cetera) in his Group 2, and, a fortiori, to his Group 1.

\93/  E.g. by Wieacker, op. cit., pp. 105-106.  G. G. Archi, IVRA 12 (1961) 453 has suggested that the Cassius quotation may be incomplete owing to some words having dropped out in the process of copy, but as shown here this hypothesis is unnecessary.

 It is clear that for Ulpian only the roll was fully and unquestion­ably a 'book'; but it is equally clear that the codex will not long be denied its place. Indeed his contemporary and rival in the law, Paulus, who succeeded him as Praetorian Prefect after his murder in 223, goes further and defines the book in such a way that the codex is at last admitted on terms of equality with the roll (if we may accept the attribution of the Sententiae, or at any rate of this quotation, to him): When books (libris) are bequeathed, volumes of papyrus (chartae volumina) , or of parchment (vel membranae) and wood-slabs (et philyrae) are included, and codices, as well (codices quoque). By the designagtion "books" (librorum) not merely volumes of papyrus (volumina chartarum), but also any kind of writing which is contained in anything is understood.\++/. The book is now defined, and well defined, as a self-contained unit, independent of material or format.  With this judgment the codex has arrived; but it has still to become fashionable. This confirms the verdict of the preceding section, namely that the development attested by Martial was not an immediate success, and that the codex emerged as an acceptable form only after a long period of gestation.

\++/ Sententiae 3.6.87: Libris legatis tam chartae volumina vel membranae et philyrae continentur: codices quoque debentur: librorum enim appellatione non volumina chartarum, sed scripturae modus qui certo fine concluditur aestimatur' [[ET adapted from Scott) -- get info on Sententiae]]

        The passages from Ulpian and Paulus are both discussed in detail by Wieacker,\94/ whose principal hypothesis is that the works of the classical jurists were originally published in roll form; that they were re-copied into codices about C.E. 300; and that hand in hand with this re-copying went an extensive re-editing and alteration of the texts. Wieacker's views, which in any case have been strongly challenged,\95/ do not directly concern us except insofar as they involve his contention that the Ulpian and Paulus quotations are not in their original form, but have been largely altered and re-edited. His precise motives in wishing to discredit the evidence of these passages are obscure, but apparently he is concerned that any mention of the codex as a possible literary form at this period\96/ might imperil his contention that the works of the [[33]] classical jurists were first issued in roll form, and were not transferred to codices until about C.E.300.

\94/ Op. cit., pp. 105-106.

\95/ E.g. by E. Schönbauer, IVRA 12 (1961) 117-161, and by G. G. Archi, IVRA 12 (1961) 428-450.

\96/ It is presumably for this reason that Wieacker makes the fantastic suggestion that it is doubtful whether the well-known fragments of parchment codices with works of Demosthenes and Euripides (below,  p. 71) which have been dated to the second century really come from  codices ('doch ist nicht erkennbar, ob se schon Codices sint,' [[but it is not clear whether they actually are codices]] op. cit., p. 104, n. 73).

Wieacker's objections to the text of the Ulpian quotation appear to be two: (1) some of the expressions used, such as 'in quavis alia materia' [in whatever other material], `ut nonnulli conficiunt' [as is sometimes done], 'aut in quo alio corio' [or upon any kind of prepared skins], ‘vel allerius materiae' [or other materials], are elaborations which have the odor of the classroom (‘Schulstubengeruch'), and (2) as already mentioned, the quotation from Cassius does not really answer the question posed by Ulpian; it is thus presumably, in Wieacker's view, an interpolation, and the consequences drawn from it (consequenter igitur cetera quoque debebuntur [it follows that everything relating to them will be included]) must likewise be rejected ('sicher unecht' [[surely inauthentic]]).

       There is, of course, no doubt that the final clause of the Ulpian quotation (si non adversetur voluntas testatoris [if the intention of the testator was not otherwise] is a later addition, since it runs counter to Ulpian's own line of reasoning, which is a typical interpretation of terms without regard to the probable wishes of the testator [[but see elsewhere in this same section, regarding "libraries" and intentions]]. This clause apart, however, Wieacker's arguments are highly subjective, and indeed the only conclusion that even he can draw is that there may have been some tampering with the text (`Wir halten eine (vermutlich vorjustinianische) 'Textveränderung für möglich' -- [[we consider a (probably pre-Justinian) textual modification to be possible]]).

        In the case of the Paulus quotation, there is general agreement that  the Sententiae as they have come down to us were put together about C.E. 300, but this does not imply that the individual opinions attributed to Paulus [[who flourished two generations earlier]] are necessarily unauthentic. Wieacker's sole argument in this instance is that in accepting codices as libri the quotation accurately reflects conditions obtain­ing about C.E. 300, and cannot therefore go back to Paulus himself. It would seem, therefore, that Wieacker rejects the entire passage as unauthentic.

   This is, of course something of a petitio principii [minor point], since Wieacker has to prove not merely that the quotation suits conditions about C.E. 300, but that it does not suit conditions in the time of Paulus; and this he has failed to do.  

       Both Schönbauer\97/ and Archi,\98/ in addition to their general criticisms of Wieacker's work, have specifically rejected his attacks [[34]] on the authenticity of the Ulpian and Paulus quotations and it therefore seems justifiable to continue to use them here as evidence of the increasing prominence of the codex in the Roman world of the early third century.

\97/  IVRA 12 (1961) 124, 137-138.

\98/ Ibid., pp. 434-5.

   Before we leave the jurists, there is one more passage from Ulpian which must be briefly mentioned.  The text runs:  If a hundred books (libri) are bequeathed, we must deliver to the legatee a hundred volumes (volumina), and not a hundred parts which anyone may select as he wishes, each of which constitutes a written book (ad libri scripturam); hence, when the works of Homer are all contained in a single volume (in uno volumine), we do not count them as forty-eight books (libros), but the entire volume of Homer (unum Homeri volumen) should be understood to constitute a "book" (pro libro).
\99/  The meaning is perfectly clear [[??]], but what is remarkable, and puzzling, is Ulpian's choice of an actual example, namely a complete Homer in one volumen.  In view of the clear distinction which Ulpian makes between volumen and codex, volumen here can only mean a (papyrus) roll. [[alternatively, it means a written entity, here defined by author! see above on the possible ambiguity of volumen]] But it is unnecessary to demonstrate that a complete Homer in a single roll is a physical impossibility; and since tens of thousands of Homeric manuscripts must have been in existence at the time, this impossibility would have been immediately obvious to Ulpian's readers. We must therefore conclude that the example was a purely hypothetical or imaginary one.  [[or  that the meaning of volumen is already in flux and here it means codex-collection!]]

\99/ Digest 32.52 § I -- Si cui centum libri sint legati, centum volumina ei dabimus, non centum, quae quis ingenio suo metitus est, qui ad libri scripturam sufficerent: ut puta cum haberet Homerum totum in uno volumine, non quadraginta octo libros compulamus, sed unum Homeri volumen pro libro accipiendum est.

 To the papyrologist of today, of course, the impossibility of the example is equally obvious. But it might not have been so had we no Homeric fragments from Egypt to help us. If nothing else, this passage shows how careful we must be in taking what appears to be factual evidence at its face value.

[[+ details and other references to books in the Digests and Justinian Code -- 

52. Ulpianus, On Sabinus, Book XXIV.

Under the designation of "books" all volumes are included, whether they are made of papyrus, parchment, or any other material whatsoever; even if they are written on bark (as is sometimes done), or upon any kind of prepared skins, they come under the same appellation.

If, however, the books are bound in leather, or papyrus, or ivory, or any other substance, or are composed of wax tablets, will they be considered to be due? Gaius Cassius says that where books are bequeathed, the bindings are also included. Hence, it follows that everything relating to them will be due if the intention of the testator was not otherwise.

(1) Where a hundred books are bequeathed, we must deliver to the legatee a hundred volumes, and not the hundred parts of volumes which anyone may select as he wishes, and each of which will be sufficient to include the contents of a book; hence, when the works of Homer are all contained in one volume, we do not count them as forty-eight books, but the entire volume of Homer should be understood to mean one book.

(2) Where the works of Homer (Homeri corpus) are left, and they are not complete (non sit plenum), as many parts of the same as can be obtained at present will be due.

(3) Sabinus says that libraries (bibliothecas) are not included in legacies of books (Libris). Cassius adopts the same opinion, but he holds that parchment covers that are written upon (membranas quae scriptae sint) are included. He adds, afterwards, that neither book-cases, writing desks (armaria neque scrinia), nor other furniture in which books are kept constitute part of the legacy.

(4) What Cassius stated with reference to blank parchments (de membranis puris) is true, for blank sheets of papyrus (nec chartae purae) are not included in the term, "Books bequeathed" (libris legatis nec chartis legatis), and books are not due under the term, "Sheets of papyrus bequeathed," unless, perhaps, in this case the intention of the testator may influence us; as for example, if one literary man should leave to another sheets of paper (chartas) as follows, "I bequeath all my sheets of paper" ("chartas meas universas"), and he had nothing else but books (libros), no one will doubt that his books (libros) were due; for ordinarily many persons designate books as papers (plerique libros chartas appellant). But what if anyone should bequeath sheets of papyrus (chartas legaverit puras). In this case neither parchments (Membranae), nor any other materials used for writing, nor books which have been commenced (nec coepti scribi libri) will be included.
4. Quod tamen Cassius de membranis puris scripsit, verum est: nam nec chartae purae debentur libris legatis nec chartis legatis libri debebuntur, nisi forte et hic nos urserit voluntas: ut puta si quis forte chartas sic reliquerit "chartas meas universas", qui nihil aliud quam libros habebat, studiosus studioso: nemo enim dubitabit libros deberi: nam et in usu plerique libros chartas appellant. Quid ergo, si quis chartas legaverit puras? Membranae non continebuntur neque ceterae ad scribendum materiae, sed nec coepti scribi libri.

(5) Wherefore, when books (libri) are bequeathed, the question is not inappropriately asked whether those are included which are not yet completed (nondum perscripti). I do not think they are included, any more than cloth which is not yet entirely woven is included under the head of clothing. Books, however, which have been written (Sed perscripti libri), but have not yet been beaten or ornamented, are included in such a legacy, as well as such as are not glued together, or corrected, and leaves of parchment (membranae) which are not sewed, are also included.

(6) The legacy of papyri does not include the material for making the leaves, nor such leaves as are not yet finished.
6. Chartis legatis neque papyrum ad chartas paratum neque chartae nondum perfectae continebuntur.

(7) If, however, a testator should leave a library (bibliothecam), the question arises whether the book-case or book-cases (utrum armarium solum vel armaria), or whether only the books (libri) themselves, are included. Nerva very properly says that it is important to ascertain what the testator intended; for the word "library" sometimes means the place where books are kept, and at others the bookcase (armarium) which contains them (as when we say, So-and-So bought an ivory library (eboream bibliothecam)), and sometimes this means the books (libros) themselves as when we say, "He bought a library;" therefore, when Sabinus stated that a library does not follow the books, this is not absolutely true, for sometimes the book-cases (armaria), which many persons call a library, are also included.

1.76. Ulpianus, On the Edict, Book II.
Where papers are bequeathed, no one can say that this refers to such as have been written upon, and that books already made up are included in the legacy. This also applies to tablets.

7.12. Ulpianus, On Sabinus, Book XX.

(34) Where land with its equipment is devised, it is well established that the library, and any books upon the premises, which the head of the household made use of whenever he came, are included. If, however, a warehouse should be used for the storage of the books, the contrary opinion must be held.

(43) He also gives it as his opinion that where a house is devised with its equipment, ivory tables and books are not included. This, however, is false, for everything in the house by means of which the owner may be better provided and rendered more comfortable will be included. No one doubts that the furniture is something which contributes to the convenience of the head of a household.

4. Ulpianus, On the Edict, Book XIX.

(1) Noxious drugs and poisons are embraced in this action; but the judge ought by no means to interfere in matters of this description, for it is his duty to perform the functions of a good and innocent man. He should act in the same manner with reference to books which it is improper to read (for instance, those treating of magic and similar subjects); all of these, however, should be immediately destroyed.

18. Paulus, On Vitellius, Book II.

(13) Where a testator made a bequest as follows, "I leave my country-house in the same condition as I myself possessed it, together with the furniture, tables, and the urban and rustic slaves which shall be sent there, and the wines that may be in said house at the time of my death, and ten aurei in addition," as upon the day of the testator's death he had books, articles of glass, and a small clothes-press in the house, the question arose whether these articles should be included among those enumerated in the bequest. Scævola answered that only such articles as were specifically mentioned formed part of it.

3. Paulus, On Sabinus, Book IV.

The following are embraced in bequests of household goods, namely: cupboards, benches, bedsteads, beds, even such as are inlaid with silver, mattresses, coverlets, pillows, vases for water, basins, candelabra, lamps, and ladles.

(2) In addition to these are strong boxes and coffers. Some authorities very properly hold that wardrobes and chests of drawers, if intended for the storage of clothes or books, should not be classed as household goods, because the articles for which they are designed are not included in that category.

19. Paulus, Epitomes of Alfenus, Book IV.

The answer was that the law should not be employed to cause annoyance, and that terms ought not to be captiously construed, but that it was proper to consider with what intention the words were uttered; for, in accordance with this principle, if anyone was desirous of studying some branch of knowledge, he might state that he had an interest in such and such books being produced for his benefit, because if they were produced, after he had read them he would become a more learned and a better man.

Record books (for loans, etc.)

10.6. Alfenus, Epitomes of the Digest by Paulus, Book III.

(1) Small writing tablets and memorandum books are not classed as household goods.

59. Julianus, Digest, Book XXXIV.

Where anyone bequeaths a promissory note, it is understood that he had in mind not only the tablets upon which it is written, but also the rights of action, the proof of which is contained in the tablets. For it is clear that we use the same "note" instead of the said rights of action; so when the note is sold, we understand that the claim was also disposed of. Moreover, where anyone bequeaths a claim, he is understood to have bequeathed what can be recovered by an action at law.

88. Scævola, Opinions, Book III.

. . . The father had kept, in the name of one of his sons, an account book of debts, and it was afterwards decided and held that what remained in said book in the name of his son was due to the latter; but not what had been already collected and placed by his father among the assets of his estate.

32.34. Scævola, Digest, Book XVI.

(1) A testator, having appointed his son his heir to a portion of his estate, with other things left him a preferred legacy in these words: "I request that twenty claims, taken from my account-book (ex calendario), shall be given without fraudulent intent to my son Titius, after he has selected the same." The said testator, during his lifetime, entrusted his son with the transaction of all his business, and the son, after the will was made, and for ten years before his father's death, during which time he acted as his agent, contrary to the usual practice of his father as shown by his account-book, lent new debtors large sums of money, and permitted the old debtors who owed his father small amounts to increase their obligations, in order that the aforesaid twenty claims might almost fill the entire account-book of his father. The question arose whether the son was entitled, as a preferred legacy, to the loans which he himself had made. The answer was that he could only make a choice of those which were in the account-book (in kalendario) of the testator at the time he executed his will.

(3) A father, having appointed his son and his daughter his heirs, and left to each one of them certain lands and book-accounts (kalendaria) by way of preferred legacies . . . .

41. Scævola, Digest, Book XXII.

(6) A certain man left a legacy in trust to Mævius as follows: "I bequeath whatever I possess in the city of Gades." The question arose whether, if he had any property in the suburb adjoining the city, this also would be due to Mævius under the terms of the trust. The answer was that the meaning of the words will also permit this extension. It was also asked, in the same case, certain notes having been found in the account-book of the testator, he being in the habit of loaning money in his native city of Gades, or in the environs thereof, and having left the property which he had in said city

64. Africanus, Questions, Book VI.

Where a testator appointed his son and his grandson his heirs, and gave to his grandson under a trust certain lands, and whatever might be on them at the time of his death "with the exception of his account book," and, when he died, a sum of money was found in his chest in which the notes and bonds of his debtors were kept, it was held by several authorities to be hardly probable that the testator had the said money in his mind when he created the trust.

 I, however, think that, when anyone wishes his account-book to be delivered to another, it should be taken into consideration, whether it ought to be understood that he expected only the notes of his debtors to be delivered, or whether he also included the money which might be  found, if it was derived from the collection of claims, and was intended to be loaned again.

I go still further, and hold that if the money had been collected and again invested in a similar manner, the change of obligations would neither annul or diminish the effect of the trust, so that if the same money was intended to be placed in the account book, that is to say for the purpose of making new loans, it would still be payable to the beneficiary under the terms of the trust.

Again, I think that it can be maintained that not only the money collected from the debtors, but also such as was obtained from any other source with the intention of being invested in the same way, would belong to the beneficiary.

91. Papinianus, Opinions, Book VII.

Where a tract of land was devised to a daughter as a preferred legacy, "Together with what is due from the stewards and tenants," the legacy of the residue includes what remains of the rents of the lands under the same lease. Otherwise, it could readily be established that rent collected from the tenants and money deposited in the account-book of the testator in the same place, would not form part of what was left, as being due from either the tenant or the stewards, even though the testator may have expressly stated that he desired the stewards to belong to his daughter.

3) "I give and bequeath to Titius the Seian Estate in the same condition as when I purchased it." As the Gabinian Estate had also been purchased with the other for a single price, I gave it as my opinion that the mere proof of the purchase was not sufficient, but that it must be ascertained from the letters and accounts of the testator whether the Gabinian Estate was included in the name of the Seian Estate, and whether the income of both of them had been united and carried on the books as that of the Seian Estate.

4) It has been established that where a house is bequeathed, the baths constitute a part of the same. If, however, the testator permitted public access to them, the baths will form a part of it only when they can be entered through the building itself, and where they have sometimes been used by the head of the household, or his wife; and the rent of the baths has been carried on the books of the testator along with that of other rooms in the house; or where both have been purchased or furnished with money paid out at the same time.

(6) Under the term "house" is also understood a building joined to the same, if both were purchased for one price, and it is established that the rents of both were carried together on the books.

6. Scævola, Digest, Book XVI.
A testatrix left to her grandson the lands which she possessed in a certain district, as they were equipped, together with the wine, grain, and a book of accounts;

27. Scævola, Digest, Book VI.
The testator also left the claims in his account-book, and the money which was on said land.

31. Scævola, Opinions, Book III.
The question arose whether he would be compelled to surrender to the heirs the books in which the accounts were kept, as well as any sums remaining in his hands as shown by the entries of receipts and expenditures.

5. Ulpianus, On the Edict, Book XXVIII.

8) Moreover, where a person uses the article lent to him in some other way than was intended, he is liable not only to an action on loan but also to one on theft; as Julianus states in the Eleventh Book of the Digest. He also says, "If I lend you a blank book and you cause your debtor to write therein a note to secure you, and I then erase this; if I lent the book to you in order that you might be secured, I am liable to you in a counter action."

Scaevola libro 17 digestorum

pr. His verbis legavit: "Uxori meae lateralia mea viatoria et quidquid in his conditum erit, quae membranulis mea manu scriptis continebuntur nec ea sint exacta cum moriar, licet in rationes meas translata sint et cautiones ad actorem meum transtulerim". Hic chirographa debitorum et pecuniam, cum esset profecturus in urbem, in lateralibus condidit et chirographis exactis quam pecunia erogata reversus in patriam post biennium alia chirographa praediorum, quae postea comparaverat, et pecuniam in lateralia condidit. Quaesitum est, an ea tantum videatur nomina ei legasse, quae postea reversus in hisdem [isdem] lateralibus condidit. Respondit secundum ea quae proponerentur non deberi quae mortis tempore in his lateralibus essent et membranis manu eius scriptis continerentur. Idem quaesiit, an, cum emptiones praediorum in hisdem [isdem] lateralibus condiderat, praedia quoque legato cedant. Respondit non quidem manifeste apparere, quid de praediis sensisset, verum si ea mente emptiones ibi haberet, ut his legatariae datis proprietas praediorum praestaretur, posse defendi praedia quoque deberi.

Preamble to Justinian Code'

2) After having brought into perfect harmony the Imperial Constitutions hitherto involved in confusion, We have directed Our attention to the immense volumes of ancient jurisprudence, and have finally accomplished this most difficult task, proceeding, as it were, through the depths of the ocean, and aided by the favor of heaven.

(3) This having been concluded through the Grace of God, We summoned the illustrious Tribonian, Master and former Quæstor of Our Sacred Palace, along with Theophilus and Dorotheus, eminent men and professors, (whose skill, familiarity with the laws, and fidelity in obeying Our orders We have proved on many occasions) and especially directed them to draw up Institutes by Our authority, and with Our advice, that you may be able to learn the first principles of the law, not from ancient fables, but acquire them from the Imperial Splendor; so that your ears as well as your minds may absorb nothing that is useless or incorrect, but whatever is in accordance with reason in all things. And while, in former times, it was scarcely possible for those who preceded you to read the Imperial Constitutions in the course of four years, you may, now, from the very beginning, proceed to do so; being found worthy of such honor and happiness that both the beginning and the end of your instruction in the laws issue from the mouth of your Sovereign.

(4) Therefore, after the completion of the fifty books of the Digest or Pandects, in which all the ancient law has been collected, and which We have caused to be compiled by the said distinguished personage Tribonian and other eminent and most illustrious men, We have ordered these Institutes to be divided into the following four books, that they may constitute the first elements of the entire science of jurisprudence.

(11) There are also other persons who, for different reasons, are prohibited from contracting matrimony, and these We have permitted to be enumerated in the books of the Digest or Pandects compiled from the ancient law.

(1) The Divine Marcus published in his semi-annual volumes of rescripts that an official belonging to the Treasury could be excused from guardianship or curatorship as long as he remained in office.

(33) Writing, also, even though it be of gold, belongs as much to papyrus and parchment as edifices or crops do to the soil; and, therefore, if Titius has written a poem, a history, or a speech, upon your papyrus or parchment, you, and not Titius, are considered to be its owner. But if you demand your books or parchments from Titius, and are not ready to pay the expense of the writing, Titius can defend himself by the exception on the ground of fraud; at all events, he can do so if he obtained possession of the said papyrus or parchments in good faith.

(34) Where anyone has painted a picture upon the tablet of another, some persons think that the tablet should belong to the picture; and others are of the opinion that the picture, no matter what kind it may be, is a part of the tablet. It appears to Us preferable that the tablet should belong to the picture, for it is ridiculous that a painting by Apelles or Parrhasius should be considered an addition to a wretched tablet. Wherefore, if the owner of the tablet be in possession of the painting, and the artist who painted it demands it, but is unwilling to pay the value of the tablet he can be barred on the ground of fraud; but if he who painted the picture is in possession of the same, it follows that an action can be brought against him by the owner of the tablet; in which instance if he does not pay the expense of the painting, he can be barred by the exception on the ground of fraud, at all events if he who painted the picture obtained possession of it in good faith; for it is evident that if the artist or anyone else acquired the tablet surreptitiously, the owner of the same is entitled to an action of theft.

(12) It does not matter whether a will be written on tablets, papyrus, parchment, or any other substance.

This rule We have introduced, not by way of innovation, but because it was more just, and also because Paulus in the books which he wrote on the works of Masurius Sabinus and Plautius, states that it was accepted by Atilicinus.

Find more information on these and other jusrist, and on the codes of Theodosius, enroute to Justinian's
Corpus Iuris Civilis??


Haec, quae necessario corrigenda esse multis retro principibus visa sunt, interea tamen nullus eorum hoc ad effectum ducere ausus est, in praesenti rebus donare communibus auxilio dei omnipotentis censuimus et prolixitatem litium amputare, multitudine quidem constitutionum, quae tribus codicibus Gregoriano et Hermogeniano atque Theodosiano continebantur, illarum etiam, quae post eosdem codices a Theodosio divinae recordationis aliisque post eum retro principibus, a nostra etiam clementia positae sunt, resecanda, uno autem codice sub felici nostri nominis vocabulo componendo, in quem colligi tam memoratorum trium codicum quam novellas post eos positas constitutiones oportet.

Cordi nobis est, patres conscripti, semper nostri animi curas rebus omnibus avidissime impendere, ut nihil a nobis coeptum imperfectum relinquatur. igitur in primordio nostri imperii sacratissimas constitutiones, quae in diversa volumina fuerant dispersae et quam plurima similitudine nec non diversitate vacillabant, in unum corpus colligere omnique vitio purgare proposuimus. et hoc iam per viros excelsos et facundissimos perfectum est et a nobis postea confirmatum: quod geminae constitutiones nostrae quae ante positae sunt ostendunt. . . .
2. Sed cum novellae nostrae tam decisiones quam constitutiones, quae post nostri codicis confectionem latae sunt, extra corpus eiusdem codicis divagabantur et nostram providentiam nostrumque consilium exigere videbantur, quippe cum earum quaedam ex emersis postea factis aliquam meliore consilio permutationem vel emendationem desiderabant, necessarium nobis visum est per Tribonianum virum excelsum magistrum ex quaestore et ex consule, legitimi operis nostri ministrum, nec non virum magnificium quaestorium et Beryti legum doctorem Dorotheum, Menam insuper et Constantinum et Iohannem viros eloquentissimos togatos fori amplissimae sedis easdem constitutiones nostras decerpere et in singula discretas capitula ad perfectarum constitutionum soliditatem competentibus supponere titulis et prioribus constitutionibus eas adgregare. . . .
5. Repetita itaque iussione nemini in posterum concedimus vel ex decisionibus nostris vel ex aliis constitutionibus, quas antea fecimus, vel ex prima Iustiniani codicis editione aliquid recitare: sed quod in praesenti purgato et renovato codice nostro scriptum inveniatur, hoc tantummodo in omnibus rebus et indiciis et obtineat et recitetur.  cuius scripturam ad similitudinem nostrarum institutionum et digestorum sine ulla signorum dubietate conscribi iussimus, ut omne, quod a nobis compositum est, hoc et in scriptura et in ipsa sanctione purum atque dilucidum clareat, licet ex hac causa in ampliorem numerum summa huius codicis redacta est. Hocque opere consummato et in uno volumine nostro nomine praefulgente coadunato, cum ex paucis et tenuioribus relevati ad summam et plenissimam iuris emendationem pervenire properaremus et omnem Romanam sanctionem et colligere et emendare et tot auctorum dispersa volumina uno codice indita ostendere, quod nemo alius neque sperare neque optare ausus est, res quidem nobis difficillima, immo magis impossibilis videbatur. . . .
Quia autem et alii libros ad ius pertinentes scripserunt, quorum scripturae a nullis auctoribus receptae nec usitatae sunt, neque nos eorum volumina nostram inquietare dignamur sanctionem. . . . et nemo ex comparatione veteris voluminis quasi vitiosam scripturam arguere audeat. Haec omnia igitur deo placido facere tua prudentia una cum aliis facundissimis viris studeat et tam subtili quam celerrimo fini tradere, ut codex consummatus et in quinquaginta libros digestus nobis offeratur in maximam et aeternam rei memoriam deique omnipotentis providentiae argumentum nostrique imperii vestrique ministerii gloriam.





   In the preceding sections the literary evidence for the emergence of the codex form has been examined. We now turn to the evidence of the actual manuscripts which have survived from this period. But before we do so, a few words of caution must be given. An overwhelming proportion of these manuscripts come from Egypt, and because of the chance nature of discoveries we cannot be certain either that they are typical of Egypt as a whole, or, if this is conceded, that what was typical of Egypt was necessarily typical of the Graeco-Roman world as a whole.

       The former of these points can be the more readily answered.  Apart from the Delta and Alexandria, discoveries have been made in almost every region of Egypt, and serious though the absence of Alexandria is, it is probable that many of the literary papyri found at Oxyrhynchus, where wealthy Alexandrians possessed country estates, either were written in Alexandria, or, if local copies, would have reflected current fashions in the capital.\100/

\100/ For the criteria by which we may hope to distinguish papyri of Alexandrian origin (whether immediately or ultimately) cf. E. G. Turner, Greek Papyri, pp. 92-5.

      The second question is much less easy to answer.  However, the ease of travel throughout the Roman world, the continual movements of officials, merchants and others, and, above all, the [[virtually]] unchallenged reputation of Alexandria in matters of bibliography, all suggest that there is unlikely to have been any great differences in the construction of books between Egypt and the rest of the Empire.

       There are indeed other and more serious reservations to be made in the assessment of the Egyptian evidence. The dating of literary papyri is far from being an exact science, and estimates of date may vary by a century or more. All we can hope for is that the inevitable errors in dating will, at least to some extent, [[36]] cancel each other out. A further difficulty is the distribution over time. Relatively abundant during the first three centuries, the output of literary papyri shows a dramatic falling-off after C.E. 300 which presumably reflects the general decay of Hellenism.\101/ However, we can only take the evidence as we find it.

\101/  There may be other factors; for instance, the well-known scarcity of dated documents of the fifth century C.E. may be paralleled by a corresponding dearth of literary texts from the same period.

       The statistics which follow are based on the data in Pack-2 ([[1952\1]] 1965), supplemented by (a) F. Uebel, Literarische Texte unter Ausschluss der Christlichen in Archiv für Papyrusforschung 21 (1971) ­170-182, for publications up to about 1970, and (b) the section Testi recentemente pubblicati: Testi lettereri greci in Aegyptus 51 (1971) 227-30; 52 (1972) 163-8; 53 (1973) 160-4; 54 (1974) 206-9; 55 (1975) 275-9; 57 (I977) 202-47; 58 (1978) 225-87; and 60 (1980) 233-65. [[See now Pack-Mertens\3 and the online supplements by Mertens, dated January 2008.]] In the case of papyrus and parchment codices much use has been made of E. G. Turner, The Typology of the early Codex, 1977, which covers (see p. xxii) material published up to November 1973. It should be made clear that except in a few cases the figures are based on the estimates of date given by the original editors. The employment of dates spanning two centuries, e.g., second-third century, has a certain dis­advantage in that it gives the impression that there was a diminution of literary activity during each of these bridging periods. This was not, of course, the case but merely reflects the predilection of editors for assigning a text to a particular century. There is indeed a method whereby this disadvantage can be eliminated.  William H. Willis in A Census of the Literary Papyri from Egypt (Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 9 (1968) 205-241) divides the texts spanning two centuries equally between the centuries concerned, presumably on the grounds that of all the texts dated by their editors, e.g., second-third century, there is a statistical probability that in fact 50% will have been written in the second century and 50% in the third.  This expedient has not been adopted here, since it involves a re-interpretation of the judgments of the original editors. Fortunately the principal points which emerge from the survey remain substantially the same whichever procedure is followed.

The figures below cover all Greek (but not Latin) literary and scientific writings, Christian literature excepted; they omit items [[37]] which are, or appear to be, school exercises, single sheets, mathematical tables -- anything in short which is clearly not a [[literary]] book. [[See the Catalog of Paraliterary Papyri (CPP) for information on such materials.]] For the same reason items such as waxed or wooden tablets, ostraca, and inscriptions on stone or metal are of course excluded. It should be added that since we are here concerned with format, i.e. whether a manuscript is in roll or codex form, no distinction is made between texts on papyrus and those on parchment. The unit in these statistics is the book, i.e. where a single roll or codex comprises two or more different works it is counted as only one unit. However, where a roll has been re-used by having a different literary work written on the verso, the texts on recto and verso are each counted as one unit, since the scribe of the verso text was presumably satisfied with the roll format and only used a discarded roll instead of a new one for reasons of economy. [[problem: reused rolls may only indicate necessity, not necessarily choice; is the same criterion used in counting the "Christian" materials? The following figures do not include "Christian" stuff. Categories available in Mertens-Pack\3 can be searched only by century (not by half century), with set categories for papyrus (5615 -- apparently rolls), papyrus codex (683), parchment (40), parchment codex (206), ostraca (249), wood tablets (92), wax tablets (46), other (15 -- ivory, metal, stone); and for  languages Latin (190), Greek (6729), Other (27); total for first five centuries CE, 5275 [6896!],  of which 4247 [5487!] are papyri rolls, 550 [709] papyri codices, 26 parchment, 172 [225] parchment codices -- why don't the figures match? ambiguous dates counted both ways?]]

papyrus rolls
pap + parch
% rolls*
% codices*
0840 [252]
002+000 [001]
0887 [253]
94.7 [100]
00.2 [00]


2501 [857]
051+004 [014]
2677 [871]
93.4 [98½]
02.1 [01½]
        [95½]         [04½]
1660 [406]
196+027 [093]
1992 [499]
83.3 [81½] 11.2 [18½]

0301 [036]
231+098 [099]
0738 [135]
40.8 [26½] 44.6 [73½]
        [09½]         [90½]
0185 [011]
229+096 [088]
0602 [099]
30.7 [11]
54.0 [89]




* To nearest ½%

From these figures it is clear that the codex scarcely counted for Greek literature before about C.E. 200. Nevertheless its representation is not, as has sometimes been suggested, entirely negligible. The significance of these second-century codices for the origins and growth of the codex form in non-Christian literature will be discussed in Section 12. For the present, however, the fact remains that it was only in the course of the third century that the codex obtained a significant share of book-production and it was not until about C.E. 300 that it achieved parity with the roll. [[Interestingly, it seems not to predominate in the preserved evidence from subsequent centuries in Egypt.]]





   As we have seen, in the pagan world of the second century the codex has barely a foothold [[see further chapter 12 below]].  In the contemporary Christian world the position is very different, and it is to this that we must look for the origins of the modern book. The assembling of statistics in the field of Christian papyri has been immeasurably lightened by two recent publications, viz.  Kurt Aland, Repertorium der griechischen Christlichen Papyri: 1, Biblische Papyri, 1976, and Joseph van Haelst, Catalogue des Papyrus littiraires juifs et chrétiens, 1976, the second being of especial value for the present investigation since it includes for the first time a survey of all Christian papyri, both biblical and non-biblical. The data from these two publications have been supplemented by the bibliographies of Kurt Treu, Christliche Papyri VI and VII, in Archiv für Papyrusforschung 26 (1978) 149-159, and 27 (1980) 251-258 [[update needed]] respectively.  It should be noted that whereas Aland's work is strictly limited to texts on papyrus, the publication of van Haelst, despite its title, includes texts on all kinds of material, as also do the bibliographies of Treu.

On the basis of the information furnished by the foregoing publications it can be calculated that there are approximately 172 biblical manuscripts or fragments of manuscripts written before
C.E. 400 or not long thereafter (i.e. including items which have been dated fourth-fifth century). This number leaves out of account biblical papyri of the Ptolemaic period, which must necessarily be of Jewish origin, and all manuscripts on materials other than papyrus or parchment, together with items such as amulets, school- or writing-exercises, single sheets, etc. -- every­thing in fact which is clearly not a book. Of these 172 items, 98 come from the Jewish scriptures and 74 from the New Testament. So far as we can judge and in some cases decision is difficult for various reasons\102/ -- 158 texts come from codices and only 14 from rolls. A [[39]] closer examination makes the disparity even sharper. For this purpose it is desirable to list the 14 rolls, adding the numbers in the Catalogue of Van Haelst:

01 P. Oxy. 9.1166. Genesis 16. Van Haelst 14. 3rd c. [LDAB 3114]
02 P. Oxy. 8.1075 & 1079.  Exodus 40 (recto; nom sac KS), Apocalypse 1 (verso).Van Haelst 44, 559. [LDAB 3477 & 2786]
03 P. Oxy. 10.1225. Leviticus 16. Van Haelst 48. 4th c. [LDAB 3185]
04 Stud. Pal. 15.234. Psalms 9. [roll or sheet?] Van Haelst 104. 5/6th c.
[LDAB 3295]
05 P. Lit. Lond. 207. Psalms 11-14 [opisthograph with Isocrates]. Van Haelst 109. 3/4th c. [LDAB 3473]
06 P. Lips. Inv. 39. Psalms 30-55 [almost complete in 35 cols.; on other side of accounts to 338 CE = "P. Lips. 1.97"]. Van Haelst 133. 4th c. [LDAB 3168]
07 P. Harr. 31. Psalms 43. [roll or sheet?] Van Haelst 148.4/5th c.  [LDAB 3198]
08 Stud. Pal. 11.114. Psalms 69, 81 (Symm' ?). Van Haelst 167. 3/4 c. [LDAB 3492; nom sac tetragrammaton]
09 P.S.I. 8.921v. Psalms 77 [on other side of register of Arsinoite diagrafai from 143-144 = PSI 8.921r]. Van Haelst 174. 2nd/3rd c. [LDAB 3088]
10 P. Lond. Inv. 2584 [10825]. Hosea-Amos Greek-Coptic glossary[side 1 = land register, ca 200 CE]. Van Haelst 286. 3/4th c.
[LDAB 3141]
11 P. Alex. Inv. 203. Isaiah 48. Van Haelst 300. 3/4th c. [LDAB 3127; nom sac?]
12 P. Lit. Lond. 211. Daniel 1 (Th') [reused for binding?]. Van Haelst 319. 4th c. parch.  [LDAB 3493]
13 P. Oxy. 10.1228v. John 15-16. Van Haelst 459. 3rd c. [LDAB 2779]
14 P. Oxy. 4.657 + P.S.I. 12.1292. [P\13] Hebrews 2-5, 10-12. [P.Oxy. 668 Livy epitome on other side = LDAB 2574]. Van Haelst 537. 3/4th c. [LDAB 3018]
Leiden, Private collection Scherling 126 + Cairo, IFAO Copte 379. Coptic Ascension of Isaiah. 3/4th c. [LDAB 107888]
++ Cairo, IFAO P. 237 b. Revelation 1.13-20. Back of a used roll. 2/3rd c. [LDAB 2776]

\102/ E.g., in the case of a small fragment written on both sides, the difficulty of distinguishing between a codex and an opisthograph roll, cf. E. G. Turner, The Typology of the Early Codex, pp. 9-10.

  Of these 14, five (nos. 5, 6, 9, 10, 14) are opisthograph, i.e. the biblical text is written on the back [[against the fibers]] of a re-used roll [[including literary (##5, 14[Latin]) and documentary (##6, 9, 10)]], which thus imposed the roll format. This reduces the number of  'genuine' rolls to nine. Of these nine, three (nos. 7, 8, 12) are probably of Jewish origin,\103/ and two more (nos. 1 and 3)  possibly so.\104/ This leaves only nos. 2, 4, 11 and 13  to be considered. The last-named is an eccentric production, being written on the verso of a roll the recto of which is left blank. Various complicated explanations of this phenomenon have been proposed,\105/ but for the present purpose we can reasonably leave it out of account. No. 2 is opisthograph, but has biblical texts on both sides. The Exodus is presumably Christian, since κύριος is abbreviated (although υἱός and Ἰσραήλ are not). Nevertheless, from any point of view the item is clearly an oddity, and we are thus left with only two normal rolls of Christian origin, viz. nos. 4 and 11. As regards no. 4, the Psalms were used for such a variety of purposes, devotional, [[40]]  liturgical, magical, etc., that this exception has less significance. The Isaiah has the nomen sacrum for κύριος, and is therefore presumably Christian and a genuine exception.\106/ It may be added that no text of any part of the canonical New Testament is known written on the recto of a roll. [[For some other early Christian writings in roll format, see LDAB
2459 (Irenaeus, 2/3rd c), 3071 (Gospel Harmony, parchment, 3rd c; nom sac IH, QU); 6616 (parchment liturgical rotulus, 8th c.); see also the 5720 papyrus Christian Book list (CPP 388) from the 4th c., blank back]]

\103/ On the criteria for deciding whether manuscripts of the Greek Jewish scriptures  are of Christian or Jewish origin see C. H. Roberts, Manuscript, Society and Belief in Early Christian Egypt, pp. 74-78. The three papyri here mentioned are discussed on p. 77. [[+Treu??!]]

4/ Ibid., where no. 1 is described as `perhaps more likely to be Christian than Jewish' and no. 3 is classed among the dubia. [[The Exodus side of #2 coul also be Jewish, and nothing compels us to think of #4 or #11as other than Jewish.]]

\105/ Cf. K. Aland,  Studien zur Uberlieferung des Neuen Testaments und seines Textes, p. 114.

\106/ Cf C. H. Roberts, op. cit., p. 31, n. 1: 'What is true is that the contracted form of κύριος is in the first three centuries the mark of a Christian manuscript'.  Van Haelst's verdict of 'probablement Juif' is presumably based on the fact that it is a roll.

 If we examine these 172 biblical manuscripts from a different standpoint, we find that there are eleven which in our opinion may be assigned to the second century and are thus the earliest Christian manuscripts in existence. All are on papyrus and in codex form. The following list\107/ includes references to the work of van Haelst, and we have also, because of the particular importance of dating, appended references to E. G. Turner, The Typology of the Early Codex,\108/ in which he records both his own judgments and those of other scholars. [[The following items are rearranged (while still retaining the R&S numbers) with the probably earliest first:]]

01 P. Ryl. 3.457. John 18. Van Haelst 462. Typology P52. ii. [LDAB 2774; possibly a bit later?]
02 P. Baden 4.56. Exodus 8, Deuteronomy 39-30.  Van Haelst 33. Typology OT 24. (ii ed.; late ii E.G.T.). [Found at Qarara/Hipponon, Herakleopolite nome; has nom sac]  [LDAB 3086; nom sac KN, KS]
05 P. Ant. 1.7. Psalms 81-82.  Van Haelst 179. Typology OT 120. ii/iii (E.G,T.; ed., ii H.I.Bell). [LDAB 3087]
07 Oxford, Bodleian MS. Gr. bibl. g. 5 (P) Psalms 48-49. Van Haelst 151. Typology OT 97 A. ii/iii (E.G.T.; ii ed.). [LDAB 3083]
11 P. Oxy. 50.3523. John. 18-19. Not in Van Haelst or Typology. 2nd c. (Skeat) [LDAB 2775]
++ P.Oxy. 64.4404. Matthew 21. ed. D. Thomas, later 2nd c. [LDAB 2935]
++ P.Oxy. 60.4009. Noncanonical Gospel (of Peter?). ed P. Parsons & D. Luehrmann. 2nd c. [LDAB 4872; nom sac KE]

03 P. Yale 1.1. [verso] Genesis. Van Haelst 12. Typology OT 7. ii/iii (E.G.T.; C.E. 90 ed.). [LDAB 3081]
04 P. Chester Beatty VI. Numbers, Deuteronomy.\109/ Van Haelst 52. Typology OT 36. ii/iii (E.G.T., A.S. Hunt; ii F. G.
Kenyon, U. Wilcken). [LDAB 3091]
06 P. Lips. Inv. 170. Psalms.  Van Haelst 224. Typology OT 151 ­iii (ii C.H.R.). [LDAB 3092]
08 P. Barc. Inv. 1 + Magdalen College, Oxford, Gr. 18 + Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Suppl. Gr. 1120.  Matthew, Luke. [[41]] Van Haelst 336 + 403. Typology P4, P64, P67. iii or iii/iv (P4), ii (P64, P67). [LDAB 2936]
09 P. Ryl. 1.5. Titus. Van Haelst 534. Typology P32. iii (ii Bell-Skeat).
[LDAB 3009]
10 P. Oxy. 34.2683 (reedited as 64.4405). Matthew. Van Haelst 372. Typology P77. ii.
[LDAB 2937]

\107/ The list is identical with that in C. H. Roberts, op. cit., pp. 13-14, which gives a little more detail about one or two of the texts.

\108/ The references are to the identification numbers of the manuscripts in the 'Consolidated List of codices consulted' at the end of the book.

\109/ On the date of this manuscript, which occupies a key position among early Christian texts, see Roberts, op. cit., Appendix 11, pp. 78-81, where the conclusion is reached (p. 81) that 'on present evidence a second century date, though possible or even probable, is not necessary and a provisional verdict should be second/third century.'

We have excluded from the list a second-century codex of Genesis,\110/ since in spite of the codex form we consider it to be of Jewish origin.\111/ The above eleven are without exception Christian. To these may be added four other Christian non-Biblical texts which in our opinion are to be assigned to the second century:

12  British Library Egerton Papyrus 2. Unknown Gospel.  Van Haelst 586. Typology NT Apocrypha 7. ii. [LDAB 4736]
13  P. Mich. 130. Hermas, Shepherd.  Van Haelst 657. Not in Typology (written on verso of a 2nd c. land register). [LDAB 1096]
14  P. Oxy. 1.1. Gospel of Thomas. Van Haelst 594. Typology NT Apocrypha 1. ii/iii.
[LDAB 4028]

15  P. Oxy. 3.405. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses. Van Haelst 671. ­Not in Typology (a roll). [LDAB 2459]

\110/ P. Oxy. 4.656. Van Haelst 13. Typology OT 9. ii/iii (E.G.T.; iii ed.; ii Bell/Skeat). [LDAB 3094]

\111/ On possible early Jewish uses of the codex for what became scriptural literature, see Treu (especially the Excursus) and Kraft. Augustine provides two direct references to Jewish scriptural codices in the 4th century, as Bill Adler pointed out to me. Augustine, De fide rerum quae non videntur 6.9 (PL 40.178): The Jews provide support to Christians “through their codices (in codicibus), even if they are enemies in their hearts.”[Sed cum legunt, non mirentur quod ista illi quorum codices sunt, propter inimicitiarum tenebras non intelligunt.Ep. 71.5 (to Jerome; PL 33), chapter 3: "the words in the Hebrew codices [to the book of Jonah] were correctly rendered in the Greek version, and in the Latin one taken from it." [ quoted by Jerome in response, Ep 75.6-7(21-22) PL 33 «Quidam frater noster episcopus, cum lectitari instituisset in Ecclesia cui praeest, interpretationem tuam, movit quiddam longe [Col.0263] aliter a te positam apud Jonam prophetam, quam erat omnium sensibus memoriaeque inveteratum, et tot aetatum successionibus decantatum. Factus est tantus tumultus in plebe, maxime Graecis arguentibus, et inclamantibus calumniam falsitatis, ut cogeretur episcopus, (Oëa quippe civitas erat), Judaeorum testimonium flugitare. Utrum autem illi imperitia an malitia, hoc esse in hebraeis codicibus responderunt, quod et graeci et latini habebant atque dicebant. Quid plura? Coactus est homo velut mendositatem corrigere, volens post magnum periculum non remanere sine plebe. Unde etiam nobis videtur aliquando te quoque in nonnullis falli potuisse.» to which Jerome responds with more careful terminology:  Sin autem Judaei vestri, ut ipse asseris, malitia, vel imperitia hoc dixerunt esse in voluminibus Hebraeorum, quod in graecis et latinis codicibus continetur; manifestum est eos aut hebraeas ignorare litteras, aut ad irridendos cucurbitarios voluisse mentiri. -- Ep 75.6-7.(21-22)] A close study of Augustine's use of book terminology (liber, codex, volumen, libellum, carta, cartula, membran*) would be useful here: see Louis Holtz, "Les mots latins de/signant le livre au temps d'Augustin," Les de/buts du codex, ed Alain Blanchard (Actes de la journe/e d'e/tude organise/e a\ Paris les 3 et 4 juillet 1985 par l'Institut de Papyrologie de la Sorbonne et l'Institut de Recherche et d'Historie des Textes, Bibliologia elementa ad librorum studia pertentia 9; Turnout 1989) [pp.??]. Resnick thinks that "Augustine is likely to be only projecting Christian usage of the codex upon the Jews" (3 n.8). Resnick also implies that while "it seems that the Christian community self-consciously decided upon the codex in contradistinction to both Jewish and pagan practice" (4),  and discusses at length the rabbinic requirements of scroll usage for liturgical purposes as possibly formulated with distinction from Christian codices also in view, he then notes [citing Saul Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine (NY 1962) appendix 3] the use of non-scroll formats for other purposes (including scriptures for private study): "Lieberman even suggests that the earliest Christians borrowed the codex form for their literature from this Jewish practice. [n. 52: "Lieberman remarks: 'the employment of the note-book was the most suitable way of indicating that they [the rabbis] were writing the Oral Law for private, or unofficial use, and not for publication' ibid 205] This possibility is viewed favourably by C. H. Roberts [n.53 Birth of Codex 59], and directly contradicts the established view: namely, that the Christians borrowed the codex form from the Romans. . . . But if Lieberman is correct, the history of the codex must be dramatically rewritten ..." (11). Resnick goes on to repeat, with apparent favor, the idea that "since the earliest disciples apprehended the person of Jesus especially through his unwritten words, which formed an oral tradition [n.56 to Gamble, "Christianity: Scripture and Canon" in The Holy Book in Comparative Perspective, ed. F. M. Denny and R. L. Taylor (Columbia SC 1985) 36ff], [[12]] it is possible that Jewish-Christians would have used t he same form to record this oral tradition as the rabbinic community used to record its Oral Law without violating the ban against its publication. In Lieberman's view, then, Jewish-Christians, 'did this because otherwise they would have transgressed the law . ... We would naturally expect the logia of Jesus to be originally copied in codices'" (11-12). Ultimately, Resnick focuses on the "theological" motivations that solidified the codex as the accepted form of Christian scriptures, without expanding further on the question of its original introduction into Christian usage.

It should be emphasized that, as will have been evident from the Typology references, not all scholars agree about the dates to be assigned to these fourteen manuscripts.  Some would find our list too inclusive,\112/ others too restricted;\113/ but about some in the above lists (nos. 1, 2, 8, 10, 12) there is unanimity.\114/ 

\112/ Cf. E. G. Turner, Typology, p. 4 and, for Turner's own list of second century Christian codices, p. 90, nos. PC 201-205.

\113/ Conspicuous among manuscripts which some scholars have placed in the second century are: the Bodmer St John (P. Bodmer II; van Haelst 426; Typology P66. iii [LDAB 2777]); the Chester Beatty Papyrus IX, Ezekiel, Daniel, Esther (van Haelst 315; Typology OT 183-iii E.G.T.; Wilcken, Galiano ii [LDAB 3090]); and Chester Beatty Papyrus 8, Jeremiah (van Haelst 304; Typology OT 202 iv E.G.T.; ii or ii/iii Kenyon [LDAB 3084]).

\114/ On factors influencing the dating of early Christian papyri see Roberts, op. cit., p. 12, n. 2.

    As already stated, all the above biblical manuscripts (nos. 1-11) are codices, while of the other four (nos. 12-15) the only true exception is the roll of Irenaeus (no. 15), since the Hermas (no.13) is written on the verso of a roll carrying a documentary text and the scribe thus had no option in his choice of format. The distinction between biblical and non-biblical texts would not have been so obvious to the users of these as it is to us, and both the Egerton Gospel and the Shepherd of Hermas might have been regarded as indistinguishable from the canonical books of the New Testament. [[add note on Hermas in MSS?]] Even if we give this extended meaning to the term ‘biblical,’ the conclusion remains the same, namely that when the Christian Bible first emerges into history the books of which it was composed are always written on papyrus and are always in codex form. [[add note on canonization?]] There could not be a greater contrast in format with the non-Christian book of the second century, a contrast all the more remarkable when we recall that Egypt, where all these early Christian texts were found, was the country where the papyrus roll originated and where the status of the roll as the only acceptable format for literature was guaranteed by Alexandria with its dominating position in the world of books.\115/

\115/ Of course, the fact that all known specimens of early Christian papyri come from Egypt is fortuitous and does not prove that the codex originated there (the fragment of Tatian's Diatessaron found at Dura on the Euphrates is part of a parchment roll [[date]]). On the question whether the papyrus codex was of Egyptian origin E. G. Turner writes (Typology p. 40): 'There can be no automatic presumption that the codex of papyrus is restricted to Egypt'.  And if Christians are to be credited with the invention of the papyrus codex, Egypt, for the reasons given above, is less likely to have been the country of its invention than, e.g. Syria. [[why??]] But wherever the papyrus codex originated, we have still to explain how it managed to establish itself in Egypt in face of the total domination of the roll: as Turner puts it (ibid.) 'In Egyptian book technique the papyrus roll was so firmly entrenched that a major shock was needed to prompt the experiments that resulted in its eventually being supplanted by the codex.'

        The question may be raised whether the contrast between the Christian and non-Christian book is equally marked in the case of non-biblical literature. As we have just observed, the distinction between biblical and non-biblical works is, at any rate in the second century, to some extent anachronistic: however, for the vast majority of the works we have now to consider there was never any question of their being given canonical status or of their enjoying an authoritative position in the period before the emergence of the [[biblical (Christian)]] canon. The range of these writings is very wide, and in analyzing them we have followed the divisions of van Haelst's Catalogue into Apocrypha, Patristica, Liturgica, Hagio­graphica and Miscellaneous (this last section includes anonymous homilies and treatises and not a few texts whose character is quite uncertain). The chronological period covered here is the same as that for biblical texts; and we have used the same sources (p. 38), [[43]] and have again included only what can properly be regarded as books or fragments of books. We have applied the term Christian strictly: works with Christian references, e.g., the Sibylline Oracles and works of magic, as well as Jewish texts, have been excluded, although there are some cases in which the decision between Jewish and Christian is difficult to make. [[add notes??]] The analysis is one of works, not of manuscripts; since one of our objects is to discover the kind of work for which either a roll or a codex was chosen, a codex will be counted more than once if it includes, as some do, several different texts.

Within these limits are found 118 texts, 14 of which are written on parchment and 104 on papyrus.  For 83 of these the codex form was chosen. The remaining 35 are rolls, 3 of them opisthograph. By themselves these figures are not particularly instructive; we have to consider not so much the date of writing as the category of the work.  Given that there is no example of any of the four canonical Gospels being written on the recto of a roll (i.e. in roll form by choice) we might expect that any other Gospel which resembled them in narrating the life or recording the teaching of Jesus (e.g., the Egerton Gospel) would circulate in the same format; this would not necessarily apply to such works as those of the Gnostic Gospels which are in fact theological treatises, or the Infancy Gospels. Such a differentiation would be all the more likely if the Christian adoption of the codex originated, as suggested below (p. 59), in the use of tablets for recording the [[Jewish]] Oral Law. Similarly, whereas we have seen that the codex form was closely associated in the second and third centuries with the books essential for the Christian mission, viz. the books of the Jewish scriptures ("Old Testament") together with such Christian works as were deemed authoritative, we might not expect to find the codex so widely used for works of general Christian literature: a theological treatise such as that of Irenaeus already noticed (p. 41) might well have been expected to adopt the form conventional for academic works.  The picture, however, is not quite so clear-cut as this.

   The first of the categories into which the 118 texts divide is that of Apocrypha. Among the very varied works ranged under this heading there are 10 possible examples of Gospels as we have defined them. Both the second century examples are codices, as we have noted above (nos. 12 and 14).  Of the remaining 8, both manuscripts of the Gospel of Thomas are rolls; so too is the [[44]] so-called Fayum Gospel and an Oxyrhynchus fragment dated to about C.E. 200 and now plausibly assigned to the [[subsequently??]] banned Gospel of Peter,\116/ while a roll is also the format of the only surviving manuscript of the Greek Diatessaron, if that work may be fairly classified here. The remaining 3 manuscripts are codices. The other apocryphal texts, 23 in number, and including Infancy Gospels and Acts of various Apostles, are exclusively codices. [[give updated list, as above]]

\116/ See D. Lührmann in ZNTW, 72, 1981, pp. 216-26.

   In the Patristic section of 39 texts, two works, the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas, both of which had some claim to canonical status, are represented, the former by 2 codices, the latter by 2 rolls (one of which is opisthograph) and 9 codices.\117/ Of the remaining 26 texts 6, including 3 manuscripts of Irenaeus, are rolls and 20 are codices. [[give list!]]

\117/ Two further papyri of this work, both of the third century and both codices, will be published in P. Oxy. 50.

        In view of the persistent use of the roll in the liturgy of the Eastern Church (see below, p. 51, n. 6[[??]]) it is not surprising that 6 of the 11 texts in the Liturgical section are on rolls. [[list]]

        The single hagiographical text which falls within our period is a codex [[details?]]. In the miscellaneous section we have 16 rolls and 21 codices; the rolls (if we ignore 2 the nature of which is quite uncertain) are all treatises or homilies (only one is opisthograph), and their significant proportion testifies to the maintenance of the literary tradition.

         To sum up, although the majority of Christian non-biblical texts are in codex form, an appreciable minority are on rolls, and this minority approaches significance in precisely those categories where we should expect to find it. At the same time the contrast with secular literature, though not quite so marked as in the case of biblical texts, is nevertheless still striking.

    We have now to consider possible reasons for this remarkable predilection of the early Christians for the codex form, and endeavour to formulate hypotheses which would at the same time explain the divergence of treatment accorded to biblical and non-biblical texts.






  THE reasons adduced by Martial\118/ in favour of the parchment codex, even if Secundus's experiment had not been the failure it pretty certainly was, are quite inadequate to explain what was not merely a preference by the Christian communities for the codex form, but an [[almost]] exclusive devotion to it, and that too [[not only]] for the books of the New Testament but for those of the "Old Testament" as well, and from the earliest period for which evidence has survived. Indeed so universal is the Christian use of the codex in the second century that its introduction must date well before C.E. 100. It is, moreover, significant for the history of the early Church that Christian book-production methods should have severed themselves from Jewish so completely and at so early a date: that the Christians transcribed the books of the "Septuagint" onto codices illustrates how complete the severance was. [[?? very problematic]]

\118/ See Section 5 above.

     It has been widely assumed that the codex must have possessed some significant practical advantages over the roll. A variety of such explanations have been put forward, and it will be convenient to discuss them in detail at this point. Before doing so, however, one thing must be made clear, namely that there are two quite separate problems, firstly why Christians adopted the codex for their writings from the outset, and secondly why (though only over a period of several centuries) the codex eventually displaced the roll in the field of non-Christian literature as well. The practical reasons which we shall consider here will not necessarily have the same force for both these processes, and this is a factor which must be borne in mind.

1.  Economy.  This is the reason most commonly put forward, and one of the most obvious and apparently convincing. Since the codex makes use of both sides of the writing material instead of [[46]] only one, the cost of producing a manuscript would be reduced. There was, of course, no reason why the verso of a roll should not be used for a continuation of the work on the recto, but the very small number of such rolls (the roll in Apocalypse 5.1, βιβλίον γεγραμμένον ἔσωθεν καὶ ὄπισθεν [a book written inside and outside], is perhaps the best known example) shows that this was not regarded as a satisfactory method. But how much would the saving by using the codex format amount to?  It is unlikely that the cost would be halved, since the expense of writing would be the same in either case, at least if the manuscripts were professionally written. The Christian manuscripts of the second century, although not reaching a high standard of calli­graphy, generally exhibit a competent style of writing which has been called 'reformed documentary’\119/ and which is likely to be the work of experienced scribes, whether Christian or not; certainly there is nothing in the nature of privately made copies such as the celebrated manuscript of Aristotle's Constitution of Athens.\120/ And it is therefore a reasonable assumption that the scribes of the Christian texts received pay for their work. Nothing is known of the general level of book-prices in antiquity, but some very rough calculations suggest that by employing the codex format the cost of producing a book might be reduced by about one quarter.\121/ In a specific instance, the early third century manuscript of the Pauline Epistles in the Chester Beatty collection might have cost about 28 drachmae if written in roll form, and about 20 1/2 drachmae if written in a codex -- a saving of 7 1/2 drachmae. The Pauline Epistles in the Beatty codex are about twice as long as an average Gospel, the saving on which would thus be only half this amount.

\119/ Roberts, op. cit., pp. 14-15

\120/ One possible exception is P. Baden 4.56, of which Aland says 'es handelt sich sehr Wahrscheinlich um, eine private Abschrift' [[it most  probably represents a private copy]].

\121/ T.C. Skeat, ‘The length of the standard papyrus roll and the cost-advantage of the codex,’ Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 45 (1982) 169-175 [[reprinted in ...]].

       It seems very unlikely that this reduction in cost would have been sufficient to account for the fundamental change from the roll to the codex. In fact, if economy was such a decisive factor, one would expect to find some traces of other attempts to make the most economical use of the writing material; but such traces are conspicuous by their absence. Scripts are of a normal size, and are not noticeably small or compressed, although had they wished [[47]] to do so there would have been nothing to stop Christian scribes from adopting a script as small as that of the second century codex of the Republic of Plato discussed below (P. Oxy. 44.3157).[[add note on mini codices?]]  No attempt is made to reduce the margins surrounding the written area: on the contrary, in what may be one of the earliest of the second century Christian codices, the Chester Beatty Numbers and Deuteronomy, the margins at the top and bottom of the page are exceptionally large, the upper margin having been originally about 2 1/2 ins. = 6.35 cm and the lower margin 3 ins. = 7.62 cm. [[possible Jewish format??]]  Finally, although as we have seen there are a few examples of Christian books written on the backs of re-used rolls, these are not (except for the Psalms fragment, no. 9 in the list on p. 39) especially early. There is no evidence at all for the employment of palimpsests, i.e. papyri from which the original writing had been washed off to enable them to be re-used.  All-in-all, the argument from economy would seem to be negligible.

2. Compactness.  This is a serious and valid argument, since it is mentioned by Martial as one of the advantages of the codex, particularly for reading [[or at least taking along]] on a journey.  That the codex is more compact than the roll is undeniable, since the actual volume of papyrus used is reduced by almost one-half. The codex could also be more easily and economically stacked and shelved, though this is an argument more likely to appeal to owners of libraries than to the early Christian communities. [[why?!]] And while a codex is obviously more compact and convenient than an assemblage of rolls, at the time when the Christians are presumed to have adopted the codex, viz. not later than C.E. 100, it is probable that Gospels were still circulating singly, and the virtue of compactness would have been much less evident. In fact, a roll 18 cm high and 6 m in length could be rolled into a cylinder 3 or 4 cm in diameter, which could be comfortably held between thumb and forefinger. Such a roll could easily have accommodated any one of the canonical Gospels or the Acts of the Apostles if written in the same style as P4 (no. 8 in the list on p. 40).  A codex of the same capacity would measure about 18 x 14 cm by about 1 cm thick, exclusive of any binding. But manuscripts of the Jewish Greek scriptures ("Septuagint") would also have been required, and here the superiority of the codex is more easily demonstrable. If we take as an example the Chester Beatty codex of Numbers and Deuteronomy (no. 4 in the list) it can be calculated that if written in the same style in the form of a roll, [[48]] it would have needed about 28 m of papyrus\122/ -- a very bulky roll indeed, and far beyond the limit of convenient handling. [[note on conventional size?]] A codex the size of the Numbers and Deuteronomy manuscript could have contained the entire Psalter, an obvious advantage since the Pentateuch and the Psalter provided the bulk of the Jewish scriptural ("Old Testa­ment") passages exploited by the early Christians. It could also have accommodated the whole of Marcion's 'New Testament,' consisting of a 'purified' text of Luke and ten Pauline Epistles.

\122/ The calculation is as follows: the Beatty codex originally consisted of 216 pages, each of 2 columns = 432 columns, the average width of which is 5 cm. The intercolum­niations are about 1.5 cm wide, and 432 x 6.5 cm = 2808 cm = 28 m.

Nevertheless it seems to have taken several centuries for the full potential of the codex to be recognised.  Up to the third century no surviving codex is known to have had more than 150 leaves = 300 pages,\123/ and many are much smaller. But thereafter they grow to much greater proportions. One of the Coptic Manichaean codices (the Psalm-Book, fourth-fifth cent.) had at least 638 pages,\124/ while the great parchment codices of the entire Bible, the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus (fourth cent.) contained at least 1600 and 1460 pages respectively, while the Codex Alexandrinus (fifth cent.) had at least 1640. By now the advantage of the codex was evident to all, and not merely for Christian literature; thus, the first 35 rolls of Ulpian's Ad Edictum were republished in three codices containing the text of 14, 11 and 7 rolls respectively,\125/ while Gregory the Great remarks that within the compass of 6 codices he has compressed a work which had occupied 35 rolls.\126/

\123/ The largest so far known is the Philo codex from Oxyrhynchus, which had at least 289 pages, cf. Turner, Typology, p. 82. [[how much Philo did it contain]]

\124/ Ibid.

\125/ F. Wieacker, Textstufen klassischer Juristen, pp. 127-8.

\126/  Ep. 5.53a.

  To sum up, compactness was clearly an important factor in the early Christians' choice of the codex: the only doubt is whether it was so fully appreciated at the time when the decision [[transition]] was [[being]] made.  [[transition was taking place]]

3. Comprehensiveness.  This is virtually another facet of the argument from compactness just discussed. Comprehensiveness is here taken to mean the ability to bring together within two covers texts which had hitherto circulated separately. A comprehensive codex might consist either of a single literary work extending over a number of rolls -- a 'collected edition' or a representative selection of works by a single author or on a single theme -- or quite [[49]] simply a miscellany; and examples of all these are found. The earliest and most striking examples of comprehensive codices are Greek biblical manuscripts, beginning with the Chester Beatty codices of Gospels and Acts and the Pauline Epistles and leading on to the complete Bibles of the fourth and fifth centuries mentioned above. Another form of the comprehensive codex was created by binding up together a number of smaller codices, a common practice in the Middle Ages. The changes of hand, discontinuous pagination, and differences in the sizes of quires suggest that the Bodmer 'composite' codex, analysed in E. G. Turner, The Typology of the Early Codex, pp. 79-80, may be of this type. Alternatively, a single scribe may copy out a variety of heterogeneous texts, and examples of this are listed by Turner, op. cit., pp. 81-82.

   As regards the question whether the quality of comprehensive­ness may have influenced the early Christians in their choice of the codex, the answer must be much the same as in the case of compactness, namely that it is doubtful whether it can have been an important factor as early as C.E. 100.

4. Convenience of use. It has been claimed that the codex is more convenient to handle than the roll, because two hands are needed to hold the manuscript, one to unwind a convenient length for reading, the other to roll up the already read portion. This is true, but the codex equally required two hands, one to hold the volume, the other to turn the pages, unless the book is rested on a desk or table. As regards the supposed awkwardness of unrolling the roll in the process of reading, it is probable that practice made this an automatic action performed with no more conscious effort than turning the pages of a book.

   Re-rolling the roll after it has been read through to the end, a necessary proceeding to enable the next reader to start at the beginning, is another reason which has been put forward in favour of the codex, and this certainly has some validity. However, practical experiments have shown,\127/ that the supposed difficulty and time-consuming nature of the task have been greatly exag­gerated, and this is hardly a factor likely to have influenced the early Christians, any more than it influenced the Jews either then or later. Certainly no ancient writer is known to have alluded to [[50]] the problem which, one suspects, is based on nothing more than a projection back into the past of the probable reactions of a present-day reader.  [[is it clear that read rolls were rewound?]]

\127/ Cf. T. C. Skeat, 'Two notes on Papyrus: 1. Was re-rolling a papyrus roll an irksome and time-consuming task?' Scritti in onore di Orsolina Montevecchi, 1981, pp. 373-376. [[republished in ...]]

  5. Ease of reference. It has been suggested that it would have been much easier to locate a particular passage in a biblical text written in codex form than it would be in a roll, and that this would have been a decided advantage in the cut and thrust of theological debate. Since a codex could be opened at a particular place much more quickly than a roll could be unrolled to find the same passage, this certainly appears to be a strong argument: one thinks of Augustine in the famous 'Tolle, lege' episode, when he kept a finger in the codex of the Pauline Epistles to mark the place of the providential passage he had found. But it must be remembered that in the ancient world there was no such thing as exact quotation in the sense of giving the precise location of a particular passage. The only available means of so doing was by means of few examples, both Greek and Latin\128/ of the position of a passage being indicated either by stating by how many stichoi it came from the beginning of the ­work, or, more rarely, from the end. This would, of course, give only an approximate idea of where to look for the passage, unless the reader was prepared to count the text in stichoi himself. For more immediate and accurate location the text would have to be equipped with marginal stichometry, e.g. for every hundred stichoi to be noted in the margin, and this is far from common. And of course if the manuscript was so equipped the passage could be located irrespective of whether the manuscript was a roll or a codex.\129/ How little use was made of stichometry as a means of reference is illustrated by the fact that in manuscripts of poetry or drama, where line-numeration could very easily have been introduced, this seemingly obvious step was never taken.\130/ [[add information on passage titles used in some references]]

\128/ K. Ohly, Stichometrische Untersuchungen, 1928, pp 109-18.

\129/ H. Ibscher, in Jahrbuch der Einbandkunst 4 (1937) 4, actually claimed that for the purpose of reference the roll was just as convenient as the codex ('Selbst als Nachschlagewerk eignete sich die Buchrolle genau so gut wie der Codex' [[as a work of reference, the roll was just as convient as the codex]]).

\130/ Although there are some examples of verse and drama texts with stichometric marks every hundred lines, these clearly would have been of little use for reference. [[cite some examples??]] To be of practical use, it would have been necessary to mark the text at much more frequent intervals, say every five lines, as in modern editions. The absence of any such system proves that the stichometric markings just mentioned could not provide, and were not intended to provide, a means of reference.

  It has also been suggested that page-numeration, which is a [[51]] feature of many early Christian codices\131/ (the earliest are perhaps the Chester Beatty Numbers and Deuteronomy and the Egerton Gospel), was devised to facilitate reference. But in the whole of ancient literature there is no example of a page-reference being given, and the reason is obvious, namely that no two manuscripts are identical and pagination will thus be different in every case.\132/ Moreover, had this been the intention the pagination would have been inserted at the outset, whereas in fact it has often been added by a later hand or hands. It is much more likely that pagination, which in any case is not invariable, was merely a device for keeping the pages in the right order during the process of binding and -- perhaps even more important -- to ensure that none were missing. All this is confirmed by the fact that in later centuries\133/ pagination is replaced by quire numeration, which fulfils the same function. [[give examples of use of both? GMatt p01?]]

\131/ On the pagination of early codices see E. G. Turner, Typology, pp. 75-77.

\132/ Compilers of medieval library lists capitalized on this by often recording the ‘secundo folio,' i.e. the first word on the second leaf of a manuscript. This would necessarily be different in every case, and provided a ready means of identifying books containing identical texts, such as Bibles and service-books.

\133/ Cf. Santifaller, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Beschreibstoffe im Mittelalter mit besonderer Berucksictigung der papstlichen Kanzlei, 1953, pp. 164-5. Pagination does not begin to reappear until the latter part of the twelfth century.

6. The medieval experience. Overshadowing all the practical arguments in favour of the codex discussed above is the massive use made of rolls throughout the Middle Ages and even later.\134/ Although for literature of all kinds the codex reigns supreme, for administrative records the roll long continues to be the dominant format.\135/ This is particularly the case in England, where many great series of state records were kept in roll form for upwards of six centuries, some, like the Patent Rolls, literally down to the present day.\136/ [[explain "rotulus" and disappearance of horizontal roll??]]

\134/ Cf W. Wattenbach, Das Schriftwesen ins Mittlealter, 3rd ed., 1896, pp. 150-74.

\135/ The general principle, so far as there is one, seems to be that anything intended for continuous or repeated reading or reference was invariably in codex form. This includes literary and scientific works of all kinds, monastic chartularies, collections of statutes, law-books, etc. On the other hand there are certain specialised categories of rolls, such as Rolls of Arms or Mortuary Rolls which are invariably in roll form although they could just as well have been written in codices. Outside the great series of rolls produced by central government, the most prolific source of rolls in England are Court Rolls, the records of manorial courts, which have survived in vast numbers and which continued to be engrossed on rolls down to the middle of the seventeenth century.  According to L. Santifaller, op. cit., p. 183, papal records were still being kept on rolls in the third century C.E., but were probably transferred to codices in the fourth century.

\136/ The roll also survived to a considerable extent in the East in the liturgy of the Orthodox Church, which was commonly written on parchment rolls; cf. B. Atsalos, La Terminologie du livre-manuscrit à l'époque byzantine, 1\e partie, 1971, pp. 148-176. For the question whether these and other rolls are a direct survival from the rolls of the ancient world see G. Cavallo, 'La genesi dei rotoli liturgici Beneventani alia luce del fenomeno storico-librario in occidente ed oriente,' Miscellanea in memoria di G. Cencetti, 1973, pp. 213-229. See also E. G. Turner, Typology, pp. 50-51 and references there given.

   [[52]]   The relevance of medieval practice to the present investigation is that it casts serious doubt on the validity of many of the practical arguments in favor of the codex.  For instance, although a certain number of medieval rolls are written on both sides, an even greater number are not, and this indicates that there was no special desire to make the maximum use of the writing material, either by using the back of the roll or by adopting the codex form.  Similarly, medieval clerks appear to have coped successfully with all the much-stressed difficulties of locating a particular passage, re-rolling the roll after use, and so on. It is, moreover, possible that, at any rate for the medieval user, the roll may have seemed to offer some positive advantages. One is its flexibility, since extra membranes can readily be sewn on if it desired to extend a roll. Again, rolls need no binding and have survived for many centuries without them, whereas a codex must have some form of binding, if only to hold the quires together, and binding has probably always been a skilled occupation, involving expense and, in the case of administrative records, delays whilst the binding is being executed. [[note on evidence of binding?? Parsons review adds: "Certainly administrative documents continue to be in roll form for many centuries; it could usefully be added that a few documentary codices (like PLandlisten, of c. A.D. 350) appear precisely with the triumph of the literary codex in the fourth century."]]

The effect of conservatism. One factor which must be borne in mind in assessing the probable impact of the arguments in favour of the codex which we have been discussing is the natural conservatism of professional scribes. Writing a codex involved a variety of problems such as calculating space ahead, laying out sheets and keeping them in the right order, which were non­existent for a scribe writing a roll.\137/ And apart from the scribes themselves, all those responsible for the production of books would be inclined to continue as they had always done. Scriptoria and bureaucracies have always tended to crystallize practices, and it is significant that in the Roman Empire the papyrus roll continued to be the normal form for administrative records and accounts for centuries after the codex had replaced it in the field of literature.\138/

\137/ On these problems see E. G. Turner, Typology, pp. 73-4.

\138/ A present-day example of conservatism may be quoted here. In the British House of Lords new peers are required to sign a parchment roll called the Test Roll.  This roll, begun in 1675, has now grown to 30 membranes with a total length of 36.5 metres, making it very cumbersome to consult. It was proposed, on 5 May 1981, to replace it with a register in book form, but the proposal was negatived without a vote.

 [[53]] 8. Conclusions. We have now to consider the extent to which the foregoing arguments might have influenced the early Christians in their choice of the codex. In contrast to the slow and piecemeal process by which the codex ousted the roll in secular literature, the Christian adoption of the codex seems to have been instant and universal. [[i.e. for preserved materials, assuming it is representative]] This is all the more striking because we would have expected the earliest Christians, whether Jew or Gentile, to be strongly prejudiced in favour of the roll by upbringing, education and environment. The motivation for their adoption of the codex must therefore have been something overwhelmingly powerful, and certainly none of the reasons considered above appears capable of producing such an effect. We must therefore seek alternative explanations.  Two different hypotheses will be here discussed, although neither can be claimed as more than tentative.





   IF -- which is by no means certain -- the papyrus codex was a development from the parchment notebook, we have first to consider where the parchment notebook itself originated.  We have already seen strong reasons for thinking that it was of Roman origin, and these are supported by the fact that the earliest known examples of the parchment codex, the codices mentioned by Martial and discussed above, were Roman, while the very word codex is Latin and has no Greek equivalent.\139/ Conversely, there is no trace of the parchment notebook being used for literary purposes in the only Eastern country for which we have adequate evidence, namely Egypt.  All this suggests that we should look to Rome for the ultimate origin of the papyrus codex and its adoption by Christians. How did this come about? If we accept the common hypothesis that the Gospel of Mark was the first to be written down, an explanation may be forthcoming. Early tradition records that Mark reduced to writing his own or Peter's reminiscences during the latter's lifetime or, according to some [[55]] authorities, shortly after his death,\140/ to meet the demands of those who had heard Peter preach. Peter's auditors, whether Jews or Gentiles, would be accustomed to use wax tablets or parchment notebooks and notebooks for their accounts, for legal and official business, and perhaps for correspondence. It would therefore have been natural for Mark to use the parchment notebook for a work intended to be copied in the same format for a limited and specialist readership, but not to be published as the ancient world understood. That Mark’s original manuscript was in codex form is independently suggested by the text of the Gospel itself. If the Gospel as we have it is incomplete, as it was clearly thought to be in the ancient world, the loss of the ending is much more intelligible if the manuscript was a codex, since the outermost leaves of a codex are the most exposed to damage, in complete contrast to the last column of a roll, which being in the interior of the manuscript when rolled up is the best protected. \141/ [[note again the problem of whether rolls were typically rerolled]]

\139/ It is remarkable that the Greek language never developed a specific word to designate the codex form. It is true that the Latin codex was transliterated as κώδιξ, but this always possessed a certain official, governmental or legal connotation (cf. Atsalos, op. cit., pp. 143-144): e.g. in the proceedings of the Council of Chalcedon (C.E. 451), where ἀπὸ κώδικος ἀνέγνω = ex codice recitavit [read from a codex] in the Latin version, of reading from a register of Imperial letters. By this time βιβλίον itself had already come to imply a codex, and was so translated in the Latin version of the Acta: cf. L. Santifaller, op. cit., p. 172, 'in der lateinischer Ubersetzung wird für βιβλίον in der Regel das Wort codex ... gebraucht'.[[ET in the Latin translation as a rule the word codex is used to render βιβλίον [biblion]]]  The nearest approach to a Greek term for codex seems to have been the word σωμάτιον [animal skin?], cf. Basil, Ep. 395, where it is used for a parchment codex in contradistinction to ἐν χάρτῃ i.e. in a (papyrus) roll; and Ep. 231, where Basil writes ἐν χάρτῃ [in papyrus] while his correspondent Amphilochius prefers to write ἐν σωματίῳ [on skin?].  It should be noted that σωμάτιον [somation] by itself could designate either a parchment or a papyrus codex. This is clear from Constantine's well-known order to Eusebius to manufacture fifty copies of the Bible [sic! scriptures], σωμάτια [on skins?], specifying that they should be ἐν διφθέραις [on parchments]. [[check all these terms in TLG]] Cf. also for its use with no reference to the material Porphyry, Vit.  Plot. 25.  It is significant that the word, the basic meaning of which echoes the Latin corpus, expresses the collective or comprehensive nature of the format, and thus provides an indication of why it was adopted. [[??!!]]

\140/ For a recent discussion of the evidence see J. A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament, 1976, pp. 107 sq.

\141/ On the question whether the conclusion (and also the beginning?) of the Gospel has been lost see C.F.D. Moule, the Birth of the New Testament, 3rd ed., 1981, p. 131, n. 1 and references there given.  A recent addition to the evidence for the text having broken off at 16.8 is the Barcelona codex of Mark in Sahidic (fifth cent), which omits the final twelve verses. It has also been suggested that the so-called ‘Great Omission,’ whereby Luke, in his use of Mark, skips from Mark 6.44 to 8.26 might have been due to the loss of a leaf or two in the manuscript Luke was using, cf. C. C. McCown, Harvard Theological Review 34 (1941) 240-241.

        A late tradition, preserved by Eusebius and Jerome\142/ associates Mark with the foundation of the Church of Alexandria, and the connections of this  Church, when it emerges into the light of history, are with the West rather than the East.\143/ If the Gospel of Mark, in the form of the parchment notebook postulated above, had reached Egypt, it is likely that it would have been copied on papyrus, so much more readily available than parchment, and the papyrus codex might thus have been created.  

\142/ Cf. B. M. Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament, part 1, chapter 2, section 1: "The Introduction of Christianity into Egypt and the Translation of the New Testament," where it is pointed out (p. 99, n.2) that Eusebius himself describes the report as based only on hearsay.
\143/ Cf. Roberts, op. cit., p. 59. The statement there that letters on the date of Easter were exchanged between the churches of Rome and Alexandria in the later second century is incorrect, there being no evidence for this earlier than the third century.
           The foregoing is the hypothesis put forward in the predecessor of the present work,\144/ but it must be admitted that the arguments [[56]] against it are formidable. In the first place it is hard to see why the notebook format should have been retained in conjunction with a writing material, namely papyrus, not at that time commonly used for such a purpose. The assumption would have to be made that Mark's original manuscript, or copies of it in the same notebook format, already enjoyed a measure of authority when they first reached Egypt, and that the codex format itself thus acquired a symbolic value, not least because it stood out in sharp contrast both to the Jewish Roll of the Law and to the pagan book; and that for these reasons when it came, inevitably in Egypt, to be copied on papyrus, the codex format was preserved.

\144/ Pp. 187-9.

       A second objection is that the obscurity of the early history of the Church of Alexandria makes it difficult to believe that it could have imposed this novel form on other churches.\145/ Either Rome or Antioch would have been more likely to have been able to exert such influence. Nor does the fact that the fortunes of discovery have brought to light early Christian codices from Egypt and virtually none from anywhere else prove that the papyrus codex was of Egyptian origin. Moreover, the suggestion that it was the Gospel of Mark which provided the inspiration or the codex is itself difficult to accept.  Despite the fact that there is more detailed tradition relating to the date and circumstances of composition of the Gospel of Mark than there is for any of the others (though in this early tradition there is no allusion to Alexandria), this is the very Gospel which has been described as the 'least read and esteemed in the early Church.'\146/ Not only is this so in the early Church generally, but in Egypt in particular, in spite of the alleged association of Mark with the See of Alexandria, no manuscript of the second Gospel earlier than the fourth century has so far been discovered there, with the single exception of the Chester Beatty codex of the four Gospels and Acts. This position contrasts sharply with eleven copies of John, nine of Matthew, and four of Luke from the same first three centuries.\147/ The Coptic evidence makes it plain that this cannot be explained as an accident of survival: in Coptic manuscripts of the fourth century [[57]] there are 60 quotations from Matthew, 15 from Luke, 15 from John, and none from Mark.\148/ A Gospel which was so largely ignored, and of which the original manuscript [[or at least an early MS]] was in all prob­ability so neglected that it lost its final leaf, is unlikely to have set the standard for the Christian book.

\145/ On the obscurity of the early Alexandrian church, and possible reasons for this see Roberts, op. cit., pp. 49-51, 71. [[note also that Mark's alleged connection with Rome may be more important than with Alexandria!]]

\146/  J. A. T. Robinson, op. cit., p. 107; see also van [[sic! von??]] Campenhausen, op. cit., p. 171, n. 112. [[but if the hypothesis of Mark as the source of Mt & Lk is taken seriously, Mark's early influence is central!!]]

\147/  Roberts, op. cit., p. 59, n. 5 and p. 61.

\148/ The figures are those of Th. Lefort in Muséon 66 (1953) 16 sq., quoted in Roberts, op. cit., p. 61, n.4.

       Before we consider a different hypothesis to account for the Christian use of the codex, another innovation in the production of Christian manuscripts deserves attention in case the origin of the one throws light on that of the other. This is the use of the so-called nomina sacra, contractions marked by a suprascript line of certain divine names and words, particularly θεός, κύριος, Ἰησοῦς and Χριστός.\149/ This, like the [[nearly]] exclusive employment of the codex form, is [[thought to be]] strictly a Christian usage unknown to Jewish or pagan manuscripts, and since its existence is taken for granted in a reference in the Epistle of Barnabas it must go back if not to the Apostolic, at least to the Sub-Apostolic Age.\150/ It poses the question whether the adoption of the codex and the invention of the system of nomina sacra should be regarded as two independent innovations (possibly originating in different areas of the Christian world) or whether there is some connection between them. The possibility of such a connection was first raised by T. C. Skeat in 1969, who wrote: 'The significant fact is that the introduction of the nomina sacra seems to parallel very closely the adoption of the papyrus codex; and it is remarkable that those developments should have taken place at almost the same time as the great outburst of activity among Jewish scholars which led to the standardization of the Hebrew Bible.[[??!!]] It is no less remarkable that they seem to indicate a degree of organisation, of conscious planning, and uniformity of practice among the Christian com­munities which we have hitherto had little reason to suspect, and which throw a new light  on the early history of the Church.'\151/  It may be further noted that, whether or not this was the intention, nomina sacra share the same characteristic with the codex of differentiating Christian from both Jewish and pagan books.[[quite simplistic]]

\149/ For the origin and significance of nomina sacra see ibid, pp. 26-48 [[add more recent lit]].

\150/ On the date of the Epistle of Barnabas see now J. A. T. Robinson, op.cit.,pp.313-19 who claims that there is nothing in the Epistle which could not have been written circ. 75 C.E., and would himself place it not long after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. [[this is not a widely accepted view]].

\151/ The Cambridge History of the Bible, vol. 2, pp. 72-3.

[[58]]   The case for a common origin of the two innovations is prima facie strong, and if it is accepted, the beginnings of the Christian codex cannot be associated with Rome and the West (the hypothesis which has been discussed above), since the earliest Latin manuscripts either do not employ nomina sacra at all, or do so in an uncertain or irregular fashion.\152/ Alexandria would likewise seem to be ruled out in view of the obscurity of the early Egyptian Church referred to above. If these two areas are excluded, there remains only two early Christian churches having sufficient authority to devise such innovations and impose them on Christendom generally, namely Jerusalem and Antioch. [[again, quite simplistic]]

\152/ Roberts, op. cit., pp. 43-4.

      The claims of Jerusalem have been considered elsewhere,\153/ but so far only in connection with the nomina sacra. We have now to consider the codex as well, and if the link between nomina sacra and the codex is valid, and Jerusalem is posited as their place of dual origin, this must have taken place before the outbreak of the Jewish War in 66 C.E. and the flight of the Christian community, whereas in the case of Antioch no such time factor applies. It is, however, not necessary to think of Jerusalem and Antioch as mutually exclusive. Owing to the close links between them, either or both of these innovations might have taken place through joint consultation between the two Churches.\154/ [[!! simplistic]]

\153/ Roberts, op. cit., pp: 45-6.

\154/ In objection to Antioch as the source, or at any rate the sole source of nomina sacra it might be urged that nomina sacra are unknown in Syriac manuscripts. This, however, seems to be due to the nature of the Syriac language and script.  Dr. S P. Brock has kindly pointed out to us that whereas in Greek such forms as _KS_  and  _QS_ are not liable to confusion or misinterpretation, the hypothetical Syriac equivalents (i.e. taking the first and last letters of each word) would be very awkward, viz. m' freom mry' = Lord, and '' from 'lh = God, while m’ would also be indistinguishable from m’ = when, and could also represent the first and last letters of ms^yh.’ = Messiah.  In fact, when ms^yh.’ does eventually (in medieval manuscripts only) get abbreviated, the system is quite different ms^ or ms^y being employed.

      The claims of Antioch\155/ for at least some part in the origin of both nomina sacra and the codex are strong. It was one of the principal places where Jewish Christians, dispersed fromJeru­salem after Stephen's death, sought refuge,\156/ and where some of them, Jews from Cyprus and Cyrene (and thus likely to possess [[59]] a knowledge of Greek) preached the Gospel to the Greek-speaking section of the local population.\157/ More important, it was in this center of Greek culture that the breakthrough of the mission to the Gentiles took place. The missionaries to the Gentiles would have needed Greek manuscripts, initially perhaps only of the Greek Jewish scriptures ("Septuagint"). Obviously these manuscripts, intended for Gentile consumption,[[??]] cannot have made use of the Hebrew tetragram for the Name of God, and the necessity to find an alternative may have led to the invention of the nomina sacra.\158/ But we still have to explain the apparently simultaneous emergence of the codex. We know from Jewish sources\159/ that while the Oral Law, the Mishnah, could not be formally committed to writing, isolated decisions or rabbinic sayings might be, and were, written down either on tablets (t'VaKEg) or on what the Mishnah calls 'small private rolls.' Since Jewish children, like Gentile children, started their education on tablets and continued to use them for memoranda, these would have been familiar everyday objects. A decision quoted in the Mishnah\160/ said to be not later than the middle of the second century, mentions three kinds of tablets, those filled with wax, those with a polished surface (like the ivory tablets of the Romans) and those of papyrus, of which, however, only the second fulfilled the ceremonial requirements. [[refs??]] There was a large Jewish community in Antioch from Hellenistic times onwards, and tablets of the kinds just mentioned, including tablets of papyrus, would have been in common use amongst the Jews there.  It is possible, therefore, that papyrus tablets were used to record the Oral Law as pronounced by Jesus, and that these tablets might have developed into a primitive form of codex. To the records of these logia might have been added an account of the Passion, and the way would be clear for the production of a Proto-Gospel.\161/ [[60]] Once the Jewish War began, the dominating position of Antioch as the metropolis of Christianity in the Greek-speaking world would have been unchallenged, and any development of the tablet into the codex is most likely to have taken place here, thus laying the foundation of the city as a centre of biblical scholarship. If the first work to be written on a papyrus codex was a gospel,  it is easy to understand that the codex rapidly became the sole format for the Christian scriptures, given the authority that a gospel would carry.

\155/ For Christianity at Antioch see Granville Downey, A History of Antioch in Syria, 1961, Chapter 2. "The Christian Community at Antioch from Apostolic times to A.D. 284," and Jean Lassus, ‘Antioche à l’époque romaine:  Christianisme’ in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt 2.8 [[date]], pp. 88-94.

\156/ Acts of the Apostles 11.19. [[uncritical]]

\157/ Acts of the Apostles 11.20. [[uncritical]]                           

\158/ Roberts, op cit., pp. 34-35.

\159/ For this account of Jewish writing habits we are greatly indebted to S. Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine, 1950, Appendix III, 'Jewish and Christian Codices' (pp. 203 sq.). It may further be noted that in writing the Oral Law on a tablet the form itself would indicate that no real publication was intended, whereas to publish in the form of a roll would be regarded as a transgression of the Law.  On publication and the Oral Law see Lieberman, op. cit., pp. 84 sq. [[unknown by unknown!! tablet in NE hist?? see also Resnick for more careful presentation (and interpretation) of the rabbinic details; Parsons review comments: "Lieberman ... collected Mishnaic references to the practice of writing down the oral law (rabbinic sayings and decisions) in pinakes (as opposed to the scrolls of the Written Law); he suggested that Jesus' disciples too had recorded their master's sayings on pinakes, and from such pinakes of papyrus developed the use of the codex. The authors elaborate this suggestion, and put it forward as the more plausible hypothesis. But of course it too is open to attack. (i) Methodologically. it leaves the Western codex as a separate development. (ii) Evidentially, Lieberman's material is itself not very convincing. Passages in which Rabbis are said to have written in pinakes simply use that word, and do not specify the material (as Dr. S. P. Brock informs me); and the one passage which defines three types of pinax -- papyrus, was and smooth wood -- regards the first two as potentially unclean. Clearly there were pinakes of papyrus, and no doubt these were papyrus notebooks; but the specific connection with rabbinical practice is not made."]]

\160/ Kelim 24.7  (The Mishnah, trans. H. Danby, 1933, p. 639). For the date see Lieberman, op. cit., p. 203.

\161/ Various theories have been propounded, suggesting that some, or possibly all, of the canonical gospels, and Acts, were written at Antioch, but none can be regarded as proved or even probable; perhaps the strongest case for an Antiochene, or at any rate Syrian, origin is that of the Gospel of Matthew.

Against this, it could be argued that the Jews equally used tablets for recording the Oral Law, but in no case did this usage develop into the codex. [[no evidence]] On the other hand, the use of the roll in Judaism was so rooted in tradition and prescribed by the Law [[???]] that such a development would have been impossible.[[!!! but see the Resnick article for more accurate detail]]  The Christians, however, would have had no such inhibitions,[[??]] and to them the adoption of a form of book which like the nomina sacra would have differentiated them from both Jews and pagans, as already noted, might have constituted an additional attraction.

If the foregoing hypothesis is correct, it follows that the parchment notebook (membranae) can have played very little part in the invention of the Christian papyrus codex. It is true that Paul [[s depicted as having]] used parchment note-books (2 Tim. 4.13), and a second-century papyrus letter from Egypt (P. Petaus 30) mentions  the purchase of some μεμβράναι, but evidence to link these  references with the Christian papyrus codex is entirely lacking. We have already seen (p. 29), and shall see again (p. 71) that the supposed priority of the parchment codex over the papyrus codex is far from proved even in the field of pagan literature, and in the case of Christian manuscripts the theory is even less convincing.  It is indeed by no means easy to find an example of a Christian codex on parchment as early as the third century.\162/ 

\162/ One of the earliest Christian parchment codices would appear to be a page of Acts, P. Berlin. Inv. 11765 = van Haelst 479, which is assigned by Roberts to the second-third century.  E. G. Turner, however, in Typology, under number NT Parch 76, dates it fourth century on pp. 29, 159. In the 'Detailed List of Early Parchment Codices' in Typology, p. 39 (cf. also p. 94) there are no Christian items ascribed to the second-third century. Five are ascribed to the third century, viz:

      • 1 Romans. NT Parch 82 (van Haelst 495) [[supply more detail in the list]]
      • 2 2 John. NT Parch 107 (van Haelst 555)
      • 3 Acts of Peter. NT Apocrypha 13 (van Haelst 603)
      • 4 Genesis. OT 2 (van Haelst 5)
      • 5 Tobit. OT 186 (van Haelst 82)

But concerning these five items some reservations must be made. No. 1 is dated ?iii, i.e. third century with a query, on p. 160.  No. 2 is dated 'iii ed.; E.G.T. iv?' on p. 163.  No. 3 was dated early fourth century by the original editors (and by H. J. M. Milne).  No. 4 is possibly Jewish, cf. Roberts, op. cit., pp. 33-34, 77. No 5 is dated third-­fourth century by Cavallo..

[[61]] To sum up, although neither of the two hypotheses discussed above is capable of proof, the second is decidedly the more plausible. One final point to be considered is the date at which the Christians may be presumed to have adopted the codex, or rather the date by which general agreement was reached in the Church that the codex was the only acceptable format for the scriptures. [[!!!]] Neither hypothesis provides any chronological back­ground. So far as the first is concerned, if the Gospel of Mark provided the ultimate model, we do not know when the Gospel was written, when copies of it could have reached Alexandria, or how long it would have taken for papyrus to replace parchment as the writing material. The second hypothesis is equally unpro­ductive. If Jerusalem was involved in the adoption of the codex, this must have been, as noted above, before 66 C.E. [[why so??]]; but if Antioch was also involved, a later date is equally possible.

The only hard evidence thus remains that of the manuscripts themselves. We have seen that there are a number of Christian papyrus codices dating from the second century, including at least one which is agreed to be not later than 150 C.E. These manuscripts are all, so far as we can judge, provincial productions, and it is thus in the highest degree unlikely that they are the earliest codices ever produced. All in all, it is impossible to believe that the Christian adoption of the codex can have taken place any later than circ. 100 C.E. (it may, of course have been earlier); and this date will be assumed in the following Section. [[entirely simplistic and relatively uncritical]]

[[Add a section on letters:, and the Pauline corpus hypothesis:
P.Bas. 16 (Naldini #4) abbreviates TON KN (check this), and is dated to early 3rd century.
There are no unambiguously Christian letters dated earlier. ]]





 IT has sometimes been suggested that the adoption of the codex by the early Christians in some way influenced the development of the canon of scripture. No ancient writer alludes to this, and there is no direct evidence, so whatever can be said on the subject must necessarily be conjectural.

    As regards the Christian Bible as a whole, any possible influence of the codex on its contents can be immediately dismissed.  Manuscripts of the entire Greek Bible are excessively rare at any period, and in any case the history of the "Old Testament" canon, depending predominantly [[??]] upon the Jewish canon, is quite different from that of the New.

 Even in the case of the New Testament as an entity it may be doubted whether the existence of the codex has ever had any effect upon the canon. Manuscripts of the complete New Testament in Greek are by no means common. Of the 2,646 minuscule manuscripts listed by Kurt Aland in his Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments, 1963, pp. 61-202, only 56 contain the New Testament complete, while a further 136 contain the New Testament minus the Apocalypse, which the Eastern Churches long regarded with suspicion. The same picture is broadly true of the Latin\163/ and other early versions.  Any influence of the codex on the contents of the New Testament must therefore have been on smaller groups, particularly the Gospels and the Pauline Epistles.

\163/ On Latin manuscripts of the complete Bible -- 'pandects' -- see B. M. Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament, p. 336, n. 1.

   To take the Gospels, if the establishment of the four-Gospel canon is linked in some way with the adoption of the codex, there are three possibilities. Either the canon came first, and favored the adoption of the codex, which made it possible to include all four Gospels in a single volume; or the adoption of the codex came first, and realisation of its possibilities favoured the establishment of the four-Gospel canon; or, whether by chance or design, both [[63]] developments took place simultaneously, without either neces­sarily influencing the other.

       We have already seen that the adoption of the codex cannot be dated later than circ. 100 C.E., and much therefore depends upon the date to be assigned to the establishment of the four-­Gospel canon, or at any rate whether this took place before or after100 C.E.Unfortunately there is at present no general agreement on the date or circumstances in which the canon emerged. A recent writer on the subject, Hans von Campenhausen, in The Formation of the Christian Bible, 1972, would place the emergence of the canon between the time of Justin and that of Irenaeus (pp. 171-172), i.e. between circ. 160 and circ. 185, adding 'to define the date more precisely than this is not possible'.  His reason for this is that 'the four-Gospel canon was not a conscious creation, "constructed" at one blow, nor was it disseminated from a single centre. Its formation was gradual and the result of earlier presuppositions, and it was in the end universally accepted.' As for the circumstances, he takes the view that the canon came into being either by direct reaction to the activities of Marcion or, which he thinks more likely, because Marcion created a situation in which the Church was obliged to define what was authoritative and authentic.  Elsewhere, however, he seems to allow a rather wider span of years for the emergence of the canon, as when he refers to 'when the beginnings of the four-Gospel canon are placed, as they must be, only in the second half of the second century' (op. cit., p. 238, n. 156).

       According to Irenaeus the four-Gospel canon is something divinely established and consonant with the forces of nature, and the date of circ. 185 can thus safely be taken as the terminus ante quem for the creation of the canon [[for Irenaeus and his influence at least]]. But it is by no means so certain that the age of Justin provides us with a terminus post quem. Professor Moule, for example, leaves it open whether the four­ Gospel canon is earlier or later than Marcion (circ. 140): 'Did that interesting heretic find four Gospels already recognized together by about 140 C.E., and did he deliberately drop off Matthew, Mark, and John (as well as the unacceptable parts of Luke)?  Or was it rather that the catholic Church, after seeing what havoc Marcion wrought by his one-sided use of documents, brought the four Gospels together to restore the balance and make a fourfold harmony? This is the same problem as confronts us for the whole [[64]] New Testament canon: was Marcion's the first canon, and is the orthodox canon the Catholic Church's subsequent reply?  Or did Marcion play fast and loose with an already existing canon? There is at present no conclusive evidence for the existence of a pre-Marcionite catholic canon. Marcion may have been the catalyst we have already hinted at. We cannot be certain' (The Birth of the New Testament, 3rd ed., 1981, pp. 257-258).

      In this climate of uncertainty it is very difficult to trace any possible link between the four-Gospel canon and the adoption of the codex.\164/ All that can be said is that so far at least no critic has suggested a date for the creation of the canon as early as 100 C.E.; and we may thus reach the tentative conclusion that the adoption of the codex pre-dated the four-Gospel canon.  If this is so, we have now to consider whether the canon was influenced by the existence of the codex.

\164/ The most detailed proposal to link the adoption of the codex form with the four-Gospel canon is that of G. Rudberg, Neutestamentlicher Text und Nomina Sacra, Uppsala, 1915, pp. 36-46.  Accepting the thesis of Hermann von Soden that his three families of Gospel manuscripts, I, H and K, all derived from a single I-H-K archetype, Rudberg concluded that this archetype implied a codex, since a single roll could not contain all four Gospels: cf. op. cit., p. 36, 'Diese technische Einheit der Evangelien, mit dem I-H-K Text, kann nicht eine Rolle gewesen sein und auch nicht mehrere ... Wir müssen ein Buch, ein Codex annehmen'. [[ET This technical unity of the Gospels, as found in the I-H-K text, can not have been a roll and also not ?? . . . We must assume that it was a book -- a codex.]]  The adoption of the codex and the establishment of the four-Gospel canon were thus intimately connected and each presupposes the other.  However, von Soden's theories have not found acceptance, and in any case the position has been radically altered by subsequent discoveries.

    Pre-existence of the codex was certainly not essential for the creation of the canon. The Jews, after all, [[presumably]] created their own canon of the "Old Testament" without any benefit of the codex, and no doubt the Christian Church [[leaders]] could have decided upon the four-­Gospel canon irrespective of whether at the time the four Gospels were circulating as four rolls, four codices, [[some combination of rolls and codices,]] or one codex. One area in which it has been claimed the codex exercised a decisive effect is the canonical order of the Gospels. As Campen­hausen puts it: 'Any publication which established a fixed sequence of gospels is conceivable only as from the start in the form of a codex' (op. cit., p. 173). But against this is the evidence of variations in sequence, notably the so-called 'Western Order' of Matthew, John, Luke, Mark which is also found in the fourth­ century Freer Gospels, a manuscript almost certainly of Egyptian origin, while Campenhausen himself points out that although Irenaeus in discussing the origins of the Gospels treats them in [[what became]] the [[65]] canonical sequence (apparently because he believed this was their chronological order), he elsewhere always uses the order Matthew, Luke, Mark, John (op. cit., p. 195, n. 243).

   But perhaps the strongest argument against any definite link between the four-Gospel canon and the codex is the extent to which, both during and after the second century, Gospels continued to circulate individually or in smaller groups or in conjuction with other books of the Bible, and that too not only in Greek but in the Versions also. Examples from the fourth century onwards are given by Zahn,\165/ but there are plenty of earlier date.  The earliest extant Gospel manuscript, the Rylands John (P52) probably never contained more than that Gospel (see below), as certainly was the case with the somewhat later Bodmer John (P66) and the third-century P5, a bifolium consisting of conjoint leaves from the beginning and end of a single-quire codex of the same Gospel, while another notable example is the fourth-century codex of John in Sub-Achmimic from Qau. For groups of less than four Gospels we have the Bodmer Luke and John (P75), the codex of Matthew and Luke divided between Paris, Oxford and Barcelona (P4 + P64 + P67),[[add note]] or the fifth-century Barcelona codex of Luke and Mark (in that order) in the Sahidic version.

\165/ Geschichte der neutestamentlichen Kanons 1, 1881, p. 60.

Despite such negative results, it is of some interest to speculate whether in the second century it would have been feasible to include all four Gospels within a single codex. There is no doubt that this would have been technically possible, if we compare the example of the second-century codex of the Republic of Plato discussed below. The Republic contains 11,846 στίχοι, whereas the four Gospels, according to the calculations of Rendel Harris (using the text of Westcott and Hort and making allowances for nomina sacra) contain only 8,345 στίχοι. The Plato codex is, however, written in an exceptionally small hand, unlike that of early Christian manuscripts, and the available evidence from second-century codices of the Gospels is not favourable to the existence of a four-Gospel codex. The most extensive second­ century Christian codex is the Chester Beatty Numbers and Deuteronomy,\166/ which contained 104 leaves ( = 208 pages). A [[66]] four-Gospel manuscript written in the same style and format would have contained about 130 leaves ( = 260 pages). The Bodmer Luke and John (P75) originally consisted of 72 leaves (= 144 pages), and the addition of Matthew and Mark would have required at least an additional 60 leaves, making a total of 132 leaves (= 264 pages). The Paris-Oxford-Barcelona codex of Matthew and Luke mentioned above is very fragmentary, but the remains of Luke indicate that the Gospel would have filled about 44 leaves (= 88 pages), and on this basis the four Gospels would have occupied a total of 144 leaves (= 288 pages).  As will be seen, all these figures are considerably larger than those for any second-century codex at present known.

\166/ In the stichometry of Nicephorus (Migne, Patr. Gr. 100, col. 1055) Numbers and Deuteronomy together comprise 6630 στίχοι.

In the next century the Chester Beatty Gospels and Acts (P45) originally contained 110 leaves (= 220 pages), and this was achieved by the use of a larger page (about 25.5 x 20 cm), giving a larger written area (about 19 x 16 cm), together with a smaller script than in most of the second-century codices. For the present, therefore, a second-century codex of all four Gospels seems unlikely; and there is much to be said for Campenhausen's conclusion: 'the fact that Irenaeus and the Muratorian canon regard the fourfold gospel as a spiritual unity is a theological phenomenon and nothing to do with book production' (op. cit., p. 174).

Hitherto we have spoken only of the Gospels. Of the remainder of the New Testament, the most obvious group which might have been influenced by the codex is the Pauline Epistles. These form a body considerably shorter than the Gospels (5,095 στίχοι according to Rendel Harris),\167/ so a codex containing all of them would have been proportionately more feasible in the second century, as the Chester Beatty codex shows that it was in the third. But there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that the codex played any part in their selection or circulation.\168/ [[add Trobisch stuff]]

\167/ op. cit, pp. 38-9; this figure includes the Pastoral Epistles and Hebrews.

\168/ For theories of the creation of the Pauline canon, and the possible influence of Marcion's selection of Pauline Epistles see von Campenhausen, op. cit., pp. 176 ff., Monte, op. cit., pp. 258-66. E..J. Goodspeed and John Knox, who suggested that the collection was the work of the slave Onesimus, placed the event soon after 85 C.E., while according to G. Zuntz the archetype of the Pauline corpus was produced, possibly in Alexandria, about 100 C.E.; Preferences in Monte, loc. cit.). [[+Trobridge]]




  WE have attempted to explain why the early -- if not indeed the earliest -- Christians adopted the codex form for their scriptures to the virtual exclusion of the roll. We have now to face the even more difficult problem of finding an explanation for the transition from the roll to the codex in the realm of non-Christian literature.  As the figures in Section 7 will have shown, this was no sudden revolution but a slow, irreversible drift from one form to the other which required several centuries for completion.

     At first sight the most obvious explanation would seem to be the influence of current Christian practice. Certainly after 300 C.E., and possibly even some decades earlier, the sight of Christian codices must have been familiar to a large and ever ­increasing proportion of all classes of the population, and we may imagine that the final triumph of Christianity [[in the early 4th century]] would have provided greatly increased motivation to adopt the Christian model.  However, the figures just mentioned show clearly that although the codex makes only a modest showing among non-­Christian manuscripts of the second century C.E., their number is nevertheless appreciable, and that at a time when the possibility of any Christian influence can be firmly excluded.
     At this point we must consider a relatively recent discussion of the origin of the codex, by Professor G. Cavallo in the volume Libri, Editori e Pubblico nel mondo antico: Guida storica e critica (Roma, 1975), pp. xix-xxii, 83-86. He begins by referring to the various practical advantages which have been claimed for the codex, and which have been considered in detail in Section 9 above -- cheapness, compactness, ease of reference, etc. -- but insists that they can have played only a minor or complementary role in the process. He then develops his own theory. Admitting the priority of the Christian codex, he argues that the early Christians came from the lower strata of society, among whom a book would have been a rarity, and that among such classes, whether Christian or not, [[68]] the codex-form note-book would have been a familiar object used for memoranda, commercial transactions and the like. Such literature as these classes possessed would not have been the classics but either popular romances like the Phoinikika of Lol­lianus, itself a second century codex, or, in the case of artisans, works of a technical or practical character. [[But what about Jewish scriptures?]] These classes would have not been merely indifferent to, but actually antagonistic to the roll, a form associated in their minds with an aristocratic élite. As these same circles developed into an increasingly powerful middle class, their preferences would have gradually dominated the book-production industry, and eventually even the aristocracy would have had to conform and adopt the codex.

     Persuasively though the case is argued by Professor Cavallo, it must be admitted that it is difficult to find any [[/much]] supporting evidence. The theory that the early Christians were drawn predominantly from the lower classes, and that this would have favoured their adoption of the codex recalls the position taken up by Wilhelm Schubart sixty years ago[/in 1921] (Das Buch bei den Griechen und Römern, 2nd ed., 1921, pp. 119 ff: "Der Codex, das Buch der A"rmeren" ["The codex, the book of the poor"]).\169/ Of course the numerical majority of Christians at this, or indeed any age would have come from the lower classes,\170/ but it by no means follows that it would have been they who would have decided such important questions as the format of their scriptures. [[But at what point were original Christian writings determined to be "scriptures"?]] And it is surely an exaggeration to say that to such persons a book would have been a rarity. Certainly it is difficult to believe that any inhabitant of, say, Oxyrhynchus can never have caught sight of a book. The roll itself must have been even more familiar from its massive use not only in official circles such as the army, the courts and the bureaucracy down to local government level, but also by private businessmen for their accounts and records. [[To what extent were rolls prevalent in those non-literary contexts?]]

\169/ The title itself is not original, being taken from Birt's Abriss, p. 351.

\170/ This is a widely-held belief. Cf, e.g., Cavallo, op. cit., p. xx.: 'a dar vita alle prime communità crisitane fu una plebs senza ruolo economico, politico e intellettuale' [[ET  to give life to the first Christian communities was a constituency (plebs) without economic, political and intellectual status]]But cf.  E. A. Judge, The Social Pattern of the Christian Groups in the First Century, 1960 , p. 60: 'Far from being a socially depressed group, then if the Corinthians are at all typical, the Christians were dominated by a socially pretentious section of the population of the big cities.' Also p. 61: 'Pliny accepted the fact that Christians represented a broad cross-section of society, from Roman citizens downwards, but reserved his surprise, apart from their numbers, in which he is an alarmist, for the ominous fact that the new religion was infecting not merely the cities but the countryside.  Until then, however, we may safety regard Christianity as a socially well-backed movement of the great Hellenistic cities.'

[[69]] The suggestion that there was a kind of distinct sub-culture whose favorite reading was popular romances in codex form is an attractive one, but hard evidence for this is slender. If we analyze the surviving fragments of romances from Egypt we find the following picture [[see now M-P\3 and  CPP]]:

1st century


2nd c
P.Colon. inv. 3328 (Lollianus)
P.Mil.Vogl. 3.124 (AchillesTatianus)
3rd c
 P.Schub. 30 (P.Berol. inv. 16971) (AchillesTatianus)
P.Oxy. 15.1826

These figures are taken from O. Montevecchi, La Papirologia, 1973, pp. 360-363 with some later additions, viz. P. Oxy. 31.2539, 42.3010, 3011, 3012, and P. Turner 8. The two second century codices are Achilles Tatius (Pack-2 no. 3 [disputed dates]), and the Phoinikika of Lollianus already mentioned; the third century codex is again Achilles Tatius (Pack-2 no. 1).\171/

\171/ At the end of the section 'Romance,’ Pack-2 lists other possible romance texts; of the eight antedating the fifth century not one is a codex or opisthograph; one is an ostrakon. [[Pack-Mertens 3 (online) displays 683 items in response to the request for papyri codices in the June 2006 online edition, and 206 for parchment codices. For the period up to the year 300, M-P\3 claims 214 papyri codices and  30 parchment; for the period up to 200 CE,  only 51 papyri and 5 parchment. Many of these are dated ca. 200.]]

If we take other types of literature which might reasonably be regarded as popular, one obvious genre is the so-called Acts of the Pagan Martyrs or Acta Alexandrinorum.  For these texts Montevecchi gives the following figures:

1st century
M-P 09
M-P 00
2nd century
M-P 12
M-P 09
3rd century
M-P 08
M-P 38

Every one of these is a roll. [Not too surprising, since most of them are dated relatively early.  M-P\3 lists one codex --
2226.01 "Acta Alexandrinorum" ? (Acta Maximi ?) BKT 9.177 (P.Berol. inv. 21273) Fayoum ?    III    CP]

   A work which one would have thought was a work of popular literature par excellence is the Oracle of the Potter. Of this there [[70]] are three manuscripts [M-P list 4, all on papyrus], one of the second century and two of the third: all are rolls [three written on the other side of documentary rolls!].

        Similarly the popular fortune-telling manual known as the Sortes of Astrampsychus has survived in five manuscripts [M-P list 10], viz. 
168.4 = P. Oxy. 12.1477,  3/4th c, roll
168.1 = P. Oxy. 38.2832 + 47.3330,  3/4th c, back of documentary roll
168.2 = P.Oxy. 38.2833,  3/4th c, roll
168.8 = P.Lugd.Bat. 25.8 (inv. 573v), 3rd c, back of documentary roll
168.7 = P. Oxy. 67.4581. (G. M. Browne, 'A new papyrus codex of the Sortes Astrampsychi', Arktouros: Hellenic Studies presented to Bernard M. W. Knox... 1979, pp. 434-439).  5/6th c codex
168.5 = P.Giessen Kuhlmann 5.10 (P.Iand. 5.71, inv. 696), 4th c codex (recto, verso).
168.6 = P.Rain. 1.33 (P.Vindob. inv. G 29275), 5th c codex
168.3 =  P.Gent inv. 85, 3rd c, back of documentary roll
168.81 =  P.Berol. inv. 21341, 3rd c, codex?
168.82 =  P.Berol. inv. 21358, 3rd c, codex?
The first four all date from the third-fourth century and are all on rolls [actually, two are on the back of documentary rolls!], notwithstanding the fact that the codex form would have been especially convenient for the consultation of the work. Only the fifth is a codex, and that is the latest of all (late fourth century [now redated even later]).  Again, although manuals of magic might equally be expected to adopt the codex form, no extant magical codex is earlier than the fourth century; and the same [i.e. although they are codices, they are not earlier than 4th c!] goes for the two known treatises on palmomancy (Pack-2 no. 2112, 2113). [But the two Berlin Sortes fragments are probably codices (written on both sides), and dated to the 3rd century; thus the Sortes example is no evidence against early adoption of the codex format for this type of material.  M-P\3 lists 8 (or 9) "palmomancie" texts (also under "divination" with 8-9 others, one of which is an ostrakon), of which only one [or two?]  is apparently first use scroll [unless this type of material was written against the fibers by choice] and four are codices:
2106.1 = P.Genav. inv. 161 Traité d'hiéroscopie (Costanza; palmomancie? Hurst), 2nd ce
2110 = P.Flor. 3.391, 3rd c, papyrus codex
2110.01 = P.Mich. 18.766 (inv. 6041), Karanis    III/IV    ¯ (® blanc)
2111 = P.Oslo 3.76, 4th c., roll
2111.01 = P.Oxy. 32.2630 v, IIIex./IVin.    ¯ (® 1938.1 "Pe/an")
2111.02 = P.Prag. inv. G IV 71 + 156, papyrus codex
2112 = P.Ryl. 1.28, IV  papyrus codex
2113 = PSI 6.728, IIex./III (P. Degni, dans Mostra2 ; IV éd.) , papyrus codex
2113.01 = P.Paramone 4 (P.Vindob. inv. G 2859), IIIex./IVin.    ¯ (® doc.)
2104 =
P.Amh. 2.14 Traité sur la divination III/IV    "not a codex" Turner, Typ
2105 =
P.Oxy. 6.885 (P.Brux. inv. E 5973) Traité sur la divination : interprétation de la foudre qui frappe les statues II/III
2106 =
PSI 10.1179 Traité sur des modes de divination (?) Oxyrhynchus II/III    ® (¯ doc. : lettres d'affaires)
2107 =
PSI 10.1178 Traité d'hépatoscopie II (éd.; I Mostra2)
2108 =
P.Ross.Georg. 1.21 (P.Goleniscev) Traité d'hiéroscopie II
2109 =
Brit.Mus. inv. Add. 41203 A :Numérologie : liste d'isopséphismes, mil. V (VI ed. pr.) autre face = 2316 TL
2109.1 =
P.Oxy. 45.3239 Liste d'isopséphismes (avec mention de Rome) IIex.    ¯ (® deux doc. collés)

[[The other statistics for the category "astronomy and astrology" in M-P\3 are also supportive of the impression that the codex achieved popularity relatively soon among such writers. (add stuff from the paraliterary site, etc.)

APIS has 6 hits for "astronomy" (two of which are also in "astrology" list below)
P.Tebt.0449 Recto [M-P 2035]:  calendar, papyrus (2 col), 2nd ce (®) Chaireas' letter to his son Kronion)
P.Tebt.0274 [M-P 2034]: calendar, papyrus, early 2nd ce (®)
P.Mich.inv. 29: prediction, papyrus codex (2 col), 2/3rd ce
P.Mich.inv. 1454: Ephemeris, papyrus codex , 467 ce

APIS gives 15 hits for "astrology" (one is a Demotic ostrakon, one late Arabic), several are single sheet horoscopes; no codices:
P.Duk.inv. 912: horoscope, not before 30 ce papyrus  (®)
P.Oxy. IV 804: horoscope, 4 bce, papyrus (®) blanc)
P.Mich.inv. 4 (148): treatise, 1st ce, papyrus (2 col)  (®) blanc)
P.Mich.inv. 130: treatise?, papyrus, 1st ce, "verso"
P.Mich.inv. 1: treatise, papyrus (18 fragments), 2nd ce (®) blanc)
P.Oslo inv. 304: horoscope, papyrus, 150 ce (®) blanc)
P.Tebt.0276 [M-P 2051]: treatise, papyrus, late 2nd or 3rd ce (®) blanc)
P.Mich.inv. 234: horoscope, papyrus, 184 ce ¯ (® blanc)
P.Tebt.0277 Verso [M-P 2052]: treatise, papyrus, 3rd ce ¯ (® land register)
P.Mich.inv. 924: treatise, papyrus (4 cols), 3rd ce (®) blanc)
P.Mich.inv. 3823: table, papyrus, 3/4th ce (®) blanc)
P.Duk.inv. 662 R: treatise?, papyrus, 4th ce or later (®) magical text, different hand)
P.Mich.inv. 1045: horoscope, papyrus, 431 ce ¯ (® P.Mich. III, 160)]]

It will be seen, then, that the attempt to link readers of popular literature with a preference for the codex is not supported by the evidence, at any rate so far as Egypt is concerned, and we have no reason to think that Egypt was untypical in this respect. The further claim that texts of a technical character in codex form formed part of the reading of the artisan class is even more difficult to substantiate.  No examples are given, and a search through the list of codices at the end of E. G. Turner's Typology does not readily reveal a single example which one might picture in the hands of an artisan. In the present state of knowledge, therefore, both these hypotheses must be regarded as unproved. [[add Cribiore info on "school" practices]]

[[Much more evidence has become available since 1983. Using
M-P3,  the Paraliterary Papyri data bank, and Cribiore's catalog (the online site is missing plates 31-32, items 261 263 273 275), here are the earliest listed codices:, through the 4th century paleographic estimates. The first group consists of sets of wooden tablets, usually waxed, and sometimes in vertical codex format:, arranged roughly chronologically

M-P 0430 [Crib 182=XIX] BKT 5.2.98 (inv. 17651) Euripides  (1st c)
M-P 1436 [Crib 381] T.Berol. inv. 14283 Posidippus & Elegy (1/2nd c diptych)
M-P 1166.1 PBingen 8 (T.Mil.Vogl. inv. 8) Homeric scholia minora (first part 2nd c)
M-P 1191 Homeric Lexicon (2nd c)
M-P 1196  [Crib 328]  TBerol 10510 Homeric Lexicon (2nd c)
M-P 1198 [Crib 326-pl] TBerol 10508 Homeric Lexicon (2nd c)
M-P 1199 [Crib 327-pl] TBerol 10509 Homeric Lexicon (2nd c)
M-P 2713 [PP 0281 LDAB 2642 Crib 383] school text (waxed wooden diptych 2nd c)
M-P 2738 [PP 0362 LDAB 5007 Crib 384] Berlin (now lost) school exercise, declension (4 wooden waxed tablets [only 2 inscribed; sides 4-5] 2/3rd c)
M-P 1765 [Crib 202]  TBM 29527 Epigrams (2/3rd c)
M-P 2739.01 TBerol 10506 fractions table (2/3rd c)
M-P 0174 + 0491 [Crib 386] Babrius Fables (7 tablets, both sides 3rd c)
M-P 1882 [Crib 139] PRossGeorg 1.13 Maxim in verse (3rd c)
M-P 2732 [PP 0255 LDAB 2418 Crib 388] Ps 46, school text, grammar, Homerica (7 wooden tablets vertical, late 3rd c; various hands)
M-P 2712 [PP 0278 LDAB 5315 Crib 385] Lond BM 37533 school word lists (8[9] wooden tablets 3rd c; two student hands, both sides; ##6-8 blank; "pages" numbered both sides)
M-P 2731.1 [Crib 389] TBorely 1564-1567 (4 waxed tablets 3/4th c)
M-P 2758 BM 33270 commentary (3/4th c)
M-P 2643.12 [PP 0313  LDAB 5587] Paris school word list (5 wooden waxed  tablet 3/4/5th c; two hands)
M-P 1886 [PP 0124 LDAB 5613 Crib 392] PBrookl  31 Achilles story (3 wooden tablets 4th c [3rd Goodsp]; final page only, unpracticed schoolhand)
M-P 2736.01 [PP 0277 LDAB 2530 Crib 395] Leiden  list of names (5 vertical wooden waxed tablets 4th c.; waxed both sides)
M-P 1885 [0294 LDAB 5614 Crib 391] PBrookl 29 school word list (5 vertical wooden waxed tablets 4th c.[3rd Goodsp]; waxed both sides; teacher & student hands)
M-P 2736.23 [Crib 305] PLugdBat 25.16 acrostic poem  (4th c)
M-P 2730 [Crib 399] alphabets & accounts (8 waxed tablets; 4th c?)
M-P 2643.11 [Crib 394] PFlor 18 misc (5 waxed tablets 4th c)
M-P 1619? [Crib 396 vanH 239] Louvre Menander, Ps 146, etc. (5 waxed tablets [incomplete]  4th c; nom sacra)
xx Crib 397 [vanH 205] Ps 92 (2 waxed tablets; 4th c)
xx Crib 398 Leiden (2 vertical waxed tablets; mid 4th c)
M-P 2643.12 [Crib 400] PFlor 18 misc (5 waxed tablets; 3-5th c)
M-P 2704.81 TBerol 17759 alphabets (4/5th c)
M-P 2643.16 [Crib 402] TWuertzburg 1013 arith, etc. (5 waxed tablets; 4/5th c)
M-P 2714 [Crib 401] BM 33368 gramm cases, portrait (8 waxed tablets; 4/5th c?)
M-P 2737 [Crib 404-pl] T.Berlin 14000 (9 waxed tablets; 4/5th c or later; Christian crosses, terms)
M-P 2704.81 TBerol 17759 alphabets (4/5thc)
M-P 2753.1 TVindob syllabaries (4/5th c)
M-P 2109 Numerology (not waxed; 5/6th c)
M-P 2274.2 TLouvre lists {byantine epoch, 5/6th c?)
M-P 2310.01 TVatgr fractions (4 waxed tablets, 6th c)
M-P 2753.11 TVindob  tachygraph (8 waxed tablets 6th c)
M-P 2773 PHal 59++ tachygraphic syllabary (6th c)
M-P 2773 PHal 59++ tachygraphic syllabary (6th c)
M-P 2343.13 [Crib 407] TLouvre 913 arithmetic (4 waxed tablets; end 6th c)
M-P 2343.14 [Crib 408] TLouvre 914 arithmetic (10 waxed tablets; end 6th c; nom sac etc.)
M-P 2307.3 [Crib 320] TMoen 601 multiplication table (6/7th c)
M-P 2309.3 Crib 411 math stuff (3 waxed tablets; 7th c)

undated  M-P 1883.1 TBerol [no#]  Gnomic (nd)
M-P 2710 [Crib 200] TBodl 159 writing exercise? ("Roman period")
M-P 2742.01 TLeid 158 Alphabet (nd)
M-P 2161.2 TLouvre grammatical text (byzantine epoch)
M-P 2161.3 TLouvre exercises/conjugations (byzantine epoch)
M-P 2274.1 TLouvre lists {byantine epoch)
M-P 2643.15 TPierMorg [no#]  math problems (5 wax tablets including one cover byzantine)

[Crib 387 vanH 347] Lord's Prayer (two bifolia? papyrus codex 3rd c)
[Crib 390] PChBeat  word list (3 bifolia or more; 3/4th c)
[Crib 393] PSorbonne 826 syllabification, etc. (11 leaves; papyrus codex 4thc)
[Crib 403 vanH 136] PVindob 29274 PS 32 (4 bifolia pqpyrus codex; 4/5th c)
M-P0344 & 1207 CPP2412 [Crib 405] PSI 1.18 misc (2 pages papyrus codex 5th c)
M-P2644 CPP0193 [Crib 406] Et. Pap 7 Trojan war, etc. (7 leaves parchment codex 5/6th ce)
[Crib 409] PVindob 26152  story (bifolium papyrus; 6/7th c)
[Crib 410 vanH 531] PBerol 3605 NT 1Tim 1 (parchment bifolium; 6/7th c)
[Crib 412] P Heid story (5 bifolia plus 2 pages papyrus codex 7th c)

The remaining 30 "codices" dated to the same period are almost all in extremely fragmentary condition, on papyrus (only one is on parchment), and mostly related to the text of Homer or other "classical" texts.  Glossaries and scholia predominate.

M-P2651 CPP0156 [LDAB 6833] PStras 1352 Homerica (?), school text, mythology (papyrus, 2nd c or earlier)
M-P1190.01 CPP0468 [LDAB 1489]  P.Mil. Vogl. 3.119 Homerica, scholia minora (papyrus, 1st c)
M-P1218.01 CPP0436 [LDAB 0296] POxy 30.2517 Homerica, list of words (papyrus 2nd c; different hands front & back)
M-P1206 CPP0039 [LDAB 1843] PAnt 2.69 Homerica hypotheses (papyrus 2/3rd c; same elegant hand both sides, but was it a codex?)
M-P1159.01 CPP0082 [LDAB 2022] POxy 44.3207 Homer glossary, scholia minora (papyrus 2/3rd c; same practiced hand both sides)
M-P2462 CPP0180 [LDAB 5018] PSI 7.850 mythology (papyrus 2/3rd c; same careful hand both sides)
M-P1516 CPP0418 [LDAB 4073] Berlin 13236 Thucydides with scholia (papyrus bifolium 2/3rd c; same bookhand both sides)
M-P1191.01 CPP0471 [LDAB 1820] Milan 72.13 Homerica scholia minora (papyrus 2/3rd c; same elegant bookhand both sides)
M-P1204.01 CPP0108 [LDAB 2759] Berlin 13282 Homer commentary (papyrus 3rd c; same practised hand both sides)
M-P2461 CPP0150 [LDAB 5466] PVindob  G 29381 allegoric mythology (papyrus 3rd c; same proficient hand both sides)
M-P1209 CPP0177 [LDAB 2760] PSI 10.1173 Homer commentary (7+ leaves of papyrus 3rd c; same competent hand throughout)
M-P1183 CPP0178 [LDAB 1928] PSI 2.135  Homer paraphrase (papyrus 3rd c)
M-P1195 CPP0211 [LDAB 1969] PRyl  3.536  Homer glossary scholia minora (papyrus 3rd c; same competent if careless hand both sides)
M-P1338 CPP0232 [LDAB 5799] PGeneva 97 mythology (parchment bifolium 3rd c; proficient main hand, different hands in marginalia)
M-P2162 CPP0367 [LDAB 5256] PVitelli 204 school conjugations (papyrus 3rd c; same careless hand both sides)
M-P2294 CPP0420 [LDAB 0552] PMich 6+ rhetiorical handbook, mythographic (papyrus 3rd c; same irregular hand both sides)
M-P1186.01 CPP0464 [LDAB 2250] Amsterdam 82 Homer glossary (papyrua 3rd c; "opikstograph" but apparently same mixed hand both sides)
M-P1356 CPP0146