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Graphic Devices Used By The Editors Of Ancient And Mediaeval Manuscripts To Mark Verse-Lines In Classical Hebrew Poetry

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Chapter Summary

In the search for particular devices that mark Classical Hebrew Poetry (CHP), one would be amazed at the lack of consensus among Biblical scholars. In comparison with the Qumran Mss, mediaeval incunabula exhibit more sensitivity for poetic texts, marking them with a variety of structures. The simplest device used for making them more evident was to place blank rows before and after them. Initially, as some of the Qumran, early Greek (e.g. Codex Sinaiticus), and Latin (Vulgate) Mss indicate, the use of unwritten areas was successfully applied to delimit adjacent verse-lines. Such awareness of poetic rhythm that must have inspired verse division by means of blanks is continued by other textual traditions with roots in the third century CE (Codex Alexandrinus, Peshiṭta, The Samaritan Pentateuch), which preferred to use various symbols for similar reasons.

Keywords: biblical scholars; Classical Hebrew Poetry (CHP); Codex Alexandrinus; Mediaeval manuscripts; Peshiṭta; Qumran Mss; textual traditions; The Samaritan Pentateuch



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