[B-Greek] rough breathing in Koine times

R Yochanan Bitan Buth ybitan at mscc.huji.ac.il
Fri Jul 29 15:11:42 EDT 2005

Malcolm egrapsen:
> "P46 has a little sideways "T" as a rough breather to distinguish 
>ambiguous words like EIS and EN."  P45 and P75 also have breathing 
>marks.  I personally am more familar with P46 and P75.

P46 and p75 are wonderful manuscripts to be acquainted with. However,
the rough breathing mark is quite rare in p46. It is true that rough
breathing is of pre-Christian origin, but that does not mean that it
was commonly part of the writing system or pronounced.

>At the below link is a snip of Codex Vaticanus (4th cent.) and the 
>accent marks are quite plain. 

Though for a fuller perspective, I don't remember that Vaticanus has
common diacritic marks on most words as implied by the reference to
the link above. I went to the link and saw a picture of an uncial
manuscript with diacritics, but that manuscript would not appear to be
Vaticanus. The Vaticanus PDF that I have (I don't own the published
facsimile) begins with a small "EN" and not with the artistic "E" of
the photo. 

For a picture and notes on p46 you might try the following link
>From the same site you can read the beginning of Galatians P46. there
is a nice example of YMEIN 'to you' spelled with "EI" instead of "I"
(UMIN), and no rough breathing (which is simply the common spelling).
The notes on the site make it sound like the "EI"="I" spelling is a
Egyptian phenomenon, but it is actually attested all over the
Mediterranean, from Rome to Judea.
Randall Buth

Randall Buth, PhD
Director, Biblical Language Center
and Director, Biblical Studies in Israel
Hebrew University, Rothberg International School
ybitan at mscc.huji.ac.il

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