The British Library Blog: From the Egerton Gospel to Ephrem Palimpsests

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The British Library, which labels itself “The World’s Knowledge” with some justification, has a large collection of ancient manuscripts in diverse languages and media, probably the most impressive in the world.  Less well known, perhaps, is its outstanding blog, which includes both reflections on collection items as well as entries on newly digitized texts, including the Egerton Gospel and Codex Alexandrinus.  The latter has a great entry on the conservation process, as does the entry on “Some Syriac Manichaean Treasures in the British Library.”  Ephrem’s otherwise lost Prose Refutations of Mani, Marcion, and Bardaisan, preserved as a palimpsest on Add. 14623 was recovered by Charles Mitchell, with the help of a certain “re-agent” at the turn of the century.  The nature of this unidentified chemical is discussed, along with the eminent possibilities for reading the earlier text with the help of advanced digital photography.  This wonderful post explores other significant holdings on Manichaeism, such as the Chinese Compendium on the Teachings of Mani, the Buddha of Light.

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Syriac Studies Reference Library

The Syriac Studies Reference Library is a joint project of Brigham Young University and the Catholic University of America, through which a number of foundational scholarly works from the 18th to early 20th century have been scanned from CUA’s own collection and made available online; most are unavailable in Google Books or the Internet Archive.  One can browse by ancient authors, such as Nestorius, and topics, such as hagiography and historiography; or search by keyword.  Textual editions and translations, studies, and research tools are all well represented. Continue reading