Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Collaborative Database of Dateable Greek Bookhands (CDDGB)

 [First posted in AWOL 29 March 2019, updated 10 January 2024]

Collaborative Database of Dateable Greek Bookhands (CDDGB)

The Collaborative Database of Dateable Greek Bookhands (CDDGB) is a catalogue of Greek manuscripts written in a literary script which, apart from a few exceptions, can be dated on the basis of some objective criterion, such as the presence of a document on the reverse side which contains a date, or a dateable archaeological context associated with the manuscript. These manuscripts are important because they provide papyrologists and paleographers with an evidential base for tracing the evolution of Greek handwriting and for dating other manuscripts which lack objective criteria. Presently the database includes manuscripts from the first nine centuries of the Common Era (0–899 CE). It will ultimately be expanded to include manuscripts dated to earlier centuries. Manuscripts written in minuscule script are excluded. Though influenced by PapPal, the CDDGB differs from it in that it focuses on dateable bookhands.

As its name implies, the CDDGB intends to be a collaborative project, eliciting on-going feedback from the scholarly community. It is a work in progress. Under the “Collaborate” tab, anyone can submit new dateable manuscripts for consideration or offer suggested edits for the data currently provided in the catalogue. We hope that interested members of the academic community will help to improve the various entries.

The CDDGB is not intended to contain the extensive bibliographical information associated with the various manuscripts in the database, nor have we consulted all of the secondary literature for each item. Users should be aware that in certain cases the information which is presented in the CDDGB is a matter of debate. We are glad to be apprised of any needed updates. Users are also encouraged to consult the Leuven Database of Ancient Books and, when its results are published, the authoritative project, “Greek Literary Hands of the Roman Period,” a collaboration between the University of Oxford and the University of Cassino. This latter project is much anticipated, as it will present the results of an exhaustive survey of literary and sub-literary papyri from the Roman period by paleographical experts.

The CDDGB was created and is maintained by Grant Edwards, a PhD student at the University of Birmingham.

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