Greek Scribes


The project is based on the research on Greek scribes in the manuscripts of European libraries which has resulted in the Repertorium griechischer Kopisten. In the course of the work on scribes new research questions were developed and the methodological approach was enhanced: While at the beginning of this research enterprise, the emphasis was on the identification of scribes and on the dating of manuscripts, over time the scope was broadened to include the social components with regard to the dialogue between scribe and commisioner / reader / audience (diachronic and synchronic) as well as the transmission of special text genres and authors (cf. e. g. on Demosthenes the FWF project P20049 [collaborator: Jana Grusková]) and their reception (prosopographic palaeography).

The work is mainly based on a collection of more than 100,000 copies of samples of Greek scribal hands from most European libraries. This collection was created during the work on the Repertorium and is continuously supplemented.

As part of this research agenda, Christian Gastgeber is publishing a comprehensive handbook on Byzantine paleography and codicology (in print at Hiersemann publishing house), the first complete German overview since the pioneering work of Viktor Gardthausen (2nd edition, 1910/11). A documentation of book culture in Byzantium is in preparation for the publishing house ADEVA (series Geschichte der Buchkultur).