Scripts on Parade

From Antiquity to the Modern World

Manuscripts and Written Records
on Papyrus, Parchment, Paper, and other Materials

Specimens in a private collection
Reproduced by permission
Descriptions by Mildred Budny

PART I.  Welcome to this first exhibition on our re-launched website (May 2015).  We offer a sampling of specimens, with more to come.

1v rotated moreSo far:

I.       Cuneiform Tablets
II.     Antique & Byzantine Greek Texts
III.    Coptic & Syriac Texts
IV.    Hebrew & Judeo-Arabic Texts
V.      Arabic, Persian & Turkish Texts, plus a Bookbinding
VI.    Armenian New Testament or Lectionary

VII.   Ethiopic Manuscripts

Also:

You can visit the Gallery of Texts on Parade
[Other Galleries are in course of installation for Latin, Western European Vernacular, and other Languages.]

*****

Here are specimens (most are fragmentary) of manuscripts and documents in various languages, including secular and religious concerns.  They represent, for example,

  • Judeo-Arabic leaf, Yemen, 15th-century CE

    records of transactions

  • the Qur’an/Koran in different copies
  • an Abbasid biographical collection
  • an apocryphal ‘Life of the Virgin’ in Byzantine Greek
  • an Armenian New Testament or Lectionary
  • a Psalter in Ethiopic Ge’ez
  • a Sermon manuscript in Ethiopic Amharic
  • a variety of Arabic and Ottoman Turkish texts using watermarked European paper
    and
  • the components of a composite Yemeni bookbinding with reused leaves from older manuscripts.

The Tags allow for searching for the specific script, language, type of text, writing medium, and other features.

*****

I.       Cuneiform Tablets

Cuneiform tablet, Early Dynastic period
Tablet inscribed with accounts in cuneiform on clay. Early Dynastic period (circa 2600-2500 BCE). (purchased in Michigan)
« 1 of 2 »

II.     Antique & Byzantine Greek Texts

Fragment of a Ptolemaic document in Greek on papyrus circa 200 BCE Text concerns the sale of cattle at a cattle market
Fragment of a Ptolemaic document in Greek on papyrus, circa 200 BCE. The text concerns the sale of cattle at a cattle market (fragment purchased in London in the 1980s from the dregs of an antiquarian book-shop or antiquaries-shop which closed down in the 1940s)
« 1 of 5 »

III.    Coptic & Syriac Texts

Fragment of a leaf in Syriac on parchment, circa 9th century CE, possibly from a New Testament
Fragment of a leaf in Syriac on parchment, circa 9th century CE, possibly from a New Testament (purchased in London in the 1980s from the dregs of an antiquarian book-shop of antiquities-shop which closed down in the 1940s)
« 1 of 7 »

IV.   Hebrew & Judeo-Arabic Texts

Fragment of a leaf in Hebrew on paper, Yemen, 15th century CE
Fragment of a leaf in Hebrew on paper, Yemen, 15th century CE (purchased online from an Israeli seller)
« 1 of 4 »

V.    Arabic, Persian & Turkish Texts, plus a Bookbinding

Papyrus fragment in Arabic, 9th century CE
Fragment of text in Arabic on papyrus, 9th century CE(purchased online 'in recent years')
« 1 of 23 »

VI.     Armenian New Testament or Lectionary

1r
'Folio 1r' (purchased online from a U.S. seller)
« 1 of 3 »

VII.   Ethiopic Manuscripts

2r
« 1 of 9 »

*****

1v rotated cropped to tailpieceNext, please visit our Gallery of Texts on Parade.

*****