Euthymius Zigabenus’ Commentary on the Epistles is contained in 8 different manuscripts around the world, but there appears to be a 9th manuscript that contains some of that commentary as well.

(NOTE: There are errors in this post that came about from my misunderstanding of certain things. See this post where I explain and correct them.)

Theol. gr. 79

On the Pinakes website, which is a database of information on manuscripts, the Commentary on the Epistles is known as Comm. in Epistulas Pauli, that is, Commentary on the Epistles of Paul, yet many of those 8 manuscripts also contain the Universal Epistles. Under Euthymius Zigabenus on that site, there are many works attributed to him besides Comm. in Epistulas Pauli. There is the Commentary on the Psalms, the Commentary on the Gospels, the Dogmatic Panoplia, etc., but the one that now interests me is Enarratio In Septem Epp Catholicas, that is, Exposition on the Seven Universal Epistles, i.e. not Paul’s Epistles, but the seven epistles written by Peter, John, James, and Jude.

There is only one manuscript under Enarratio In Septem Epp Catholicas, and it is this 9th manuscript, called Theol. gr. 79 and located at the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library) in Vienna, that I am interested in. I emailed the library asking for all the information on this manuscript that they had, since I was spinning my wheels trying to figure out what these folios contained; I wasn’t sure if I needed to concern myself with it or not for the purposes of this project. They promptly emailed me back with two links: the first with general information about the manuscript, and the second with detailed information of its contents. Below is the image from that second link, which is a single page from a book that catalogues Greek manuscripts at the Austrian National Library:

HUNGER, Herbert und Otto KRESTEN: Katalog der griechischen Handschriften der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek 3,1: Codices theologici 1-100. – Wien: Prachner, 1976. p. 147

In the above image, Theol. gr. 79 is shown to be divided into two parts. Part 1 (f. 1r-97r) was written by Theophylact of Ohrid (and so does not pertain to this project), and part 2 (f. 98r-118v) was written by Euthymios Zigabenos. The page then describes in further detail what the contents of Euthymius’ writings are: the title of the work is Enarratio in epistulas catholicas, as I mentioned above (even though the manuscript does not give a title to the work; this may have just been a title supplied later on to describe the contents of the folios), and this has been previously published in 1887 by Nikiforos Kalogeras on pages 475-664 of the second volume of his edition on the Commentary on the Epistles. My question is, if the portion of Theol. gr. 79 that was written by Euthymius is identical enough to the contents of Kalogeras’ edition of the Commentary on the Epistles that the editors of this catalogue conflate the two works, why is the work in this manuscript called by a different title than the Commentary on the Epistles? It should be listed as the 9th manuscript under Comm. in Epistulas Pauli.

Anyway, after reading this page, I knew immediately that this was truly a 9th manuscript that I needed to have. Fortunately for me, the Virtual Manuscript Room (VMR) of the Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung in Münster has access to this manuscript, so I added it to my list of favourites.

Back to the image above, it further lists the contents as follows:

98r-103rEpistle of James
103v-109r1st Epistle of Peter
109v-112r2nd Epistle of Peter
112v-117v1st Epistle of John
117v2nd Epistle of John
117v-118r3rd Epistle of John
118vEpistle of Jude
Contents of Euthymius Zigabenus’ writings in Theol. gr. 79

I decided then to go to the actual pages of the manuscript located in the VMR to start indexing them, since there are only about 40 pages to look at and I usually index 50 in a sitting. But, to my dismay, I noticed that many pages were missing from the VMR, for example 98r, 101r, 104r, etc. I posted about this in the forum, which is where issues like this are revealed and from where solutions come. I did this on August 8th and am a little disappointed that nothing has happened yet, but that’s probably because I’m just impatient and need to give them more time to figure out what is wrong.

While impatiently waiting for an answer as to why the images are missing and/or if they can be found and added to the VMR, I decided to inquire as to the price of re-digitizing folios 98r-118v with the Austrian National Library. For jpg scans at 300ppi, the price is €25 for the first 5 pages and then €1 for each additional page, which I believe comes to €62 in total, if my math is correct, which is about $82 CAD. And this is assuming that all the folios (i.e. 98r-118v) are there and intact. I assume that they are there, and that whoever acquired the scans for the VMR simply overlooked a few of them. One can hope anyway.

I would much rather not spend money on this, but if the missing scans can’t be added to the VMR, then I will have no choice but to shell out the $82 (it will probably end up being more, since banks, credit card companies, and PayPal all charge a conversion rate that is more expensive than what the actual rate is).

There should be more funding opportunities for independent scholars, that is, scholars who are not affiliated with an academic/research institution. I have only really found one source of potential funding in all my searching: the Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars, but they never returned any of my emails, so I’m forced to carefully budget and allocate my own money to this project. Funding issues like this will inevitably delay progress on the Critical Edition and other aspects of the project that require a lot of money to set into motion (for example, the other two manuscripts that I have digitization quotes for cost about $1000 and $1500 respectively, though I could save more than half the money on the latter by getting scans of 150dpi rather than 300dpi, at the risk of not being able to read the writing; a tough decision to make). (See the postscript at the bottom of this post for further information.)

Such is the nature of this work, I suppose. I will have to be patient and save money slowly to be able to afford what I need to keep making progress. (Or find someone wealthy enough and interested enough that they will be able and willing to help out…)

Once I get all 40 or so scans and I index the folios, I will add Theol. gr. 79 to the list of the other manuscripts (P.S. Theol. gr. 79 has been added to the list and has been indexed). Hopefully by the end of next week I have answers/solutions to this problem of missing folios.

(P.S. Almost three weeks later, I found manuscript Theol. gr. 79 online for free here. Because of this finding, and because this site has all of folios 98r-118v, I no longer need to pay the Austrian National Library to re-digitize the folios for me. And, since I mentioned the prices of the other two digitizations above, I made contact again with the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek about Cod.graec. 259, and they said that if I pay the reduced price of approximately 385 EUR, they will scan the folios at 150dpi for me, but then make available online for free the same folios a little later at 300dpi. So I don’t need to pay $1500 after all to get the 300dpi scans like I want. Financially, things are starting to look good for this project.)


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