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Syriac Paleography: Usual Estrangela

Section 5: Milan, Cod. Ambr. A (C313 Inf.; 8th/9th C.), f. 126ra

Syro-Hexapla

A legible facsimile of Cod. Ambr. A is available here. This manuscript has overall a sharper, more angular ductus than the fifth century manuscripts, and with a shorter line height.

Codex Syro-hexaplaris Ambrosianus, f. 126r, with Jer 25:9-10 (static non-zoomable image)

some lines from first column from Codex Syro-hexaplaris Ambrosianus
Milan, Cod. Ambr. A, f. 126ra, ll. 24-33.

Note the hexaplaric signs inherited from Origen (and in turn, from Alexandrian Homeric scholarship) to indicate pluses, minuses and other textual relationships between the Hebrew text and the translated, and thus here the Syriac text based on the Greek (see further B.M. Metzger, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible, § 22).

 

Distinctive Letterforms
ālap
  • when connected and not, there is a serif on the right leg
  • left leg sits a little below the line
  • top part may have upward turn
  • height of top part varies
gāmal
  • ends well below line, but without the thick dot of some later examples
dālat / rēš
  • angled, more usual Estrangela form
  • center post relatively straight, not angling to the left much
wāw
  • more sharp than round on right side unclosed loop
ḥēt
  • often about the same height as yod, but sometimes higher
yod
  • final, unconnected form with left extender (esp. at line end), or of the angled type final, connected form of the angled type
kāp
  • somewhat round on top, but without a high point: i.e. relatively straight on top final form with relatively short tail
lāmad
  • notably thicker at the top
mim
  • loop open more sharp than round on the right
semkat
  • somewhat pointed loops (esp. left), left one taller does not join following letter
ʿē
  • may have relatively narrow angle between top and lower part
qop
  • relatively angular on all sides final form with small tail on left
šin
  • very thick horizontal base round bowl shape on top
tāw
  • loop open

 

Distinctive Letterforms
ālap
  • when connected and not, there is a serif on the right leg
  • left leg sits a little below the line
  • top part may have upward turn
  • height of top part varies
gāmal
  • ends well below line, but without the thick dot of some later examples
dālat / rēš
  • angled, more usual Estrangela form
  • center post relatively straight, not angling to the left much
wāw
  • more sharp than round on right side unclosed loop
ḥēt
  • often about the same height as yod, but sometimes higher
yod
  • final, unconnected form with left extender (esp. at line end), or of the angled type final, connected form of the angled type
kāp
  • somewhat round on top, but without a high point: i.e. relatively straight on top final form with relatively short tail
lāmad
  • notably thicker at the top
mim
  • loop open more sharp than round on the right
semkat
  • somewhat pointed loops (esp. left), left one taller does not join following letter
ʿē
  • may have relatively narrow angle between top and lower part
qop
  • relatively angular on all sides final form with small tail on left
šin
  • very thick horizontal base round bowl shape on top
tāw
  • loop open