The Curious Case L1575: How One Greek-Coptic Lectionary Had Six Entries in the Liste

L1575 is a heavily fragmented 9th century manuscript. It is a Greek-Coptic majuscule lectionary that contains readings from the Apostolos (it can be viewed here on the NT.VMR). The manuscript is distributed among several holding institutions and has a rather long and confusing history of being registered in the Liste. In over a hundred years, five other Gregory-Aland numbers have been associated with L1575: 0129, 0203, 0205, 0310, and L1576.


The confusion started in 1924 when von Dobschütz first added L1575 and L1576 to the Liste as two separate manuscripts. The entries were as follows:



Von Dobschütz based his information on Wessely’s edition, but instead of citing the shelf numbers for the two lectionaries in Vienna, he only listed the publication where he got his information from. However, von Dobschütz made a mistake in referencing Wessely; the references should have been for Studien XI 59 and 60 (not 69 and 70 as pictured above). In Wessely’ editiones principes, we can discover the correct inventory numbers in Austria’s National Library in Vienna are Litt. theol. 16 is L1575 and Litt. theol. 17 is L1576:



It’s important to note that both of these lectionaries have Coptic contents. Walter Till examined hundreds of Coptic fragments in the National Library in Vienna trying to find ones from the same manuscript in order to piece them together.  In his 1939 article he published his findings, arguing that L1575 and L1576 were, in fact, part of the same manuscript, no. 180 as he numbered it:



After Till identified L1575 and L1576 as belonging together, other fragments have been identified as belonging to this one Greek-Coptic lectionary. Karlheinz Schüssler discovered that the two manuscripts catalogued as majuscules in the Liste, 0129 and 0203, were also part of L 1575. He also noticed that 0205 also had similar features as well (see p. 234 of his article).


In 1900, Gregory entered the manuscript now known as GA 0129 (housed in Paris) into the Liste and registered it as Tb paul. He later changed it to 0129 in Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testament (1908), 41.


In 1933 von Dobschütz added two more majuscules to the Liste: 0203, located in London at the British Museum and 0205 in London, under the name H. Thompson. By the time the 1963 Liste was printed, the current location of 0205 was unknown. It was subsequently acquired by Cambridge in 1980.


While preparing the 1994 Liste, you can see that Michael Welte (researcher at the INTF) had been penciled in his Liste work-copy that 0205 was in Cambridge:



Also in Welte’s work-copy, you can see in the left margin that 0129 and 0203 were now attributed to L1575.






By the time the 1994 Liste was printed, 0129, 0203, 0205, and L1576 were all attributed to L1575:



In 2001, the INTF received a notification that made matters even more tricky. A “new” Greek-Coptic majuscule manuscript was discovered in Cambridge with the shelf mark “Ms. Or. 16 1699 Πx” containing Titus chapters 2 and 3. Unfortunately, it went unnoticed that this was the same manuscript identified in the 1994 Liste as Cambridge Univ. Libr., Or. 1699 (GA 0205). Thus this “new” manuscript was given a new Gregory-Aland number, 0310, which appeared for the first time in the 2003 INTF publication, Bericht der Hermann Kunst-Stiftung zur Förderung der Neutestamentlichen Textforschung für die Jahre 1998 bis 2003, page 75:



Somehow, after the INTF began transferring data into the NT.VMR, the Cambridge shelf number for 0310 got confused. The Greek pi became a Roman P, and what should have been a Roman X became a Roman C, most likely because the X was entered as a Greek chi and the Unicode character became a Roman C.


Thus, the March 2017 supplement published online read:


This particular shelf mark in Cambridge (Or. 16 1699) is actually comprised of hundreds of fragments from many different manuscripts. We recently had all of it digitized (amounting to 110 images), which helped us solve the problem of determining exactly which portion was Greek New Testament. This enabled us to eliminate the duplicate 0205/0310 Liste entry. The only portion of Or. 16 1699 that is Greek New Testament is a bio-folium of Titus, page Πx, pictured below:



You can read more about Cambridge Or. 16 1699 Πx in J.K. Elliott’s 1994 publication. Elliott followed up in a 2010 publication saying that “0205 is not part of l 1576,” But more recently in his 2015 Bibliography, his article on 0205 appears under the bibliography for L1575, meaning that he now associates 0205 with L1575. Indeed, not only does the script and ornamentation look identical between the various parts of L1575, but the ostensibly unique feature of supplying a Greek pericope in between Coptic pericopes is found in other folia of L1575 not just in 0205.


Another confusing issue in the 1994 Liste was the placement of L1576 on the printed page. It is unclear which library L1576 actually belonged to:


It’s clear from looking at the 1994 Liste that two shelf marks in Vienna were conflated as “Pap. K. 16.17”, and resulted in L1576 floating at the bottom of the entry for L1575. This will be remedied the forthcoming new edition of the Liste to show more clearly what former numbers belonged to which shelf marks.


By illustrating the case of L1575, I hope to offer a glimpse into why maintaining the Liste can sometimes be a messy and perplexing task—and why it will, to some degree, always remain a work in progress as new scholarship and manuscript discoveries become available.

Add Comment
Indeed, maintaining the Liste is at times messy and confusing. But with this Sahidic-Greek bilingual, Greg, I suggest you have a chat with Siegfried and Katharina who may have new insights.

The current wisdom from the SMR-Liste has it that the combination of all the fragments under one ID is not without doubt. In addition, the label "lectionary" for the object is challenged as well (
Posted on 18/12/19 12:32.
Thanks, Ulrich. The SMR-Liste agrees with the combination of fragments because I've already discussed this with Siegfried. We were both able to update our respective Listen, but we didn't go over the "lectionary" label. Maybe its GA number will have to be changed again!
Posted on 18/12/19 15:14 in reply to Ulrich Schmid.
Incidentally, the Unicode conversion error you identified for 0310 is spot on, Greg. I remember having had issues with converting the (old) word files inherited from Michael Welte into the database for the first incarnation of the NT.VMR. Upon realizing the problem we had already manipulated and updated the data such that a new clean import was considered to be the less desirable option. Hence, I went through all the entries where Greek letters were to be found and manually corrected them. This entry was missed, probably because it looked kind of ok.

Unicode conversion error should be added to the arsenal of mechanical errors in the transmission of texts, in case it has not been listed already. The terminus postquem of such errors is pretty easy to narrow down for later generations, I suppose. Probably easier than the errors resulting from transitioning from majuscule to minuscule script.
Posted on 19/12/19 16:10 in reply to Greg Paulson.