The Mercati Fragments: A New Edition of Rahlfs 1098
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This project uses multispectral images of Rahlfs 1098 in order to reexamine thetext of the scriptura inferior (lower layer) containing the Hexapla of Psalms 1788. In chapter 1, I present the aim of the project which is as follows: (1) to present a new and more accurate palaeographical transcription of the scriptura inferior of Rahlfs 1098, (2) offer textual evidence related to the Hexapla missed in the first edition, and (3) use both textual and paratextual evidence to study the scribal orthography exhibited in the fragments. In chapter 2, a palaeographical study of the writing is presented. This is followed by chapter 3 in which the orthography is studied. Chapter 4 deals with reasons why a new edition is necessary. In chapter 5, I present the transcription of the text. Finally, in chapter 6, a textual commentary on difficult readings is offered. The editio princeps done by Giovanni Mercati, although significant, still does not present the entirety of the evidence available in Rahlfs 1098. This is in part due to the nature of the palaeographical task—“a first edition of a papyrus [or manuscript] is seldom flawless.” Moreover, the situation is also exacerbated by the fact that the hexaplaric material in Rahlfs 1098 is the scriptura inferior or lower layer of the palimpsest.