Wednesday, 6 June 2012

VATICAN SYRIAC CODEX 22- An additional clarification.

This is an additional clarification with respect to Syriac scripts as asked by some of the readers. I have questioned the historical veracity of the Vatican Syriac  codex 22 based on
1) Content of the Codex
2) Script of the codex
3) Contradiction in the explanation of additional writing in the codex
4) Historical fact about the Yahballah V/Yahballah III
5) Scribe testimony
6) Portuguese manipulations/writings
7) Lack of information from the cotemporary historians like Bar Ebrayo.
8) Lack of information about Mar Yacob(with in Malankara or COE),  ST.Kuriakose Pally etc.

Regarding the script I suggested that 

“”Now on the light of the above information it is obvious that any Manuscript used East Syriac (Madnhaya) must be originated during the 14th century or later. That means if any portion or whole of the said manuscript used East Syriac script likely to be originated much later than the attributed period. That makes this manuscript suspicious. The other Portuguese manipulations (Portuguese names etc. ) also give a possibility of a forged document. But if the Manuscript is in Estrangelo with East Syriac dialects, then chances of genuineness can be proved provided the information supplied is correct with other records or traditions.”” (from the first post). Then I came across the William Hatch’s book.

 An album of dated Syriac manuscripts By William Hatch clearly states that the codex is written using Estrangelo and Serto letters. He clearly states that during this period Nestorians used a mix letters to write their manuscripts. It is also stated that whenever they use Estrangelo they used it with Nestorian Vowel signs which indicate a later day origin. But as far as Vatican codex 22 is concerned the author states it as an example of mix letters (see the foot note no.19).That is why the boy scribe stated that he did not know the language. It is also to be noted that even after the introduction of Serto script the Syriac Orthodox of Tur-Abdin continued to write in Estrangelo till the end of the sixteenth century.

Saturday, 2 June 2012



 Following information is based on the book “”An album of dated Syriac manuscripts By William Hatch”” This is an excellent book which gives information about Syriac MSS available with libraries of the world .It analyze these MSS based on their script and various other parameters like materials used, writing methods applied etc. It also gives us details of classification of these MSS based on their scripts. No doubt it is a valuable work as far as Syriac MSS are concerned.

The question of Script.
I have already stated in my first post regarding this subject that we need to clearly identify the script to understand the genuineness of this MSS. If it is written completely in Estrangelo, then the document’s genuineness can be accepted provided that it answers question related with the history of the content. But the content question only arises if it passes the test related with script.

Let us check what William Hatch says about the script used in the said codex. He clearly states that the document is written in Nestorian script on page 226. But the promoters (so called supporters of East Syriac subjugation of Malankara Nazranies) of the said MSS argue that it is Estrangelo. This is a deliberate attempt by this group to make it more reliable. This is the way our Syriac Church historians create history!
An Album of Dated Syriac Manuscripts, by W.H.P. Hatch (page 226)

Now let us go little deep in to the classification of Syriac MSS by the same author to understand the situation.
ESTRANGELO manuscripts divided in to three
1)  Period I:-From AD 400 to middle of the 7th century.
In this period the letters are well formed and clear and the hand is strong and legible. The best writing produced during these two and a half centuries is characterized by lightness, grace and simple elegance.
2) Period II:-From the middle of 7th century to AD 900
in this period the handwriting is clear and legible, but it has less lightness and grace than the best writing of the proceeding period.
3) Period III: - From AD 900 to middle of 13th century.
This is a period of decline. The letters are often heavy and angular ,and writing is stiff and lacking grace. After the middle of the 13th century the Estrangelo hand have gone out of general use. Nevertheless, it continues to be employed in the region of Tur-Abdin as late as third quarter of the sixteenth century. (Note it was Syriac orthodox)

SERTO manuscripts divided in to two groups
1) Period 1: -AD 700 to AD 1100.
2) Period 2:- AD 1100 to end of the 16th century.

NESTORIAN manuscripts divided in to two groups
1) Period I: - AD600 to middle of 13th century.
During these 650 years the Nestorians used the Estrangelo script with Nestorian vowel points.
2) Period 2:- From the middle of the 13th century to end of the 16th century.
Throughout this period both the Estrangelo and Serto style of writing were employed by Nestorian scribes and in some manuscripts both kinds of letters were used. It is astonishing to note that the author classified our codex in BOTH KIND OF LETTERS! This is what the propagators of “East Syriac subjugation “manipulated so long as Estrangelo script. It is also astonishing to note that Nestorians adopted their rival’s (Syriac Orthodox) script Serto during this period!

Now it is proved that the said Codex is written in Nestorian using Estrangelo and Serto script. THAT IS WHY OUR BOY SCRIBE STATED THAT HE DID NOT KNOW THE LANGUAGE. This has been manipulated by our Syriac church historians as probably he could not have spoken the language. The way in which church historians create history is amusing!
An Album of Dated Syriac Manuscripts, by W.H.P. Hatch caption (read page 44,45,46,47)

The said 1301 AD date is given to this MSS because of the colophon, but there is no date or details are given. It is also noted that the Greek calendar was not used by Kerala Chroniclers except when some foreign origin church officials involved. Again the Yahballah V and the Prayers of Church Kokhe as stated in my earlier posts confirm its doubtful origin. To our surprise the scribe itself states that he do not know the language. This indicates that he wrote this for some Nestorian authority. I think it is logical to believe that the said codex is the work of East Syriac bishops arrived in AD1490.
An Album of Dated Syriac Manuscripts, by W.H.P. Hatch (page 26 )

To those who still insist the Codex is Estrangelo Please read page 26 of this book. It says --- “”During the13th century the Estrangelo had continued to flourish, but after making a diligent search the present writer has not been able to find an example of dated Estangelo Manuscript which was copied in 14th or 15th century.””----- read yourself