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02/22/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Fragments of Greek Science in a Palimpsest from Bobbio

Alexander Jones

In 1819 Angelo Mai discovered that on several pages of an 8th century codex of Isidore of Seville's "Etymologies" in the Ambrosiana Library in Milan, the Latin text was written over partially effaced scientific texts in Greek. With the exception of Ptolemy's "Analemma," which we have in a 13th century Latin translation by William of Moerbeke, none of the Greek texts in the Milan palimpsest survive in any other copy, and their authors are unknown. This lecture will retrace the rather sad story of this manuscript, explore what we can learn from the texts, and consider the prospects of recovering more of them from the many pages that have so far been very incompletely transcribed.
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