Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Only Together Can We Hope to Finally Solve the Mar Saba Mystery

I rarely come out and beg my readership for assistance and let my hundred or so readers a day be reassured - this is not a request for money. What I am imploring at least some of you to do is help me go through the painstaking work of going through all the manuscripts that have now been digitized and put on line at the Greek public libraries website.

I think we all know what we are looking for. We are looking to find a similar handwriting to what appears in Mar Saba 65. I think most of my readership have access to that image and now we have the possibility of finding the other half of the puzzle.

The instructions are really simple. Using Internet Explorer (I am told that this is only browser which works with the system) type:

Click on the large orange banner that appears in the middle of the screen.

At the field "Αναζήτηση για" (=Search for) type "136" for Prigos's handwritten catalogue of books. At the field "Συγγραφέας" (=Author) type "Καλλίνικος" and tell me what you think.  I think this is pretty close don't you?  We can also type "Πρίγκος" for Callinicus's partner in Amsterdam.  In either case click on the red button "Αναζήτηση".

If typing in Greek is a problem, just type 136 in the field "Αναζήτηση για", choose "Βιβλιοθήκη Ζαγοράς" (=Library of Zagora) from the drop down menu entitled "Βιβλιοθήκη" (=Library) and then click on "Αναζήτηση". Normally you would get 12 results among which one entitled "[ Κατάλογος αλφαβητικός βιβλίων σταλέντων υπο του Ιωάννου Πρίγκου δια τον σχολείον της Ζαγοράς ]" (=Alphabetic catalogue sent by Ioannis Prigos for the school of Zagora), which is the manuscript you are interested in.

Click on the link to have the document appear. If you want to download it, click on the document icon on the right-hand side of the purple bar along the top.

You can find some of Kallinikos' manuscripts on this site, too. Try typing the number "81" for example in the field "Αναζήτηση για", (after having chosen "Βιβλιοθήκη Ζαγοράς" from the drop down menu as above) and then click on "Αναζήτηση". The relevant result will be entitled "[Καλλίνικου Πατριάρχου τα εν εξορία γραφέντα]" (=Kallinikos' writings while in exile).

This will at least get us started. Our objective of course is to find all the references to sent copies of the Voss Ignatius book from John Priggos as well as handwriting that matches the Mar Saba document. My suspicion is that someone associated with Callinicus (but not Callinicus himself) is responsible for Mar Saba 65. I also strongly suspect that he is a relative of Callinicus or someone who attended the same schools or both. So I would argue that we simply have to keep entering random numbers into the box referenced above (i.e. 80, 99, 44 etc.) until we come up with a historical individual whose handwriting fits the description.

I will have more information about who I think is the author of the text shortly but again - I hope I find some help tracking this down. I was up until 3:30 am just going through digitalized books sent from Amsterdam looking for marginal notes. I quickly realized we are going to need a team of crazy people like me working in tandem just go through the material at this site. I have also found other sites on line which specialize in documents from monasteries. However I strongly feel we have to systematically go through all the available information, document by document, until we find something the experts overlooked.

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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