Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Am Waiting to Get Approval to Post a Beautiful Presentation of the Marginalia and Handwriting Samples of the Library of Zagoras

In the CD drive of my laptop I have 15 beautifully illustrated examples of the calligraphy of the various documents associated with Callinicus III from the Library of Zagoras. Callinicus III as many of you will remember was the eighteenth century Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (for about six months) who was identified by Scouvaras as having a handwriting similar to the Mar Saba document. The details of this identification appear in the opening chapter of Morton Smith's 1973 book Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark. I cited a long passage from this material in a previous post. I no longer believe that Callinicus was the person who penned the Mar Saba document. Yet the similarity in handwriting and Callinicus's connection with the sending of books from Amsterdam (via the rich Greek merchant John Priggos) is certainly intriguing. The Letter to Theodore was written in the back of a seventeenth century book printed in Amsterdam. I have always wondered how frequent these books could have been in Greek monastic libraries in the eighteenth century.

In any event, Callinicus III is a likely indirect connection with the Mar Saba document probably through Procopius Patriarch of Jerusalem (c. 1787 - 1788) who was not only schooled at Zagoras but also established a similar school in Jerusalem - i.e. the so-called Patriarchal School of Jerusalem in the last generation of the eighteenth century.

When I get approval from the school to publish some or all of the material here - you will be the first to know ...

Email stephan.h.huller@gmail.com with comments or questions.

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