Codex Sinaiticus and Constantine Simonides and Vitaliano Donati 1761

TwoNoteableCorruptions

Well-known member
Vitaliano Donati visited St. Catherine in 1761.

He described a manuscript that fitted, what we now know as the Codex Sinaiticus, "to the tee" (cf. Daniel Wallace).

This contradicts Constantine Simonides claims.
 
Here's some interesting quotes.


Tischendorf
The Discovery of the Sinaitic Manuscript & Other writings
Page 23


"In visiting the library of the monastery, in the month of May, 1844, I perceived in the middle of the great hall a large and wide BASKET full of old parchments, and the librarian, who was a man of information, told me that two HEAPS of papers like these, mouldered by time, had been already committed to the flames. What was my surprise to find amid this HEAP of papers a considerable number of sheets of a copy of the Old Testament in Greek, which seemed to me to be one of the most ancient that I had ever seen..."


Vitaliano Donati 1761
"Atti della Reale Accademia delle scienze di Torino"
Literal Translation
Page 482, Volume 8, 1873


"...Book 2, Page 27: “In this monastery I found the-largest amount of parchment codices, many of-which are hidden-away in a library, and others loose-in-a-jumble [Or: “helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, pell-mell” “randomly” “every which way” “disordered way”] in a dreadful [Or: “atrocious” “lousy” “execrable” “stinking” “nasty” “very bad”] wharehouse-facility. Almost all-of-them are parchments,
for there greatest part Greek-ones..."

Uspensky via
Κ. T. Nikolsky via
Professor Alexey Afanasyevich Dmitrievsky
"Scientific description of the Greek manuscripts of the Sinai Monastery: Review of the work of Beneshevich"
1912


"Porfiry [Uspensky], presented 6 sheets from the Psalter to the late liturgist Archpriest Κ. T. Nikolsky, making a handwritten note: “From the library of the Sinai Monastery taken on, by memory in 1850, from A HEAP of various scraps [Or: "fragments"],
very ancient "almost the 5th century"
(p. 651)..."


Professor Alexey Afanasyevich Dmitrievsky
Journey through the East and its Scientific Results
Report on a business trip abroad in 1887/1888


"Manuscripts parchment in format, and, therefore, extremely diverse in content lie in chests; bombic and paper manuscripts, manuscripts in Slavic, Arabic and Georgian languages are placed in exactly the same way on the shelves in cabinets; manuscripts in other languages and extracts from manuscripts are either PILED UP or arranged in random bundles IN BASKETS..."

Heaps.

In baskets.

Disordered and loose.

Fragments.

NOTE: the Vitaliano quote is from the same text as his Codex Sinaiticus sighting.
 
The Codex may have been seen in 1761 by the Italian traveller, Vitaliano Donati, when he visited the Saint Catherine's Monastery at Sinai in Egypt. His diary was published in 1879, in which was written:

In questo monastero ritrovai una quantità grandissima di codici membranacei... ve ne sono alcuni che mi sembravano anteriori al settimo secolo, ed in ispecie una Bibbia in membrane bellissime, assai grandi, sottili, e quadre, scritta in carattere rotondo e belissimo; conservano poi in chiesa un Evangelistario greco in caractere d'oro rotondo, che dovrebbe pur essere assai antico.[44]
In this monastery I found a great number of parchment codices ... there are some which seemed to be written before the seventh century, and especially a Bible (made) of beautiful vellum, very large, thin and square parchments, written in round and very beautiful letters; moreover there are also in the church a Greek Evangelistarium in gold and round letters, it should be very old.

The "Bible on beautiful vellum" may be Codex Sinaiticus, and the gold evangelistarium is likely Lectionary 300 on the Gregory-Aland list.[8]: V 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus#Discovery

[FOOTNOTE]: 44. Lumbroso, G. (1879). Atti della R. Accademia dei Lincei, p. 501.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus#cite_note-48
 
The Codex may have been seen in 1761 by the Italian traveller, Vitaliano Donati, when he visited the Saint Catherine's Monastery at Sinai in Egypt. His diary was published in 1879, in which was written:




The "Bible on beautiful vellum" may be Codex Sinaiticus, and the gold evangelistarium is likely Lectionary 300 on the Gregory-Aland list.[8]: V 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus#Discovery

[FOOTNOTE]: 44. Lumbroso, G. (1879). Atti della R. Accademia dei Lincei, p. 501.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus#cite_note-48
Avery has said that's "weak" evidence in an earlier post....and then offered nothing to support his dismissal of an 18th century eye-witness to a manuscript Simonides claimed to have written in the 19th century.

Such "hand waving" is typical of conspiracy pushers.
 
CodexSinaiticus.org
Tab: "About The Codex"
Page: "The History of the Codex"
Paragraph 6
Partial Translation with Wikipedia Italian text


"una Bibbia in membrane bellissime, assai grandi, sottili, e quadre, scritta in carattere rotondo e belissimo"

“a Bible comprising leaves of handsome, large, delicate, and square-shaped parchment, written in a round and handsome script”

https://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/codex/history.aspx

Full paragraph in context:

"The first written record of the Codex Sinaiticus may be identifiable in the journal of an Italian visitor to the Monastery of Saint Catherine in 1761. In it the naturalist Vitaliano Donati reported having seen at the Monastery ‘a Bible comprising leaves of handsome, large, delicate,
and square-shaped parchment, written in a round and handsome script’
."​
 
Avery has said that's "weak" evidence in an earlier post....and then offered nothing to support his dismissal of an 18th century eye-witness to a manuscript Simonides claimed to have written in the 19th century.

Such "hand waving" is typical of conspiracy pushers.

Exactly.

This HAS TO BE dismissed, it's simply too damaging, full stop.
 
Dr. Daniel Wallace
[Original Source: ???] Video-Lecture on the Codex Sinaiticus [Apparently ???]
Chris Pinto’s "Response To Dr. Dan Wallace on Simonides", Posted: October 3, 2013


“In 1761 an Italian scholar, Vitaliano Donati visited St. Catherine and described a manuscript he saw there that matches Sinaiticus to a tee.
This was 79 years before Simonides forged it, and 59 years before Simonides was born.”

https://dorightchristians.wordpress...ntos-response-to-dr-dan-wallace-on-simonides/

NOTE: I apologize for the link to Pinto's crass misinformation.

NOTE: Does anyone know where the original source of Dr. Wallace's comments come from exactly? Pinto doesn't provide a link to the video lecture unfortunately.
 
Avery has said that's "weak" evidence in an earlier post....and then offered nothing to support his dismissal of an 18th century eye-witness to a manuscript Simonides claimed to have written in the 19th century.

Such "hand waving" is typical of conspiracy pushers.

They haven't given any specific or convincing reasons as to how and why this is NOT an OBVIOUS pre-Simonides, pre-1839-1840 sighting of the real (contra Simonides' phony) Codex Sinaiticus.

It disrupts their KJVO space time continuum ;)(y) having someone actually see and write about the Codex Sinaiticus before it supposed to exist...:eek:
 
Last edited:
Is this the link to Dr. Wallace's video conference comments about Vitaliano Donati?

Dr. Dan Wallace - Tischendorf and the Discovery of the Codex Sinaiticus


As a side interest, there's this as well:

Dr Wallace on Codex Sinaiticus at the British Library


NOTE: Reminder, this thread is specifically about Vitaliano Donati, not Dr. Daniel Wallace.
 
Actually. Vitaliano Donati died the next year, in 1762.

Exactly 100 years before Simonides made a... wait for it...????

MASSIVE U-TURN!!!

"A Biographical Memoir of Constantine Simonides, Dr. Ph., of Stageira, with a Brief Defence of the Authenticity of His Manuscripts."
By Charles Stewart, 1859
Pages 60-61


“As to the time of the duration of the manuscripts, it is to be observed that parchment, as it was prepared among the ancients, was much more durable than any other writing material employed by them. In the Library of the Vatican are more than 1500 years old, and in Spain and elsewhere there exist manuscripts of as ancient a date. [Page 61] Moreover, Sir T. Phillipps publicly announced in the Athenaeum (see No. 1536, April 4th, 1857,) that he had in his posession a Latin manuscript 1200 years old, and that it was in a state of complete preservation. M. Tissendorf also lately discovered in a certain monastery in Egypt the Old Testament and part of the New, as well a the 1st Book of Hermas, all of which were written in the 2nd Century, or 1750 years ago. This MS. is reptesented to be in excellent condition. From this we may conclude that parchment manuscripts may be preserved for almost an unlimited period, for those that are kept in the Museums, even though they exceed 1000 years, have not lost a single letter. Nor is at all surprising that manuscripts on parchment should have been preserved for so long a time; for it must be admitted to be much more wonderful that the papyrus manuscripts which are so much more fragile than skins, should have come down to our times, well preserved, many of them more than 3000 years old. Those who please may at the British Museum and at Turin see many of them; even this is nothing startling, for corn and many other seeds have been found in Egyptian coffin which have been underground for perhaps 4000 years, and have not in the least lost their germinal powers. Many lock of hair, too, have been found in these coffins, preserved in a most perfect condition till the present day.* There can be no reasonable doubt as to the extraordinary durability of parchment, neither can it be questioned that at a very early period in the world's history skin of various kinds both prepared and otherwise were
used for the purposes of writing. It is, therefore, unnecessary to consider any further...”

https://archive.org/details/1859-bi...nstantine-simonides-stewart/page/n33/mode/1up

NOTE: How Simonides said: "Tischendorf...lately DISCOVERED"

NOTE: How Simonides didn't say "I wrote it"
 
The diary says nothing about what books are in the manuscript Donati saw, and the square text of Sinaiticus would have to be seen as round.

This is a virtually worthless attempt, which is really a rather desperate attempt to find provenance.


The Greek Unicial (upper case script) looks round "rotondo" where the letters ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ROUND, to me.

I mean, the round letters, of the Siniaticus, i.e. the Theta's, the Omicron's, the Phi's, and the Omega's actually look round = "rotondo" i.e. to me = a fact!


Your avoiding the obvious.

Your in denial, plain and simple.

May God remove the scales from your eye's, and the vale of your mislead mind and heart...

One by omission, not naming any books, etc.

Two, by speaking of a round script, while Sinaiticus is described again and again as square.

Es suficiente.

All of a sudden, in the 1840s, Sinaiticus was seen at St. Catherines, by Uspensky, Major MacDonald and Tischendorf.


Again and again it is described as a squarish script.
When my bookmarks are back, I can give you various quotes.

Plus, the description is very vague. Not even one actual book is mentioned.


Oh. I see.

It's gone from "square" to "squar-ISH" now...

Hmmm

Most, or all, use the word square.
Need my main PC up with bookmarks. New power supply. Maybe tomorrow.


Why on earth would a Theta ? Θ ? be [ SQUARE ] shaped?

You...

Are...

In...

Plain...

Denial...

Why on earth would an Omicron ? Ο ? be [ SQUARE ] shaped?

You...

Are...

In...

Plain...

Denial...

Why on earth would an Phi ? Φ ? be [ SQUARE ] shaped?

You...

Are...

In...

Plain...

Denial...

Why on earth would an Omega ? Ω ? be [ SQUARE ] shaped?

You...

Are...

In...

Plain...

Denial...

It is obvious (to an unbiased individual) that the ROUND letters, out of all the calligraphy in the Sinaiticus manuscript was what caught Vitaliano's special attention in 1761.

Thus he commented on the "rotondo" letters in particular.

And the round lettering of the Sinaiticus is indeed beautiful.

In fact it was the round lettering that caught my attention (having been interested in calligraphy at age 12) when I saw pictures of the Codex Sinaiticus for the first time (true story = no exaggeration). Which (interest in calligraphy) also probably accounts for my fascination for handwritten Bible manuscripts (hand written) to this very day.

Vitaliano did not in this particular context say anything about the difference between (Italian) "maiuscolo" upper-case or unicial script, and (Italian) "minuscolo" lower-case script.

He didn't describe the manuscript as (Italian) "corsivo" "italics", or "cursive" script either!

He commented on characteristics that stood out TO HIM...i.e. "rotondo"

There's no way Vitaliano could have known that some lying idiot was going to claim that he actually wrote it 79 years (i.e. 1840) or 101 years (i.e. THE 1862 MASSIVE U-TURN) in the future...

This is ridiculous.

It qualifies as a bonafide sighting of the Codex Sinaiticus - and you know it...

You just can't bring yourself to admit it.
 
Summary of Steven Avery's argument.

  1. The Codex Sinaiticus' script is square or square shaped
  2. Vitaliano didn't list any particular books

These are not strong arguments at all.
 
Updated summary of Steven Avery's argument.

  1. The Codex Sinaiticus' script is square or square shaped
  2. Vitaliano didn't list any particular books
  3. Vitaliano's description doesn't describe the Codex Sinaiticus

These are definitely not strong arguments at all.
 
You will notice that Steven Avery hasn't given any specific details on why and how his "hand wave" allegations disprove Vitaliano's plainly obvious sighting of the Codex Sinaiticus in 1761.
 
Here is the CSP and my comment long ago. (There was a discussion on the old CARM as well, that went into various monastery visitors up till 1840.)

CSP
The first written record of the Codex Sinaiticus may be identifiable in the journal of an Italian visitor to the Monastery of Saint Catherine in 1761. In it the naturalist Vitaliano Donati reported having seen at the Monastery ‘a Bible comprising leaves of handsome, large, delicate, and square-shaped parchment, written in a round and handsome script’.

Steven Avery on Pure Bible Forum
Trying to make the Codex Sinaiticus into a round script is very difficult. Few would consider this as real evidence. The "may be identifiable" would be better as remotely possible, especially since nothing was said e.g. about the colour or age of the parchment, what books were included, and the library is large. By giving this non-evidence, the reader is not informed of the simple fact that the manuscript has no provenance before c. 1840.
 
Compare:

Vitaliano Donati 1761
"Atti della Reale Accademia delle scienze di Torino"
Literal Translation
Page 482, Volume 8, 1873


"...Book 2, Page 27: “In this monastery I found the-largest amount of parchment codices, many of-which are hidden-away in a library, and others loose-in-a-jumble [Or: “helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, pell-mell” “randomly” “every which way” “disordered way”] in a dreadful [Or: “atrocious” “lousy” “execrable” “stinking” “nasty” “very bad”] warehouse-facility. Almost all-of-them are parchments,
for there greatest part Greek-ones..."

Same, but without the alternative renderings

"...Book 2, Page 27: “In this monastery I found the-largest amount of parchment codices, many of-which are hidden-away in a library, and others loose-in-a-jumble in a atrocious warehouse-facility. Almost all-of-them are parchments, for there greatest part Greek-ones..."
With:

Tischendorf
The Discovery of the Sinaitic Manuscript & Other writings
Page 23


"In visiting the library of the monastery, in the month of May, 1844, I perceived in the middle of the great hall a large and wide BASKET full of old parchments, and the librarian, who was a man of information, told me that two HEAPS of papers like these, mouldered by time, had been already committed to the flames. What was my surprise to find amid this HEAP of papers a considerable number of sheets of a copy of the Old Testament in Greek, which seemed to me to be one of the most ancient that I had ever seen..."


Uspensky via
Κ. T. Nikolsky via
Professor Alexey Afanasyevich Dmitrievsky
"Scientific description of the Greek manuscripts of the Sinai Monastery: Review of the work of Beneshevich"
1912


"Porfiry [Uspensky], presented 6 sheets from the Psalter to the late liturgist Archpriest Κ. T. Nikolsky, making a handwritten note: “From the library of the Sinai Monastery taken on, by memory in 1850, from A HEAP of various scraps [Or: "fragments"],
very ancient "almost the 5th century
" (p. 651)..."


Professor Alexey Afanasyevich Dmitrievsky
Journey through the East and its Scientific Results
Report on a business trip abroad in 1887/1888


"Manuscripts parchment in format, and, therefore, extremely diverse in content lie in chests; bombic and paper manuscripts, manuscripts in Slavic, Arabic and Georgian languages are placed in exactly the same way on the shelves in cabinets; manuscripts in other languages and extracts from manuscripts are either PILED UP or arranged in random bundles IN BASKETS..."


Library of Congress
Articles and Essays
COLLECTION
Manuscripts from the Monasteries of Mt. Athos
The Microfilming Projects at Mount Sinai and Jerusalem


"After many months of plans and preparations, the expedition was launched from Cairo on January 5, 1950. [...] In many instances, separated parts of manuscripts were identified in our editorial examination and reunited. In many other cases manuscripts were found in disorder and were rearranged before microfilming. Still others in disorder remained firmly bound, and though they could not be rearranged they were microfilmed in correct sequence. Some "lost" manuscripts were rediscovered, and other codices were treated and reconditioned. It was therefore a by-product of the expedition that the library we found was left in a better state upon our departure..."

Originally published by the Library of Congress in Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions, Vol. 8, No. 3 (MAY 1951), pp. 6-12.

https://www.loc.gov/collections/man...ilming-projects-at-mount-sinai-and-jerusalem/
 
Steven Avery on Pure Bible Forum
Trying to make the Codex Sinaiticus into a round script is very difficult. Few would consider this as real evidence. The "may be identifiable" would be better as remotely possible, especially since nothing was said e.g. about the colour or age of the parchment, what books were included, and the library is large. By giving this non-evidence, the reader is not informed of the simple fact that the manuscript has no provenance before c. 1840.

Let me say clearly first, that you set anachronistic parameters on the evidence.

Also!

He did give an estimated age of the parchment.
He did specify that it was "one Bible in particular" (or "especially")


“Atti della Reale Accademia delle scienze di Torino”
Volume 8 (1873)
Page 482


T. 2, p. 27: “In questo monastero ritrovai una quantita grandissima di Codici membranacei, molti de’quali sono riposti in una Libreria, ed altri alla rinfusa in un pessimo magazzino. Quasi tutti sono membranacei per la maggior parte greci ; vi sono molti Santi Padri, ed Espositori Biblici, vari Codici di vite de’Santi, aleuni Storici, e pochi scrittori d'altre materie; ve ne sono alcuni che mi sembrarono anteriori al settimo secolo, ed in ispecie una Bibbia in membrane bellissime, assai grandi, sottili, e quadre scritta in carattere rotondo e hellissimo; conservano poi in Chiesa un Evangelistario greco in caraltere d'oro rotonda, che dovrebbe pur essere assai autico. Oltre i Codici Greci ne hanno moltissimi altri di Arabi, Soriani, Caldei, Illirici, Etiopi, ed in altre lingue; non ne vidi perd alcuno di latino. Fra i detti Codici osservai alcuni trattati greci di musica antica, e molti volnmi lunghissimi per uso liturgico.”

Hat tip to Mr James Snapp for the link. ;)

https://www.google.co.nz/books/edit...AAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&pg=PA482&printsec=frontcover

My largely literal translation

Book 2, Page 27: “In this monastery I found the largest quantity of parchment codices, many of which are hidden away in a library, and others are loose in a jumble [Or: “helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, pell-mell” “randomly” “every which way” “disordered way”] in a atrocious [Or: “lousy” “execrable” “stinking” “nasty” “very bad” “dreadful”] warehouse facility. Almost all of them are parchments, for the greatest part, Greek ones ; there are many Saints, Fathers, and Biblical expositors [Or: “exhibitors”], various [Or: “miscellaneous”] codices of the lives of the Saints, a few historians [Or: “historical-ones”] ; and a few writers on other subjects [Or: “of other material”]. Some of them, not a few, they looked to me anterior to the seventh century, and one Bible in particular, in [Italian Superlative] thee most beautiful parchments, [Italian Superlative] very large, thin-ones, [Italian “quadre”] square-shaped-ones, which is written in [Italian Superlative] thee most beautiful [Italian “rotondo”] round characters ; then they keep in the Church a [Lit., “one”] Greek Evangelisty in [Italian “rotonda”] round golden characters, that too should be very ancient. In addition to the Greek Codices, and they do not have very many in other languages, different ones are in Arabic, Syrian, Chaldean, Illyrian, Ethiopian ; nor did I see a wisp of any Latin ones either. Between [Or: “among” “amid”] the said Codices, I observed a few Greek treatises on ancient music, and many volumes, extremely long ones, for liturgical use...”

I will give a more detailed analysis of this text later.

I don't accept your framed and anachronistic parameters Mr Avery.
 
Last edited:
Back
Top