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Thread: Τ.θ. Χχ. ξ../ ε. a. λ.

  1. #1
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    Τ.θ. Χχ. ξ../ ε. a. λ.

    This is a puzzle. It is a colophon of Greek letters in an unsigned manuscript of Edmund Spenser relating to Ireland in I598.

    Someone with expertise in ancient Greek poetry or biblical studies (I presume) may be able to help.

    It is two lines of Greek letters with full stops/periods between them; the first has four or five letters if you run to the two Xs together and the other one three. In these sorts of manuscripts besides a signature you might expect something like God save the Queen or Laus Deo. But this is something else - a deliberate conundrum which Spenser an accomplished Greek scholar would have loved. It must been something that contemporaries would have been able to work out. It would have been difficult but feasible for those in the know.

    It might be a sort of acrostic of initials of some line of Greek poetry (Homer, Hesiod or a proverb) or some words from the Bible which he may have liked maybe the two Xs sugggest something religious.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by maxthedog; 24th April 2013 at 1:58 PM. Reason: adding attachment

  2. #2
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    Re: Τ.θ. Χχ. ξ../ ε. a. λ.

    Difficult but challenging. Probably some of the letters are numbers. If it is a date in Indictus mode, you need an expert in paleography. Θ may be the initial of ΘΕΟΣ (God) and X of ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (Christ). The letter ξ (if you got it correct) is unlikely for initial. It may be the number 60.
    Can we have a picture of that?

  3. #3
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    Re: Τ.θ. Χχ. ξ../ ε. a. λ.

    Quote Originally Posted by sotos View Post
    Difficult but challenging. Probably some of the letters are numbers. If it is a date in Indictus mode, you need an expert in paleography. Θ may be the initial of ΘΕΟΣ (God) and X of ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (Christ). The letter ξ (if you got it correct) is unlikely for initial. It may be the number 60.
    Can we have a picture of that?

  4. #4
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    Re: Τ.θ. Χχ. ξ../ ε. a. λ.

    That is the best transcription I can arrive at; I will try to attach a picture but will have to make it into a smaller file first. Of course it might be a place and a date being at the end of a document.

  5. #5
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    Re: Τ.θ. Χχ. ξ../ ε. a. λ.

    Quote Originally Posted by maxthedog View Post
    That is the best transcription I can arrive at; I will try to attach a picture but will have to make it into a smaller file first. Of course it might be a place and a date being at the end of a document.

  6. #6
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    Re: Τ.θ. Χχ. ξ../ ε. a. λ.

    Sotos,
    I've added an pdf attachment with original image and published transcription which I am dubious about
    Maxthedog

  7. #7
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    Re: Τ.θ. Χχ. ξ../ ε. a. λ.

    That's better. It seems that you didn't transcribed correct all the letters.

    In the first line we have certainly T. Θ. but the rest are complexes of two letters. It may be Χc and most probably δξ. The latter is probably abbreviation of δόξα (glory). All together, if at the end of a text, could be "Τέλος (και τω) Θεώ (και) Χριστώ δόξα", a common ending in many writtings. If not at the end, it may read "Τω Θεώ (και) Χριστώ δόξα". (Glory to God and Christ).
    In the second line, the 1st is unlikely to be "ε" and the last is not an "a". I don't know what it is but I will give it a small research.

  8. #8
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    Re: Τ.θ. Χχ. ξ../ ε. a. λ.

    Quote Originally Posted by sotos View Post
    That's better. It seems that you didn't transcribed correct all the letters.

    In the first line we have certainly T. Θ. but the rest are complexes of two letters. It may be Χc and most probably δξ. The latter is probably abbreviation of δόξα (glory). All together, if at the end of a text, could be "Τέλος (και τω) Θεώ (και) Χριστώ δόξα", a common ending in many writtings. If not at the end, it may read "Τω Θεώ (και) Χριστώ δόξα". (Glory to God and Christ).
    In the second line, the 1st is unlikely to be "ε" and the last is not an "a". I don't know what it is but I will give it a small research.

  9. #9
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    Re: Τ.θ. Χχ. ξ../ ε. a. λ.

    Thanks for this. If so, might the second line be something like Ký-ri-e-léi-son" k. e. l.

  10. #10
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    Re: Τ.θ. Χχ. ξ../ ε. a. λ.

    I've no idea what the second line is. But certainly not Kyrie eleison.

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