The Archimedes Palimpsest

Scholarship on Hyperides

Although the Archimedes Palimpsest is famous for containing the text of Archimedes, many folios in the book do not come from the Archimedes manuscript at all. At the time of the sale of the manuscript at Christie's, the erased texts on these texts could not be read at all. But we decided to treat these folios just like the Archimedes ones, and so we imaged them anyway. Slowly other texts started to be revealed. In 2002, Natalie Tchernetska discovered speeches by the Athenian Orator Hyperides. Five bifolia have now been discovered. Deciphering these pages has been a collaborative endeavor, involving very many classicists. It was an extraordinarily difficult enterprise, as you can see from these three "Fly-on-The Wall" videos, of meetings held in London. Judson Herrman and Abigail Quandt

However good the images are, the text remained extremely difficult to read. An important part of the process was interaction and feedback between the scholars, the imagers, and the conservators. Laszlo Horvath from Budapest came to study the manuscript in person, and he and Abigail Quandt discussed the arrangement of the leaves in the original Hyperides manuscript. Judson Herrman came also, during the imaging of the manuscript, and advised the imagers on capturing raking the Hyperides text with raking light.

imaging scientist

Now, in 2008, the Hyperides texts in the Archimedes Palimpsest have all been transcribed and published in three articles published in the Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik, listed in the Bibliography. The authors of these articles are, in sum, and in alphabetical order Colin Austin, Chris Carey, Mike Edwards, Zoltan Farkas, Eric Handley. Judson Herrman, Laszlo Horvath, Gyula Mayer, Tamas Meszaros, Peter Rhodes, and Natalie Tchernetska. This list by no means exhausts the many who lent a hand in what was an extraordinarily demanding task done in a remarkably short anount of time.