THE EARLY ILLUSTRATED APOLLONIUS OF TYRE:
PERSPECTIVES ON THE PALIMPSEST FRAGMENT IN SINAI ARABIC NF 8
A Workshop of the Andrew W. Mellon-funded “The Book and the Silk Roads” and the SSHRC-funded “Apollonius of Tyre in Italy”
19-20 April 2021
A research event of The Book and the Silk Roads project (2019–2021) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation, this virtual workshop explores the significance of a recent discovery: an early fragment of a popular Latin romance, the Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri (The History of Apollonius King of Tyre), found in a palimpsest forming part of the manuscript MS Arabic NF 8, in the library of St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai, Egypt.
The recent discovery of the Sinai fragment has excited early manuscript scholars and Apollonius experts alike due to its apparent early date: prior to 650CE, and thus several hundred years earlier than the next surviving witness. The fragment is of further interest because it is from a deluxe copy complete with an illustration, confirming long-held suspicions that the early text circulated in an illustrated form.
Our workshop contributors will speak on the discovery of the fragment as well as its scientific imaging, codicological and paleographical features, illustration, and significance for understanding the early history of the codex, as well as what can be gleaned from the fragment about the original manuscript’s production and use. The workshop will also contextualize the fragment’s long life and reuse within the multi-cultural, early monastic setting of St. Catherine’s Monastery — a site that has gained increasing attention in recent years due to the discovery of new texts in palimpsest through the scientific imaging of the Sinai Palimpsests Project.
The workshop is also generously supported by the SSHRC-funded “Apollonius of Tyre in Italy” project, directed by Will Robins, President of Victoria University at the University of Toronto.
For more information, contact the organizers at jessica.lockhart [at] utoronto.ca.