Plotinus 1580

Among the Classical Greek printed books is an edition of the Enneads by the third century philosopher Plotinus, edited and compiled by his student Porphyry. The volume was printed in Basel in 1580.

4 comments to Plotinus 1580

  • Norman Hugh Redington

    Makes one want to be there! How are books arranged in the Sinai library? What do the call-numbers on the spines mean?

    • Father Justin

      The early printed books were arranged by language, and by subject, and then numbered straight through. The first number is sequential. If we have three copies of the same book, the second number remains the same for all three copies, with the addition of α΄ β΄ γ΄. We have early printed books that were not numbered, and we need to find a way to add these to the collection. Also, we need to create an electronic catalogue of the early printed books, to make them easier to find. A gifted scholar from Greece is working on an expanded catalogue of the early Greek printed books, to 1625.

  • Richard Saloom

    When I think of St. Catherine’s books, my mind always imagined Byzantine era manuscripts. It seems like a lot are from the Ottoman period. Is there a breakdown of when the books in the library date from?

    • Father Justin

      With most manuscript libraries, the production of manuscripts declined with the advent of printing. But in a monastery, writing out a text is a way of concentrating on that text, and in doing so, the scribe creates a beautiful manuscript. We have manuscripts from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially manuscripts of the Liturgy or devotional texts. There are periods for which we have no formal history of the monastery. But from a study of the manuscripts and icons created at Sinai, we can recover that history. It is an important study. Much remains to be done.

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