Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries Blog //Talking the Talk: Colophon
Blog //Talking the Talk: Colophon

In this series we honor the contributions made on the Zooniverse Talk boards for our project, Scribes of the Cairo Geniza . Talk is a way for citizen scientists on Zooniverse to converse with one another and experts on the different material they are working on, ask questions, and explore new insights. Each week we will feature a talk conversation that we love. Thanks for the participation #genizascribes!

@citsci-rancho: Is the #drawing a type of #arabicscript, in other words, #calligraphy?

@judaicadh: It is #arabicscript

@citsci-rancho: Thank you. I am unsure at times which hashtags to apply in describing features like this one.

@judaicadh: No worries. Nothing is required. also arabic script doesn’t necessarily mean calligraphy

@citsci-rancho: Thanks. I meant only the top line on side 2, which is classified as a #drawing by the first commenter. It looks to me more like a calligraphic line of Arabic script. If so, tagging it as #calligraphy might perhaps be useful to future research on that topic.
Some beautiful examples of Arabic calligraphy have turned up among the Geniza fragments.
Less beautiful examples, as this may be, could have value as comparisons to the better ones.

@msra: The line you are referring to on the verso side is definitely a word in Arabic, probably “kitāb” (“book”, meaning chapter) without the diacritics. I would not really call it calligraphy (if we are going to define it by rules of proportion); it seems more like someone heavily filled in an outline of the word with black ink and then just did a quick little design on it to indicate the beginning of a chapter.

@citsci-rancho: Thanks! That seems right to me.
Awkward attempts to heighten lettering abound among the Geniza fragments, especially among the largeletters. They make me smile (because my best efforts are just as bad) but they are not calligraphy.

@msra:quick correction: the verso appears to be a colophon, so “kitāb” does actually mean “book” here (and not “chapter”).

@citsci-rancho: Wow! Great to know that it’s a colophon. Thanks again!
Hopefully, more fragments of this book will turn up.

Read the full conversation on the talk boards here.

👉 Read more Talk conversations or start your own by participating in Scribes of the Cairo Geniza on Zooniverse!

By Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries on .

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Exported from Medium on April 14, 2020.

Cite this post: admin. “Talking the Talk: Colophon”. Published February 26, 2019. https://judaicadh.github.io//blog/2019-02-26-talking-the-talk/. Accessed on .