A Letter of H. Redpath

In two previous posts (here and here) I shared some interesting archival materials I have come across in the Cambridge University library manuscripts room.* I’ve been searching for correspondence related to some early 20th century efforts made at a lexicon of the Septuagint, so far to no avail.

Yet I’ve found other interesting material. Today I post for your enjoyment a letter written by the estimable Henry Redpath (1848–1908), graduate of the University of Oxford (D.Litt. 1901), curate and later vicar near Oxford, and Grinfield lecturer on the Septuagint (1901-1905), inter alia.

Redpath is still well-known because of his efforts to bring the concordance work of Edwin Hatch to completion, now known as simply Hatch-Redpath (second edition by Baker), but originally A Concordance to the Septuagint and other Greek Translations of the Old Testament (3 vols.; Oxford, 1892-1906). It is that work that is the topic of the letter below.

The Letter

As in previous posts, I have transcribed each page, with the symbol | indicating a line break. The images have been enhanced for clarity, and can be clicked on and enlarged. If you think I’ve gotten something wrong – or can decipher some of what I have left as [?] lacunae – please say so in the comments below.

 

Holwell Rectory
Sherborne

Dec. 13 1884

Dear Sir,

I have for some time past been | occupying myself with compiling | a Concordance to the Proper Names | and other transliterated Hebrew | words to be found in the Septuagint. | I should now like to find a publisher | for the same, and of course that | is not a very easy matter. It has | occurred to me whether the | Cambridge University Press | would undertake it.

The work is intended to show | the variations of the three | chief MSS from the Textus

 

 

[p. 2] Receptus, and would not form | a very large volume. One third | is already written out in fair | copy for the press and the materials | for the rest are all in readiness [?]. |

It is right that I should | add that I have already | offered the work to the Oxford | University Press. They however | declined it on the grounds that | they had already undertaken a | larger work of a similar character | a Concordance to the Septuagint |

[p. 3] which is not however I believe | to include the Proper Names, | and that they could not | undertake two such works | at once.

Should you like to see it | I would gladly forward you | the third part which is ready | for the press.

Yours sincerely,
Henry A. Redpath

The Results

In their Introductory Essay to the 1998 second edition of Hatch-Redpath, Robert Kraft and Emanuel Tov discuss the development of the Concordance in some detail. It’s worth a read. Suffice it to say that, from what I can tell, the material that Redpath pitched here to CUP ended up in Appendix 1 of Hatch-Redpath, which was revised at certain points. That appendix contains a list of LXX/OG proper names, with a smattering of other transliterated common nouns. As Kraft/Tov point out, however (p. 14), some other common noun transliterations appear also or only in the main concordance itself.

_____________________________________

* I have not looked too diligently into whether I am permitted to share these images publically. If you are someone in charge of such things and wish me to take them down, do let me know at williamross27@gmail.com.

4 comments

    1. Yes, I noticed that script as well (which was about the only thing that led me to “readings”). I’ll replace it with your suggestion, which is definitely better, but leave the question mark.

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