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.
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.
Dec. 13 1884
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.
Henry A. Redpath
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.