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PublicationThe Syriac Galen Palimpsest: A Tale of Two Texts(2019-05-09) Afif, Naima; Bhayro, Siam; Kessel, Grigory; Poormann, Peter E.; Sellers, William I.; Smelova, Natalia; Afif, Naima; Bhayro, Siam; Kessel, Grigory; Poormann, Peter E.; Sellers, William I.; Smelova, NataliaThis article presents the Syriac Galen Palimpsest’s double history, of both the original manuscript and its subsequent reuse. The original medical manuscript contained Galen’s Book of Simple Drugs in Syriac translation, was probably produced in northern Mesopotamia or western Syria, and dates to the first half of the ninth century. After only two centuries, it was erased and reused to produce a liturgical text called Octṓēchos, probably at the monastery of Saint Elias on the Black Mountain. This palimpsest was later transferred to Saint Catherine’s monastery in the Sinai, where it remained for several centuries before being offered for sale in Leipzig in 1922 (perhaps due to the activities of Friedrich Grote). We pay close attention to the context, contents, codicology and palaeography of both the original manuscript and the palimpsest. We also contextualise both texts within the wider story of their transmission. Through the "skeleton" table we present the latest results of our almost complete identification of the undertext. We reconstruct the structure of the original codex through a collation diagram. We draw palaeographical parallels with a dated colophon of the well-known Sahdona-manuscript. This permits us to narrow done the time and place of production of the original manuscript. PublicationAnalyzing Images, Editing Texts: The Manchester Project(2019-05-09) Afif, Naima; Bhayro, Siam; Poormann, Peter E.; Sellers, William I.; Smelova, Natalia; Afif, Naima; Bhayro, Siam; Poormann, Peter E.; Sellers, William I.; Smelova, NataliaThis article discusses the methodologies and tools employed in the study of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest. While it focusses on the efforts of the ongoing Manchester Project, attention is also paid to earlier and contemporary work, particularly the most recent phase of research (which can be said to have started in 2009). In this way, the Manchester Project is properly contextualised. We describe the image analysis techniques employed by the Manchester team. The challenge is to reduce the information contained in the set of multi-spectral images and enhance it where it can usefully distinguish between undertext and overtext. One can either use unsupervised or supervised dimensional reduction techniques. An unsupervised method such as principle component analysis (PCA) provides an automatic result, whereas a supervised method such as Canonical Variates Analysis (CVA) requires one to teach the system by identifying blank areas, areas with only overtext, areas with only undertext, and areas with both. Using the resulting improvements to the visibility of the undertext, the Manchester team has been able to make significant advances in identifying where its folios fit into Galen’s Book of Simple Drugs. The use of a program called SketchEngine is outlined, which permits an engagement with parallel Greek and Syriac texts and powerful searches - this is particularly useful for those folios that come from Books 6–8, for which a parallel Syriac manuscript exists. Having completed this initial stage, it became clear that around 100 folios that did not come from Books 6-8 remained to be identified. SketchEngine again has proved to be very useful in facilitating identifications of these folios. To illustrate the different challenges posed by these two distinct scenarios, examples are provided from Books 5 and 8.