[INDOLOGY] scribal self-recitation while copying

Allen Thrasher alanus1216 at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 24 02:56:58 UTC 2013

Pursuing Simon's comment, I wonder if there is any evidence that scribal workshops would ever produce many copies of a work at one time, with a single reader and a number of scribes.  I believe this is attested in the Roman world, but can't give any citations.  Presumably there would be a market for standard classics (e.g. the Gita) that in some circumstances would justify producing them in advance of specific individual orders.  It is also possible that new works might gain a reputation generating a demand for many copies quickly, or that a patron might pay for many copies for free distribution.  But everything I recall reading seems to assume that copies were produced singly.  It need not even be a question of one person recruiting scribes so to speak off the street; it could also be a workshop of a scribe and his sons (younger brothers, nephews, etc.), a family operation.

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