Dear Jonathan,

While not discussed in a South Asian context Harry Gamble's book: Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Early Christian Texts contains some discussion of the phenomenon you refer to. See especially pp. 88-90. Though there may be more discussion than this. 

I hope this helps.


Benjamin Fleming, 
Visiting Scholar, Dept. of Religious Studies; 
Cataloger of Indic Manuscripts, Rare Book & Manuscript Library;
University of Pennsylvania 249 S. 36th Street, 
201 Claudia Cohen Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. 
Telephone - 215-900-5744

From: Jonathan Silk <>
Date: mardi 23 juillet 2013 04:15
To: Indology <>
Subject: [INDOLOGY] scribal self-recitation while copying

dear Colleagues.

Recently I told a student that errors in transcription which appear prima facie to be due to oral recitation may well also stem from copying a written exemplar, since scribes are known to recite to themselves, as it were, when copying. I think/thought that this was well known, but she tells me that she's looked around and not found a discussion of this idea. I have no idea now where I learnt it (although i believe it to be true). Any references?

thanks so much, jonathan

J. Silk
Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
Johan Huizinga Building, Room 1.37
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
The Netherlands

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