memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner


Back to the impressive book which hosted the fragment, (see my post EAT YOUR HEART OUT, FACEBOOK pub. 30th June 2011), which merits further examination.
Here is the title page:

This is the first chapter:

And I can’t resist including some sample pages:

And the MAHRATTA page:


And finally the page with the fragment:


Now I don’t about anyone else, but I’m a bit rusty with my ancient Samarian script. What we need at this point is one of those forensic archaeologists know-it-alls who pop up regularly in films like The Raiders of the Lost Arc who will glance at it and give a glib solution.
Actually we have the genuine article, a scholar with a deep knowledge of Latin, ancient Greek, Arabic, Sanskrit and Hebrew and other Semitic languages. He also made a specialty of the Polynesian group (we found a Maori dictionary among his books). He was claimed to know 26 languages.
It is of course our great grandfather – the Rev. Gamaliel Milner, whose book it was.

He set out to identify the parchment. He concluded that it was part of ancient Samaritan manuscript of the Pentateuch – Genesis 36.
(Of course it was, how silly of me, it was on the tip of my tongue – you probably know the verse; it’s that rib-tickling one which enumerates all the sons and grandsons of Esau. His brother Jacob may have been the favourite but Esau’s family seem to have done alright for themselves).
Finally just to conclude, also pasted at the back there’s an intriguing envelope addressed to Rev. Selwyn & wife and a letter from «The Chief of the Samiratans» dated 1877

(He claims that the fragment is from the second book of Moses; note the cool correction by Gamaliel on the right side of the envelope just under the stamp)

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