Codex Is. 1615 I A Qur'ānic Manuscript From 1st Century Hijra

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First Composed: 10th April 2009

Last Updated: 12th September 2019

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

Sotheby's October 2008, Lot 3 ( = Ms. 699.2007), recto

Sotheby's October 2008, Lot 3 ( = Ms. 699.2007), verso


TR:490-2007, recto

TR:490-2007, verso


Ms. 68.2007 (bifolio)

Date

1st century hijra / Mid-7th century CE. Recently, fragments from five folios of Is. 1615 I have been radiocarbon dated by the ETH, Zürich (Switzerland), under the auspices of the Corpus Coranicum project. The combined results give the date 591-643 CE with a confidence level (2σ) of 95.4%.[1]

Size & Folios

Approximately 35.5 cm x 27.5 cm.

Total number of folios are 47 = 32 (Is. 1615 I, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin)[2] + [5 (Ms. 68.2007), + 2 (Ms. 69.2007), + 6 (Ms. 70.2007), + 1 Ms. 699.2007 (= Sotheby's October 2008, Lot 3),[3] Museum of Islamic Art, Doha][4] + 1 (TR:490-2007, Vahid Kooros Private Collection, Houston).[5]

History Of The Manuscript

Folios of this codex are spread in the Chester Beatty Library (Dublin), Museum of Islamic Art (Doha), and in a private collection in Texas. The majority of them are located in Dublin. They are from the collection of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968) - an American mining magnate who became involved with the arts of East Asia. He spent nearly sixty years collecting Islamic manuscripts and art from many different cultures and periods all over the world. He became interested in Islamic manuscripts during his first trip to Cairo in the winter of 1913/14. He and his wife spent many winters there until the break of the Second World War. It can be surmised that this manuscript was bought in Cairo and that the provenance of Codex Is. 1615 I is Egypt.

A folio from this manuscript was auctioned in Sotheby's in October 2008. This folio made its way to the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. Various other folios from this codex were acquired by this museum from private collectors.

In our article Concise List of Arabic Manuscripts Of The Qur’an Attributable To The First Century Hijra published in 2009, we documented the constituent parts of this manuscript, based on high resolution photographs of Is. 1615 I, generously provided by Dr Elaine Wright, Curator of the Islamic Collections at the Chester Beatty Library. In an article published in 2011, Alba Fedeli confirmed the attribution of the folios held at the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, based on a first hand examination of the uncatalogued collection of early Qur'an manuscripts held there.[6] The entire codex, given the title ‘Codex Amrensis 9’, is now being prepared for publication by Tobias Jocham of the Corpus Coranicum and will appear in the series Documenta Coranica.

Script & Ornamentation

It is written in the ḥijāzī script in brown ink on vellum. There are 17-26 lines per folio. No vocalization, verses indicated occasionally by four dots, a few dots and angled dashes indicating diacritical marks and consonants.

Contents

The contents of the manuscript, as tabulated below, are gathered from the published data. The foliowise data from the Museum of Islamic Art is not available at the moment. It will be added when it becomes available.

Codex Is. 1615 I
Folios Qur'anic Sūrah Image Publication Comments
1r
1v
2r
2v
3r
3v
4r
4v
5r
5v
6r
6v
7r
7v
8r
8v
9r 6:64 - 6:71 | 6:55 - 6:64 Ms. 70.2007 (bifolio)
9v
10r
10v
11r 6:81 - 6:91 | 6:33 - 6:44 Ms. 70.2007.3 (bifolio)
11v
12r
12v 9:2 - 9:11 | 7:172 - 7:185 Ms. 69.2007 (bifolio)
13r 13:35 - 13:43; 14:1 - 14:6 | 13:24 - 13:35 Museum of Islamic Art, 2011[7] Ms. 68.2007 (bifolio)
13v
14r 14:18 - 14:32 Sotheby's, October 2008[3] Ms. 699.2007 (= Sotheby's October 2008, Lot 3)
14v 14:32 - 14:44 Sotheby's, October 2008 Ms. 699.2007 (= Sotheby's October 2008, Lot 3)
15r 15:58 - 15:99 Roxburgh, 2007[5] TR:490-2007
15v 16:1 - 16:20 Roxburgh, 2007 TR:490-2007
16r 28:6 - 28:25 Is. 1615 I
16v 28:25 - 28:42 Is. 1615 I
17r 28:42 - 28:61 Is. 1615 I
17v 28:61 - 28:82 Is. 1615 I
18r 28:82 - 28:88; 29:1 - 29:14 Is. 1615 I
18v 29:14 - 29:33 Is. 1615 I
19r 29:33 - 29:51 Is. 1615 I
19v 29:51 - 29:69; 30:1 - 30:8 Is. 1615 I
20r 30:8 - 30:28 Is. 1615 I
20v 30:28 - 30:48 Is. 1615 I
21r 30:48 - 30:60; 31:1 - 31:10 Is. 1615 I
21v 31:11 - 31:27 Is. 1615 I
22r 31:28 - 31:34; 32:1 - 32:11 Is. 1615 I
22v 32:11 - 32:30; 33:1 - 33:2 Is. 1615 I
23r 33:2 - 33:17 Is. 1615 I
23v 33:17 - 33:32 Is. 1615 I
24r 33:32 - 33:46 Is. 1615 I
24v 33:47 - 33:55 Is. 1615 I
25r 33:55 - 33:73 Is. 1615 I
25v 34:1 - 34:16 Is. 1615 I
26r 34:16 - 34:34 Is. 1615 I
26v 34:35 - 34:54 Is. 1615 I
27r 35:1 - 35:13 Is. 1615 I
27v 35:13 - 35:32 Is. 1615 I
28r 35:32 - 35:44 Is. 1615 I
28v 35:45; 36:1 - 36:30 Is. 1615 I
29r 36:30 - 36:53 Is. 1615 I
29v 36:53 - 36:83 Is. 1615 I
30r 37:1 - 37:46 Is. 1615 I
30v 37:47 - 37:100 Is. 1615 I
31r 37:100 - 37:148 Is. 1615 I
31v 37:149 - 37:182; 38:1 - 38:11 Is. 1615 I
32r 38:11 - 38:32 Is. 1615 I
32v 38:33 - 38:66 Is. 1615 I
33r 38:66 - 38:88; 39:1 - 39:7 Is. 1615 I
33v 39:7 - 39:26 Is. 1615 I
34r 39:26 - 39:46 Is. 1615 I
34v 39:46 - 39:67 Is. 1615 I
35r 39:67 - 39:75; 40:1 - 40:7 Is. 1615 I
35v 40:7 - 40:25 Is. 1615 I
36r 40:25 - 40:40 Is. 1615 I
36v 40:41 - 40:60 Is. 1615 I
37r 40:61 - 40:78 Is. 1615 I
37v 40:78 - 40:85; 41:1 - 41:14 Is. 1615 I
38r 41:14 - 41:31 Is. 1615 I
38v 41:31 - 41:49 Is. 1615 I
39r 41:49 - 41:54; 42:1 - 42:13 Is. 1615 I
39v 42:13 - 42:24 Is. 1615 I
40r 42:24 - 42:46 Is. 1615 I
40v 42:47 - 42:43; 43:1 - 43:12 Is. 1615 I
41r 43:12 - 43:32 Is. 1615 I
41v 43:32 - 43:58 Is. 1615 I
42r 43:58 - 43:82 Is. 1615 I
42v 43:82 - 43:89; 44:1 - 44:20 Is. 1615 I
43r 44:21 - 44:57 Is. 1615 I
43v 44:58 - 44:59; 45:1 - 45:19 Is. 1615 I
44r 45:19 - 45:35 Is. 1615 I
44v 45:36 - 45:37; 46:1 - 46:15 Is. 1615 I
45r 46:15 - 46:27 Is. 1615 I
45v 46:28 - 46:35; 47:1 - 47:4 Is. 1615 I
46r 47:4 - 47:19 Is. 1615 I
46v 47:19 - 47:35 Is. 1615 I
47r 47:35 - 47:38; 48:1 - 48:12 Is. 1615 I
47v 48:12 - 48:25 Is. 1615 I

 

Location

Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (Ireland); Museum of Islamic Art, Doha (Qatar); Private Collection, Houston (USA).

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References

[1] Two of the five samples are outliers, producing results that are too early. It should be noted these fragments were not cut directly from the folios under question, rather they were loose pieces recovered when the codex was being rebound at the Chester Beatty Library. Strictly speaking, their attribution to the folios from where they were dislodged cannot be guaranteed, opening up the possibility they do not belong to the manuscript. See T. J. Jocham, Variants & Readings In CBL 1615 I - A Multi Layered Manuscript From The 7th Century, 7th June 2018, Histoire du Coran Texte et Transmission, Le Collège De France, time slice 19:30 - 27:10.

[2] A. J. Arberry, The Koran Illuminated: A Handlist Of The Korans In The Chester Beatty Library, 1967, Hodges, Figgis & Co., Ltd.: Dublin, p. xix & p. 15 (No. 40); D. James, Qur'ans And Bindings From The Chester Beatty Library: A Facsimile Exhibition, 1980, World of Islam Festival Trust: London, p. 14.

[3] Arts Of The Islamic World Including Fine Carpets And Textiles, London 8 October 2008, 2008, Lot No. 3, Sotheby's: London, pp. 16-18.

[4] A. Fedeli, "The Provenance Of The Manuscript Mingana Islamic Arabic 1572: Dispersed Folios From A Few Qur'ānic Quires", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2011, Volume 17, Number 1, p. 52 .Fedeli has also commented on the readings in this section of the manuscript, see A. Fedeli, "Variants And Substantiated Qirāʾāt: A Few Notes Exploring Their Fluidity In The Oldest Qurʾānic Manuscripts", in M. Groß & K-H. Ohlig (Eds.), Die Entstehung Einer Weltreligion II: Von Der Koranischen Bewegung Zum Frühislam, 2012, Verlag Hans Schiler: Berlin/Tübingen, pp. 403-440.

[5] D. J. Roxburgh, Writing The Word Of God: Calligraphy And The Qur'an, 2007, The Museum Of Fine Arts: Houston, pp. 5-8. Figures on pp. 6 and 7.

[6] A. Fedeli, "The Provenance Of The Manuscript Mingana Islamic Arabic 1572: Dispersed Folios From A Few Qur'ānic Quires", Manuscripta Orientalia, 2011, op. cit., p. 52.

[7] Al-Qirā'at Al-Makhṭūtāt Al-Qur'ānīyya - Museum Of Islamic Art: Doha - Qatar, 2011, Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, pp. 44-46.

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