Overview - The Database - Collaborate - Help

Below, we have provided a brief comment about the use of the Airtable platform and then a description of the fields available in the CDDGB. Unless otherwise noted, the data in the fields are derivative from the relevant editions or the authoritative handbooks and databases.


The CDDGB utilizes the Airtable platform. Airtable is an interactive database that allows images and links to be added seamlessly. Airtable’s website has helpful materials which provide an overview of how to use their application. The interface of the CDDGB is mostly intuitive, but for an overview please visit Airtable’s product page and support page. One of the more helpful features is the ability to toggle between Grid View and Gallery View.


The manuscript’s designation from the editio princeps or the holding institution. Manuscripts were identified for inclusion in the CDDGB through searching the standard handbooks of Greek paleography as well as online resources such as the HGV and the LDAB. Also useful are the lists available in Devreesse, Introduction à l’étude des manuscripts grecs, Orsini-Clarysse, “Early New Testament Manuscripts and Their Dates,” and Orsini, Studies on Greek and Coptic Majuscule Scripts and Books.


A general description of the handwriting of the manuscript. For a description of the scripts used in the CDDGB see Turner-Parsons, Greek Manuscripts of the Ancient World, 20–23; Cavallo-Maehler, Greek Bookhands of the Early Byzantine Period, 4–5; and Orsini-Clarysse, “Early New Testament Manuscripts and Their Dates” ETL 88 (2012), 443–474. We have used the handwriting designation from these sources that seemed most relevant or recognizable for the manuscript in question. The editor of the CDDGB selected the script designations for each manuscript though reliance was made on the standard reference works and databases.

Following Turner-Parsons, “Informal Round” encompasses a large and diverse set of hands, which arguably should have been subdivided. Where possible, we have indicated whether a Formal Mixed hand is also part of the Severe Style or the transitional phase toward the Sloping Ogival. At times, we have also used the following descriptors when a specific designation seemed unjustified: “Late Hellenistic,” “Byzantine Majuscule,” “Formal Round,” and “Informal Majuscule.” Below, we have listed the scripts and descriptions employed in the CDDGB.

  • Alexandrian Majuscule (aka Coptic Uncial)
  • Biblical Majuscule
  • Byzantine Majuscule
  • Chancery
  • Formal-Mixed
  • Formal Round
  • Informal Majuscule
  • Informal Round
  • Late Hellenistic
  • Liturgical Majuscule
  • Round Majuscule (aka Roman Uncial)
  • Semi-Cursive
  • Sloping Ogival
  • Upright Ogival


A thumbnail image of each manuscript has been provided to give the user a sense of the script. These thumbnail images provide only a small sample of the handwriting in question. Since a scribe’s handwriting can vary somewhat within the same manuscript, users are encouraged to consult the full image available at the website or in the handbook listed under the “Image Source” field. For a discussion of the CDDGB’s approach to image permissions and copyrights see below.


The century or centuries from which the manuscript most likely dates.


The particular date, date range, or terminus identifying or limiting the age of the manuscript.


A brief description of the reasoning for the manuscript’s objective date. In this regard, the following descriptions have been used:

The manuscript was found with other documents from a certain time period or was found in an archeological context which limits its possible date range.

A manuscript contains a colophon mentioning a date or dateable name.

Internal Content
A person, date, event, literary work or some other dateable phenomenon is mentioned in the content of the manuscript.

Reused Back or Front
A different dateable document is written on the reverse side of a bookroll providing a terminus for the manuscript in question. If the dateable document is written on the back (verso) of the bookroll, it provides a terminus ante quem (“time before which”). If the dateable document has been written on the front (recto), it provides a terminus post quem (“time after which”). For more on reused bookrolls and their dating see Turner-Parsons, Greek Manuscripts of the Ancient World, 18–19.

On occasion, some bookrolls have been used whose dateable side is dated on the basis of paleography rather than more objective means. These are usually identifiable since their “Date/Terminus” entry will mention a century rather than a specific date or date range (e.g., “before the 2nd half of the 3rd”). We have typically only included bookrolls of this nature if they also appear in one of the standard handbooks.

Second Hand
A second hand appears in the manuscript, usually as a correction or comment (scholia), which provides another paleographical anchor for the manuscript. It should be noted that, though dating a manuscript by two scripts is better than one, these manuscripts are still only dated paleographically. On account of this fact, and because of the multiplicity of manuscripts with a second hand, we have typically only included examples which have been listed in one of the standard handbooks.

We offer no discussion of the relative strength of the arguments underlying these dates. Some are of course more secure than others. The data in the CDDGB should be used with appropriate caution.


If relevant, the paleography handbook(s) in which the manuscript appears. The following abbreviations have been used:

  • Barbour: R. Barbour, Greek Literary Hands: A.D. 400 – 1600 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981).
  • Cavallo, 2005: G. Cavallo, Il calamo e il papiro: La scrittura greca dall’età ellenistica ai primi secoli di Bisanzio (Papyrologica Florentina 36. Firenze: Gonnelli, 2005).
  • Cavallo, 2008: G. Cavallo, La scrittura greca e latina dei papiri: Una introduzione (Studia erudita 8. Pisa, Italy: Fabrizio Serra–Editore, 2008).
  • HB: G. Cavallo and H. Maehler, Hellenistic Bookhands (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008).
  • GBEBP: G. Cavallo and H. Maehler, Greek Bookhands of the Early Byzantine Period. A.D. 300-800 (Bulletin Supplement 47. London: Institute of Classical Studies, 1987).
  • GLH: C. H. Roberts, Greek Literary Hands 350 B.C. – A.D. 400 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956).
  • GMAW: E. G. Turner, Greek Manuscripts of the Ancient World (2d ed. revised and enlarged by P. J. Parsons. Bulletin Supplement 46. London: Institute of Classical Studies, 1987).
  • Harrauer: H. Harrauer, Handbuch der griechischen Paläographie (2 vols. Bibliothek des Buchwesens. Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann Verlag, 2010).
  • Lake: K. Lake, and S. Lake, Dated Greek Minuscule Manuscripts to the Year 1200 (Boston: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1934–1939).
  • Orsini: P. Orsini, Studies on Greek and Coptic Majuscule Scripts and Books (Studies in Manuscript Cultures 15. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2019). Though not technically a handbook, we have included some references to this volume on account of its importance.
  • PGB: W. Schubart, Papyri Graecae Berolinenses (Tabulae in usum scholarum Bd. 2. Bonn: Marcus and Weber, 1911).
  • Pestman: P. W. Pestman, The New Papyrological Primer (2d ed. Leiden: Brill, 1994).
  • Schubart: W. Schubart, Griechische Palaeographie (Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft 1.4.1. Munich: C. H. Beck, 1925).
  • Seider: R. Seider, Paläographie der griechischen Papyri (Band II: Literarische Papyri; Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1970).


Whether the manuscript was intended for literary or documentary purposes. For simplicity’s sake, sub-literary categories have not been employed. Users should consult other resources if they would like to know more detail about a manuscript’s use. Furthermore, given that dateable documentary papyri are being cataloged at PapPal, only the most relevant documents or those most closely resembling a bookhand have been posted at the CDDGB.


The material from which the manuscript is composed. All manuscripts included in the CDDGB were composed from either papyrus or parchment.


The book format of the manuscript. The following designations have been utilized: roll, codex, sheet.


The printed or online source from which the thumbnail image was derived. For a discussion of the CDDGB’s approach to image permissions and copyrights see below.

For this field, the abbreviations for print materials are the same as those in the “Handbook” field (see above). Online abbreviations can be deciphered by clicking the accompanying link. The following abbreviations have also been utilized: (a) Brubaker, Decoration = L. Brubaker, “Greek Manuscript Decoration in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries: Rethinking Centre and Periphery” in I manoscritti greci tra riflessione e dibattito: Atti del 5 Colloquio internazionale di paleografia greca, Cremona, 4-10 ottobre 1998 (ed. G. Prato; Papyrologica Florentina 31. Firenze: Gonnelli, 2000), 513-533; (b) I papiri letterari cristiani = G. Bastianini et al., I papiri letterari cristiani (Firenze: Istituto papirologico G. Vitelli, 2011); (c) New Finds of Sinai = The New Finds of Sinai (Athens: Ministry of Culture and Mount Sinai Foundation, 1999); (d) Turner, Codex = E. G. Turner, The Typology of the Codex (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977).


A link to the full image online, if available.


A link to the authoritative databases. For manuscripts dated before 800, a link to the Leuven Database of Ancient Books has been provided. For manuscripts dated after 800, we have linked to the Pinakes database.


For the thumbnail images included herein, the CDDGB has either (1) received explicit permission to post the image; (2) followed the licensing guidelines of the copyright holder; or (3) has posted only a portion of the image or used the image in such a way appropriate under the doctrines of “fair use” or “fair dealing.” The CDDGB is for educational purposes, only posts a small sample of the image, and provides a link to the image’s source. If you believe you are the rights holder of the image of an item in the CDDGB and have a question about its use, please send an e-mail message to

Department of Classics

Morrison 333
One Bear Place #97352
Waco, TX 76798

(254) 710-1399