A What were the texts? 1) somewhere else : The Question of Contemporary Evidence, 2) No, true enough Acharya, Varro did not write about Jesus ..., 3) What a blooper, Dan Barker from Atheist League!, 4) 1st C Historians, Wikipedia Category, 5) HGL's F.B. writings : Critiques of Testimonium Flavianum, 6) Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : ... on "Contemporary Historians Not Mentioning Jesus" (Answering aekara1987), 7) Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Challenged Again on Testimonium Flavianum,
B How were they transmitted? 1) somewhere else : Laci Green likes strawmen?, 2) Variation on the Scriptoria Game,
Way back here:
I offered a game for understanding the transmission of a book recopied and recopied.
I repost the rules with a few variations:
Five to fifteen people:
Rule 1: everyone throws two dice. The top score gets to chose or invent one text to copy. The bottom score gets to be first secretary.
Rule 2: the top player invents a text of at least five lines with coherent content, or choses the text from a book on the shelf, making a hand made copy.
Rule 3: the first secretary gets to copy from the text by top player, he throws one dice to decide how many copies he has to do (1 - 4 = number of copies, 5/6 re-throw).
Rule 4: extant copies including original are divided in two heaps by a third player.
Rule 5: cast lots about which two players get which two heaps (if there are only five players, here is last copying), and in case they have more than one copy, they each have the possibility and even recommendation to compare copies in their hands before chosing what to write, and they may use more than one version (if diversions exist) in what they write. Of course again dice are thrown to determine number of copies.
Rule 5 b: before next generation of copying, if such there be, throw dice to determine losses in manuscripts: double number of manuscripts, throw two dice to determine how many at maximum survive. Put manuscripts in a round, count as many as the dice before eliminating each superfluous one. Then go back to rule 1, but this time not only new text but also copies of older ones will be recopied. Any further application of rule 5 b involves all manuscripts, new and older texts.
Rule 6: after five or ten rounds, as your patience commands, compare all versions, note every divergence. This is best done line by line, or sentence by sentence, original after copy after copy.
Rule 7: points off for every divergence from original text. One off for each totally innocuous one, like different spelling of a word that can abbreviate or of a phrase that can be turned (like main clause and if clause), or for obvious spelling mistakes. Two off for a change of synonyms. Five off if it means something different. Ten off if it means something opposite.
Is there a loser? Are there winners?