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Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman

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Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2013, 09:41
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Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treatise, is undated but contains clues to when it was produced. Its first 80 pages are by a single copyist, but the remaining 20 pages are by three different copyists, which indicates some significant disruption. Since a letter in handwriting identified as that of the fourth copyist mentions a plague that killed many people in Florence in 1148, Codex Berinensis was probably produced in that year.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the hypothesis that Codex Berinensis was produced in 1148?

A.Other than Codex Berinensis, there are no known samples of the handwriting of the first three copyists.
B.According to the account by the fourth copyist, the plague went on for 10 months.
C.A scribe would be able to copy a page of text the size and style of Codex Berinensis in a day.
D.There was only one outbreak of plague in Florence in the 1100s.
E.The number of pages of Codex Berinensis produced by a single scribe becomes smaller with each successive change of copyist.

Edit: by carcass
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Strengthen > Codex Berinensis> Answer with Explanation [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2013, 12:20
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I select option D by the process of elimination.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2013, 21:38
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hb wrote:
Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treatise, is undated but contains clues to when it was produced. Its first 80 pages are by a single copyist, but the remaining 20 pages are by three different copyists, which indicates some significant disruption. Since a letter in handwriting identified as that of the fourth copyist mentions a plague that killed many people in Florence in 1148, Codex Berinensis was probably produced in that year.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the hypothesis that Codex Berinensis was produced in 1148?

A.Other than Codex Berinensis, there are no known samples of the handwriting of the first three copyists.
B.According to the account by the fourth copyist, the plague went on for 10 months.
C.A scribe would be able to copy a page of text the size and style of Codex Berinensis in a day.
D.There was only one outbreak of plague in Florence in the 1100s.
E.The number of pages of Codex Berinensis produced by a single scribe becomes smaller with each successive change of copyist.

Edit: by carcass


Premises:
Codex Berinensis is undated but contains clues to when it was produced.
Its first 80 pages are by a single copyist, but the remaining 20 pages are by three different copyists, which indicates some significant disruption.
A letter written by fourth copyist mentions a plague that killed many people in Florence in 1148

Conclusion: Codex Berinensis was probably produced in 1148.

We are looking for some major disruption to explain the frequent change of copyists. A letter written by fourth copyist talks of a plague in 1148. So the conclusion drawn is that Codex Berinensis was produced in 1148. Notice that it is a very weak conclusion. All we know is that one person who worked on the codex also wrote a letter talking about a plague 1148. To conclude that the codex was written in 1148, we need more info - e.g. was there a plague in another year around that time? what about war or some other disruption? etc

Option (D) says that there was only one outbreak of plague in 1100s. This strengthens the conclusion. Of course, we still cannot establish the conclusion without doubt, but it does strengthen it. Hence (D) is the answer.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2013, 06:36
Not very sure on how D strengthens the conclusion.
- Only one plague in the century. He wrote about the plague in 1148.
- Ten plagues in the century. He could still write about the plague in 1148.
Could you please explain?

Here is my reasoning-
1) Not relevant
2) Not relevant, though could be a trap if selection is done purely based on words.
3) Not relevant
4) Feel is a trap based on words.
5) If the last writer had 1000 more pages to write, and he starts writing when the actual plague happens (big big assumption) the book would finish after few months / years. But that's not the case. Thus he must have finished that year itself.

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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2014, 23:45
Let see some interesting Analysis of why D could not be a better choice:

We will not assumed two things, which are not given in the argument and are as follows:
a. Letter was concluding part or atleast a part of Codex Berinensis.
b. All writers wrote the treaty once and subsequently (one copyist finished his part and subsequently other started his) We can’t assume who actually wrote the concluding part of treaty.


To strengthen the argument, we only have to strengthen the possibility that among all three copyists fourth copyist was the last one to write for treaty and he completed the Codex Berinensis in year 1148.

Lets analyze answer choice D and E

Option D only proves two things: the fourth copyist was alive in 1148 and plague mentioned in the letter outburst in 1148. Nowhere it is mentioned that letter was the concluding part of Codex Berinensis . Generally, copyist writes many things in a time period, we cannot assume the finishing date of one write-up to be the date of another too. (Also be cautious to assume that letter was the concluding part of the treaty)
E. The number of pages of Codex Berinensis produced by a single scribe becomes smaller with each successive change of copyist. (Here is the mathematical catch-

As this answer tells that all four wrote subsequently, it can be inferred that the fourth one was the last copyist to add his part of writing and conclude it.

It also tells us that whatever combination of three numbers (in ascending order ) we take to divide 20 pages among three copyist, the maximum number of pages the fourth one will get is 5 ( 8/7/5).

Option E tells us that fourth copyist was the last one to write and that among all copyists he got the least number (at most 5 pages) of pages to write.

So if we add these facts as 2 more premise to the conclusion:
a. Fourth copyist was the last one to write.
b. Among all copyists, He got the least number of pages, maximum 5, to write for the treaty

It adds more weight to the conclusion than does by option D or by any other answer.

Just to add, “significant disruption” only indicates that the process of writing was continue in 1148,however, it does not indicate anything about finishing of the treaty in 1148.

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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2014, 00:11
ashutoshr wrote:
Not very sure on how D strengthens the conclusion.
- Only one plague in the century. He wrote about the plague in 1148.
- Ten plagues in the century. He could still write about the plague in 1148.
Could you please explain?

Here is my reasoning-
1) Not relevant
2) Not relevant, though could be a trap if selection is done purely based on words.
3) Not relevant
4) Feel is a trap based on words.
5) If the last writer had 1000 more pages to write, and he starts writing when the actual plague happens (big big assumption) the book would finish after few months / years. But that's not the case. Thus he must have finished that year itself.

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:) you have awesome intuition. Yes!! option D is a trap.
Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman   [#permalink] 28 Jan 2014, 00:11
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