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# Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman

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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2011, 08:49
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1
The answer is clearly D. I took nearly 4 minutes over it, but that was because I didn't want to get it wrong and read and re-read the passage.

Here is my critical reasoning!:
1. Other than Codex Berinensis, there are no known samples of the handwriting of the first three copyists. How would this matter?
2. According to the account by the fourth copyist, the plague went on for 10 months. This may help. But nonetheless, it doesn't point to a particular period specifically.
3. A scribe would be able to copy a page of text the size and style of Codex Berinensis in a day. No reason why this would point to 1148
4. There was only one outbreak of plague in Florence in the 1100s.If there were more, wouldn't be able to pin-point the year. Therefore this is my pick.
5. The number of pages of Codex Berinensis produced by a single scribe becomes smaller with each successive change of copyist.Needless to say, this is really worthless information.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2011, 13:03
I picked D...by POE...it is difficult to pick D because you need to make several assumptions
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2012, 08:43
I chose (C) for the following reasons:

- The hypothesis for which we have to find support is that the treatise was produced in 1148
- To produce a treatise, someone has to write it and the writing takes time
- If writing the treatise was very time-consuming (say it took several months to produce one page), even it the fourth author started to write in 1148, he couldn't have finished it

What's wrong with this logic?

Also, I still don't understand what's wrong with vannbj's logic?

Quote:
How can we assume that the disruption was due to the plague? Also how does the occurrence of the letter in 1148 relate to the timing of the treatise? Even if there was one 1 outbreak in the 1100’s couldn’t the fourth copyist have produced them 60 years apart?

Anyone?
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2012, 04:37
Note that in a causal relationship the author assumes that no other cause is responsible for the Effect.Its easy to identify this relationship in the given context. Cause and effect are clear, and we can get the answer from that..
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2012, 11:42
gurpreet07 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

This is a very tricky question. I got the correct answer in <2 minutes using the process of elimination, but it was mostly a "feeling" that option D is the right answer. So, I spent a lot of time on trying to decipher it. Here are my thoughts. Hope it helps others get it, and I also hope someone will correct me if my thinking is wrong.

Conclusion: Codex Berinensis (hereby referred to as CB) was probably produced in 1148.
How did we reach this conclusion?
1. Guy 1 copied the first 80 pages --> disruption --> 10 pages by guy 2 --> disruption --> 10 pages by guy 3 --> disruption --> completed by guy 4.
2. Guy 4 also wrote a letter that mentions about a plague in 1148. It's tricky to know for sure if Guy 4 wrote this letter in the actual CB or just wrote the letter to someone. The first sentence "contains clues to when it was produced" is ambiguous in its meaning.

The final sentence can be summed up as: Because letter by Guy 4 mentions plague --> CB produced in 1148.
That's a huge jump. How does a letter written about a plague lead to the conclusion that the CB was produced in 1148?
Only if the plague played a role in producing the CB!

Now, this becomes easy. All we have to prove is that there was no other plague (other than the one that took place in 1148) that could have played a role in producing the CB.
In other words, what we're trying to support is that the CB was produced in 1148 and NOT BEFORE then. This is critical. I also fell into the trap of thinking: why can't the fourth guy have finished his work in 1180? But that's the wrong direction to think in.

I personally didn't buy into the fact that the plague was what caused the disruption for the first 3 guys in copying the CB. Maybe they moved, maybe they got another job, maybe they became disinterested in a repetitive and boring job. But it's not out of order to think that the plague caused the disruption. Who knows? All I have to prove is that the plague is 1148 played in role in producing the CB, and that it was no other plague. Option D does that.

Major Takeaways
- parsing out the truly unnecessary from the necessary. Once you understand what the argument is, and how it's made, the whole thing falls into place. Once I understood that the only thing I REALLY have to prove/support is that the plague of 1148 played a role in producing the CB, the rest became easy.
- I should have paid more attention to the last sentence and identified the jump in logic it was making. This took the longest time. Don't fight the jumps in logic with confusion and immediately jump to the answer choices.
- USE your confusion as the hole that you have to pour cement into.

Great question! Really haven't been challenged by a Strengthen question like this before.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2012, 05:41
1
Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient roman medical treatise , is undated but contains clues to when it was produced. Its first eighty pages are by a single copyist, but the remaining twenty 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 ten 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 on 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

Thanks
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2012, 07:48
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2013, 10:41
3
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

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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2013, 13:20
1
I select option D by the process of elimination.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2013, 22:38
4
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]

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07 Sep 2013, 11:05
Negeting the arguement is the only way to solve this tricky number
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2013, 22:38
I don't get the point here. We are in habit of taking premises as true and thus we can't challenge premises. However, in this question and OA the premise has been challenged.

Here is the first look,

Since a letter in handwriting identified as that of the fourth copyist mentions a plague that killed many people in Florence in 1148,
Conclusion:Codex Berinensis was probably produced in that year.

So When it is already mentioned that Plague happened to be in 1148 then what is the reason to speculate another plague.

Furthermore, had it been that a plague would have occurred before 1148 , still the writer mentioned a plague IN 1148 and then the book should have been completed by then.

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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2013, 05:42
I chose C because

: if a scribe can produce one page in a day, then the book would have taken only 80 days so must have been written around the same time as the fourth author who mentions 1148
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2013, 07:36
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.

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]

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28 Jan 2014, 00:45
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.

In the best interest of all GMATclub friends
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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28 Jan 2014, 01:11
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.

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.

Posted from my mobile device

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

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07 Jun 2014, 01:56
There was only one outbreak of plague in Florence in the 1100s.

Even if there was only one outbreak in 1100 and that was in 1148, the book can very well be written in 2000 since the fourth writer can complete the book in 2000 and mention the plague happened in 1148.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2014, 17:04
I don't see it. I came down to C and D, and chose C. I picked C because it reduced the possibility that the text was written over a long period of time (years). For example, it could be the case that manually copying entire book takes so long that the work was started in 1147 and finished in 1149, with a disruption happening in 1148. Moreover, I eliminated D because the letter writer explicitly states that there was a plague in that specific year, but this does not eliminate the possibility that something else caused the disruption mentioned in the question stem (frequent feudal wars, earthquakes, floods etc.). So if it was caused by the plague it was probably that one, and if there were other plagues the author would have been more likely to survive them and would mentioned them in the letter too...I mean, sure, I can see both of them being correct, but why would I assume that the problem of another plague causing the disruption would be any greater than the problem of actually being able to complete a work in a single year.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2014, 05:15
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D.

It says that the 1148 plague was the only plague that occurred in the 1100s. If no other plague occurred during this time, this strengthens the possibility that the 1148 plague was the cause of the disruption mentioned by the author. If there had been more than one plague during this period, then a plague in a year other than 1148 could have disrupted the copying of the Codex. Since there was no other plague, the author’s hypothesis is strengthened.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2014, 04:54
I don't understand how D is the correct answer. The 4th copyist could very well have produced the book in 1149, heck even 1160, or any other date.
How's this the correct answer? O.o
Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman   [#permalink] 27 Jul 2014, 04:54

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