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# Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati

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Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 05 Oct 2018, 06:21
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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.

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 251: Critical Reasoning

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Question No.: CR 184
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Originally posted by gurpreet07 on 02 Dec 2009, 13:06.
Last edited by Bunuel on 05 Oct 2018, 06:21, edited 6 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2018, 14:11
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The author concludes that "Codex Berinensis [CB] was probably produced in [1148]". How does the author arrive at that hypothesis?

First, some background information:

• CB is a Florentine (of or relating to Florence) copy of an ancient Roman medical treatise.
• There is no date on CB to signify when it was produced.
• However, CB contains clues to help us figure out when it was produced.

What are those clues?

• "Its first 80 pages are by a single copyist, but the remaining 20 pages are by three different copyists." - According to the author, this is evidence of significant disruption. In other words, this evidence suggests that the production of CB was significantly interrupted.
• "A letter in handwriting identified as that of the fourth copyist mentions a plague that killed many people in Florence in 1148." - Why were the final 20 pages completed by three different copyists? This letter suggests a possible explanation. A plague killing many people could have certainly disrupted the production of CB (as the copyists and/or their loved ones became sick).

To review the author's argument...

• Production of CB was significantly disrupted.
• A plague could have certainly caused such disruption.
• There was a serious plague in Florence in 1148.
• Thus, this Florentine document was probably produced at the time of that plague (1148).

But did the disruption actually occur in 1148? What if other events/illnesses could have interrupted production in other years? We need something that supports the hypothesis that Codex Berinensis was produced in 1148.

Quote:
(A) Other than Codex Berinensis, there are no known samples of the handwriting of the first three copyists.

If we DID have other samples of the copyists' handwriting, then that might help us date the document. But the lack of such evidence does not strengthen or weaken the hypothesis. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) According to the account by the fourth copyist, the plague went on for 10 months.

We already know that the plague "killed many people." So, regardless of its length, the plague could certainly have disrupted production. Also, (B) doesn't help us determine whether production could have been disrupted in other years. (B) doesn't help us, so eliminate this one.

Quote:
(C) A scribe would be able to copy a page of text the size and style of Codex Berinensis in a day.

(C) tells us that it probably took the last three copyists about 20 days to complete CB. So what? Why were there three copyists? Was the disruption caused by the plague of 1148? Choice (C) certainly supports the idea that CB could have been completed in less than a year, but it does not help us determine the year in which the work actually was done. Eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) There was only one outbreak of plague in Florence in the 1100s.

If there were multiple outbreaks of plague in Florence in the 1100s (i.e. 1105, 1148, and 1179), then the disruption could have occurred during ANY of those outbreaks. This would obviously weaken the hypothesis. Choice (D) eliminates this possiblity, thus strengthening the hypothesis. Hang on to this one.

Quote:
(E) The number of pages of Codex Berinensis produced by a single scribe becomes smaller with each successive change of copyist.

As with choice (C), (E) gives us information about the copyists' output. Each new copyist was less productive than the last. This is interesting, but it doesn't tell us anything about WHEN the document was produced. It doesn't even help us determine how long it took to produce the document. Choice (E) is irrelevant and can be eliminated.

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

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28 Mar 2012, 00:04
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Found the logic below in a different forum and I felt the explanation was great..

There seems to be a causal relationship involved...the argument says that there was a disruption that interfered with the copying of the Codex...then it proceeds to say that there was a letter from the 4th copyist about a plague in 1148(which happens to be the disruption) and this plague(disruption) caused the Codex to be produced that year.

Cause: Plague of 1148 (C)
Effect Delayed the Codex to be produced that year. (E)

C->E

Remember that in a causal relationship the author assumes that no other cause is responsible for the Effect. And he assures us that this cause is very much true(here he states that there was some significant disruption that caused the delay in produce - the plague of 1148).

Following this, we need to Strengthen the authors assumptions about his causal relationship by either:
1) showing C causes E
2) Eliminating other Causes
3) Eliminating reverse causality
4) Showing data used to make causality is accurate
5) if there is no cause then there is no effect.

Answer choice D properly demonstrates rule 2 "Eliminating other Causes"...if this was not the only plague then perhaps a later plague further delayed the Codex produce ...hope this helps...

(This question is particularly difficult because the causal relationship is difficult to spot, but you can try to do so by looking for Causal identifiers like "Since....<this>"..."therefore <this>")
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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02 Dec 2009, 18:58
2
1
D

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.

Codex Berinensis was probably produced in 1148.

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.
How does it matter if CB was produced in 1148, Rejected

(B) According to the account by the fourth copyist,
the plague went on for 10 months.
If the plague went on for 10 days, it does not affect if CB was produced in 1948

(C) A scribe would be able to copy a page of text
the size and style of Codex Berinensis in a day.
In a day it does not provide support for CB being produced in 1148
(D) There was only one outbreak of plague in
Florence in the 1100s.
This is correct I arrived by elimination. This is inline with the plague occurance and significant interruption due to it.
(E) The number of pages of Codex Berinensis
produced by a single scribe becomes smaller
smaller it does not affect our proposal that the CB was produced in 1148
with each successive change of copyist
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2009, 13:00
4
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? I’m not trying to just be contrary but I have to ask since I didn’t make those leaps to get to D as the OA. But I do see how every other answer is wrong. When I read this I said to myself, “Wait. None of them are right.”
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2010, 02:27
5
In this exercise we are not asked to find the truth, but just to find the option that most strongly supports the hypothesis. Even if the hypothesis is wrong, it doesn't matter because we need to find the evidence that will support it. If the question was: from the following, which one is true? Then it will be a problem because none is true. But the question is which one most strongly support the hypothesis, and out of those, the best is D.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2010, 13:36
Oops, gave u the wrong oA. Sorry. But I would not make that post if I did not want to get some solid explanation on it. So, please provide your reasoning if u can and if this question has been discussed befro, let me know the link.

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

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13 Aug 2010, 09:33
2
rlevochkin wrote:
So, please provide your reasoning if u can and if this question has been discussed befro, let me know the link.

Tx

D it is.

The premise is that:

A book is written by 4 people, the 1st 80 pages by A, the last 20 pages by B, C, D.
D mention a plague in 1148 that killed many ppl.

Conclusion:
The book is written in 1148.

Why would the last 20 pages need 3 people to write whereas the first 80 pages by 1? May be because the plague kill the first 3 guys? That sounds like what the Arguments lead us to.

What if there are another plague in 1146 or 1147 that kill the first 3? Then we cannot conclude that 1148 is the year. Therefore D acts as the "defender assumption" and wipe out all other possibility, 1148 is the only year in 100 years (1100s) that had the plague, and surely they don't wait for 100 years to write the next 20 pages
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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17 Sep 2011, 08:49
4
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 medical treati  [#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 medical treati  [#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 medical treati  [#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
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2014, 21:55
2
mahendru1992 wrote:
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

Link it up with the frequent change of copyists after 80 pages. Copyists kept changing implies some major disruption. There was a major disruption in 1148. So it might have been written in 1148. Copyists had to be changed because they were getting affected by plague. If there was no other plague in 1100s, it strengthens the conclusion that it was written in 1148. But as said before, it is a very weak conclusion. There could be many other reasons for change of copyists.
No other option strengthens the conclusion at all. Hence (D) is the most suitable out of the lot.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2014, 01:26
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.
Her
Conclusion: The book was probably produced in 1148.
Assumption: After the third writer, fourth writer took less than an year to complete the book.

Many people tend to confuse that the writer simply mentioned 1148. But how come he wrote that only 1148. I can quote what happened in 1148 and 2014. Here we are simply trying to strengthen it . That is we are simply increasing the chances with new evidence.

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. Book produced in 1148 has nothing to do with no known samples of first three copyists. Note we are only concerned about this book and year
b) According to the account by the fourth copyist, the plague went on for ten months. I can simply quote an even happened in past in present. It has nothing to do with prove book and year in which it is likely to produced.
c) A scribe would be able to copy a page of text the size and style of Codex Berinensis in a day. General fact. Doesn't go with conclusion
d) there was only on outbreak of plague in florence in the 1100s - Correct answer. Only major event in 1148 that could have stopped the previous three. The fourth guy would have started here in 1148. Not we are just strengthning we are not proving that it is finished in 1148. This answer would have been straight forward if the conclusion had indicated that book must have been produced post 1148.
e) The number of pages of Codex Berinensis produced by a single scribe becomes smaller with each successive change of copyist - [color=#0000ff]OFS.One can take 100 years to produce 100 pages. So what ? No evidence that the book is completed in 1148 . [/color]
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2014, 10:52
1
I picked E. Although none of the answer choices seems to explain that the Codex was written in that year.
D - What if the Codex was written 200 years after the outbreak?
in E - The number of pages of Codex Berinensis produced by a single scribe becomes smaller with each successive change of copyist.
If the number of pages written by a single person is decreasing, most probably it is because they simply died, and if decreasing, then most probably the disease became more and more spread, killing more people in less time.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2016, 03:07
1
ENAFEX wrote:
Found the logic below in a different forum and I felt the explanation was great..

There seems to be a causal relationship involved...the argument says that there was a disruption that interfered with the copying of the Codex...then it proceeds to say that there was a letter from the 4th copyist about a plague in 1148(which happens to be the disruption) and this plague(disruption) caused the Codex to be produced that year.

Cause: Plague of 1148 (C)
Effect Delayed the Codex to be produced that year. (E)

C->E

Remember that in a causal relationship the author assumes that no other cause is responsible for the Effect. And he assures us that this cause is very much true(here he states that there was some significant disruption that caused the delay in produce - the plague of 1148).

Following this, we need to Strengthen the authors assumptions about his causal relationship by either:
1) showing C causes E
2) Eliminating other Causes
3) Eliminating reverse causality
4) Showing data used to make causality is accurate
5) if there is no cause then there is no effect.

Answer choice D properly demonstrates rule 2 "Eliminating other Causes"...if this was not the only plague then perhaps a later plague further delayed the Codex produce ...hope this helps...

(This question is particularly difficult because the causal relationship is difficult to spot, but you can try to do so by looking for Causal identifiers like "Since....<this>"..."therefore <this>")

Thumb rule for Causal and Effect CR questions... it requires prethinking.
- For Causal and effect CR questions :-
- Prethinking
1) showing C causes E
2) Eliminating other Causes
3) Eliminating reverse causality
4) Showing data used to make causality is accurate
5) if there is no cause then there is no effect.

Kudos for the help!
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2017, 00:23
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?

Analysis - The passage points out that the changes in copyists indicate [b]that something prevented the first three copyists from completing the work. The passage then identifies this disruptive factor as the plague of 1148, thus dating the production of the Codex. The question then asks to identify information that would support this dating. [/b]

a) Other than Codex Berinensis, there are no known samples of the handwriting of the first three copyists (Similar traps as option A can be found in other strengthen questions)
Choice A is incorrect since other documents with handwriting by any of the first three copyists might help in establishing a date for the Codex, but the absence of this evidence provides no additional support for the 1148 dating. This weakens.
It would be good to know the other samples of the writings of the first three copyists, if that is missing, it only slightly weakens the conclusion. This is similar to if a study misses to point out something, then that only weakens.

b) According to the account by the fourth copyist, the plague went on for ten months.
the information about the duration of the plague cannot without considerable further data, provide evidence for or against the 1148 dating.

c) A scribe would be able to copy a page of text the size and style of Codex Berinensis in a day.
the length of time it took to produce the Codex cannot without considerable further data, provide evidence for or against the 1148 dating.

d) there was only one outbreak of plague in florence in the 1100s
Choice D is the best answer because if there had been other outbreaks of plague in the relevant period, one of these, instead of the plague of 1148, might have disrupted the manuscript’s production. This information therefore supports the hypothesis.

e) The number of pages of Codex Berinensis produced by a single scribe becomes smaller with each successive change of copyist
the length of time each scribe worked on the Codex cannot without considerable further data, provide evidence for or against the 1148 dating.
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2017, 12:28
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 -Even if there are no other known sources, then also we can't deduce the year in which the book was written from this option.
b) According to the account by the fourth copyist, the plague went on for ten months. -Out of scope
c) A scribe would be able to copy a page of text the size and style of Codex Berinensis in a day. -Out of scope
d) there was only on outbreak of plague in florence in the 1100s -Correct. If no other plague outbroke in Florence in 1100s other than in 1148, then it suggests that the premise and conclusion of the argument are indeed correct.
e) The number of pages of Codex Berinensis produced by a single scribe becomes smaller with each successive change of copyist -We are not worried about the pages
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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati  [#permalink]

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07 Sep 2017, 20:43
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
- who cares how many samples of the handwriting of the copyists are?

b) According to the account by the fourth copyist, the plague went on for ten months.
- who cares how long the plague went on for? what if it continued for another 100 months?

c) A scribe would be able to copy a page of text the size and style of Codex Berinensis in a day.
- so it can be copied in a day, so what? how does this narrow down whether the hypothesis was done in 1148?

d) There was only one outbreak of plague in florence in the 1100s
- if there was only ONE outbreak of a plague in florence in the 1100s, it must have been THE plague that killed many people in Florence in 1148 -- it can't be anything else

e) The number of pages of Codex Berinensis produced by a single scribe becomes smaller with each successive change of copyist
- this doesn't have to be b/c of the plague. maybe certain copyists like to write less and they planned to compose the writings in that manner? who knows?

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

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22 Nov 2017, 02:58
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.

Boil it down - Codex Berinensis was produced in 1148
Type - strengthen
The plague in 1148 CAUSED the first copyist to stop working, an assumption that -- if true -- links the production of the Codex Berinensis to that year.

a) Other than Codex Berinensis, there are no known samples of the handwriting of the first three copyists -Irrelevant - CB was produced by 4 copyists is given as a fact here
b) According to the account by the fourth copyist, the plague went on for ten months. - Weakener - If the first three copyist started in 1147 , then it weakens our claim
c) A scribe would be able to copy a page of text the size and style of Codex Berinensis in a day. - Irrelevant
d) there was only on outbreak of plague in florence in the 1100s - Correct - This answer choice RULES OUT the possibility that ANOTHER PLAGUE -- PRIOR TO 1148 -- caused the first copyist to stop working.
e) The number of pages of Codex Berinensis produced by a single scribe becomes smaller with each successive change of copyist - Irrelevant

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Re: Codex Berinensis, a Florentine copy of an ancient Roman medical treati   [#permalink] 22 Nov 2017, 02:58

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