Traverse Order


In the consideration of which came first— the Great Stemma or the Liber Genealogus— there remains one form of analysis which we have so far not discussed. It has not, to my knowledge, ever been employed to study the relationship between diagrams and texts.

This approach, which I devised for this project, analyses the order of the names to deduce information about the working practices of the author of the Liber Genealogus.

The method is based on the observation that the preferred order in which a stemma— any stemma— is read is a different one from the order of names that is generally employed in the Pentateuch.

At first glance, this approach does not seem very promising. By and large, the Liber presents its data, as obtained from Genesis and Exodus, in more or less biblical order, following a procedure known as breadth-first traverse.

This is a term from mathematics and computer programming to describe a rule-based sequence for reading the nodes of a tree diagram: the reader begins at the root and recites all the individuals at the first degree of separation from the root (in the case of a genealogy, this means naming the forefather first, then completely running through all the names of the second generation). A breadth-first traverse then reads the complete range of "cousin nodes" which comprise the next degree of separation. The breadth-first traverse sequence can also be described as level order.

Where breadth-first traverse is in effect, it is clear that the Liber Genealogus author has been working primarily from the text of the actual Book of Genesis.

However in a few cases, particularly when dealing with less important data that is given some etymological analysis, the order of handling seems to change to depth-first traverse, which is to say that the lines of descent are followed from the root through the second generation's first child, as before, but then continuing out to his first son (the third generation), and so on to the furthest offspring, then doubling back to any siblings of that furthest offspring. When that branch has been completely described, the reader backtracks to the prior generation's second child and completely explores his offspring, and so on.

These concepts are handily explained with diagrams in the Wikipedia articles tree traversal, breadth-first and depth-first.

We find the distinctive approach of depth-first traverse in the Liber treatment of the offspring of Keturah, a slave-spouse of Abraham, using material from Genesis 25:1-4. The scriptural text is predominantly a breadth-first traverse.

Here is the Vetus Latina version, as established by Fischer (I have attached d'Aboville numbers to all the following genealogies in order to make it easier to understand how the traverse alters in the various versions, and have bold-faced the items to which the reader should pay special attention):

Adiciens Abraham accepit uxorem cui nomen Cettura et peperit ei (1) Iembram et (2) Iectan et (3) Madan et (4) Madian et (5) Iesboc et (6) Soe; et Iectan genuit (2.1) Sabau et (2.2) Theman et (2.3) Dedan, et filii Dedan fuerunt (2.3.1) Raguel et (2.3.2) Namdel et (2.3.3) Assyrin et (2.3.4) Latisin et (2.3.5) Lomomin; et filii Madian: (4.1) Gefar et (4.2) Afer et (4.3) Enoch et (4.4) Abira et (4.5) Ezrasa. Omnes hii filii Ceturae.

In the original, G recension of the Liber Genealogus of 427, we find a notable change: the traverse has been altered to depth-first. Note how the personages marked above in bold text, numbered 3, 4 ,5 and 6, are delayed. Each is only listed after his older brother's descendants have been exhaustively listed:[*]The text as given here is from Mommsen, sections 257-262. G is preserved in two manuscripts: St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek 133, (CLA VII.911), written during the late 8th or early 9th century, probably at St. Gall, and Rome, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele II, Vitt. Em. 1325 (formerly Cheltenham or Phillipps 12266), written at Nonantola in the 10th or early 11th century. See Rouse/McNelis.

Nam et de Cettura concubina habuit Abraham filios sex: (1a) primitivus Iebda, (1b) secundus Baux; (2) III Iectan; et filii eius tres: (2.1) primitivus Sabau, (2.2) secundus Theman, (2.3) III Dedan; et filii eius Dedan quinque et ista nomina eorum: (2.3.1) primogenitus Raguel, (2.3.2) secundus Namdel, (2.3.3) III Assyrin, (2.3.4) IIII Latisunt, (2.3.5) V Lomomen;(3) tertius vero filius Abrahae Madam, (4) quartus Maxian; et filii eius quinque: (4.1) primitivus Gefar, (4.2) secundus Afer, (4.3) III Enoch, (4.4) IIII Abira, (4.5) V Aezrasa. (5) VI vero filius Abrahae Iesboe, (6) VII Soreri; hii omnes filii Abrahae sex de Cettura et nepotes XIII. [*] The numbering 1a and 1b arises because this version of the Liber accidentally converts Iembram (collected to Zimram in the Great Stemma) and splits the name in two, transmitting it as Iebda and Baux. As a result, the G text promises to name six sons of Keturah, but actually names seven. In addition, three of the names given, Theman, Raguel and Namdel, will be unfamiliar to western bible readers, as they were suppressed by Jerome.

The manipulation in order is significant, since it implies, at the very least, that the Liber author was working from abstracts, notes or intermediate works. Now it is hard to see why the order needed to be changed if these intermediate documents were textual in nature and were simply copied from Genesis. But if one of the abstracts used was a graphical stemma, we need only to consider the natural reading order for such a document, depth-first traverse, to instantly understand how the transposition happened.

The G author has not copied the names from Genesis, but from a diagram, reading each descent through to its end before beginning on the next sibling. The G manuscript is online, and readers are invited to check this text themselves.

The subsequent history of the text makes it even plainer that a diagram must have been the intermediate storage form of the data. Only eleven years after the G recension of the Liber Genealogus was made, the F editor (Plutei 20.54) has evidently revised the work without the benefit of the diagram. Instead, he seems to be checking the names against a Genesis text. He notices the difference in order and "rectifies" it in a remarkable manner: he leaves his predecessor's depth-first sequence in place, but cautiously he re-inserts persons 3, 4, 5 and 6 in their breadth-first positions as well, so that they are now duplicated:

Nam et de Cetthura concubina nati sunt Abraae filii VI: (1) primus nomine Zamram, (2) secundus Iexsam, (3) tertius Madian, (4) quartus Madian, (5) sextus [sic] Iesbochi, (6) sextus Sue; hii filii Abrae de Cetthura; porro Iexsam genuit: (2.1) Saban et (2.3) Dadan; Dadam autem genuit filios V (2.3.1) primus Raguel, (2.3.2) secundus Namdehel, (2.3.3) tertius Assurim, (2.3.4) quartus Latusim, (2.3.5) quintus Lommin; (3) tertius vero filius Habrae de Cetthura Madan dictus est, (4) quartus Madian et hii filii eius V: (4.1) primus Epha, (4.2) secundus Afer, (4.3) tertius Enoc, (4.4) quartus Abida, (4.5) quintus Eldaa; omnes hii filii Madian; (5) quinque filius Abraam Iesboch, (6) sextus Sue; hii omnes filii Abraam de Cetthura et nepotes duodecim. (Link to 26r) [*]This text can be read online: see Plutei 20.54 in Florence from 24r, commencing "Incipiunt genealogiae ...". Keturah begins near the end of 26r, 19 folios before the Great Stemma. Either the F editor, or a later copyist, has also used Jerome's Vulgate to rectify the names themselves: the Iebda-Baux split has been corrected, Ezrasa has been hebraicized to Eldaa, and the number of grandchildren has been corrected from 13 to 12 through the deletion of Theman. Oddly, Raguel and Namdel have been allowed to stand.

The T recension, or Origo Humani Generis, is more rigorous, fully restoring the Genesis structure and eliminating G's experiment with depth first. [*]De Cetthura concubina genuit filios sex: primus Lebda, secundus Bauz, tertius Iectan, quartus Mazian, quintus Iebos, sextus Coseri. Iectan genuit filios tres: primus Abaudus, secundus Temnan, tertius Dedan. Dedan genuit filios quinque: primus Raguel, secundus Nabdel, tertius Assur, quartus Latisin, quintus Lomon. Mazias genuit filios quinque: primus Cephur, secundus Afer, tertius Enodi, quartus Abira, quintus Ezrasa. But the Origo author has found a curious way of rectifying the number of Kettura's sons to six: he has decided to stay with the Iebda-Bauz split while eliminating the first of the Madan-Madian pair.

We now turn to the Great Stemma, and here we make the surprising discovery that it lends itself very well to being read in depth-first order. In the Epsilon and Alpha recensions, Keturah is placed in a roundel below Abraham, and her children are beaded along a vertical string below this roundel. Her grandchildren branch off on both sides of this line of sons. Below is an adaptation to English of the Keturah section of the Plutei 20.54 manuscript.

Initially I had certain doubts about this because I thought the arrangement we see in Plutei might not have been the original one. However it seems to me on reflection that whereas the 5th-century layout is uncertain, the known form of the diagram fits quite well with the evidence. One can read the diagram down to Jokshan, shear away to the left to his sons, return to the stem line, take in Midian's sons, and terminate the reading with Shuah. It therefore seems to me highly likely that the G recension of the Liber is a written account of what we see in the Epsilon/Alpha recensions of the Great Stemma.

So far I have found four other instances where the G recension (sometimes imitated by the L recension) stacks its data in depth-first order, at least partially. I have set out these cases in the following tabulations. We will see that the T recension or Origo consistently sticks much more faithfully to the scriptural model than G does. In the example above, I bold-faced the delayed siblings; but from now on I will instead mark the sections that are depth-first in bold.

The first instance is the array of Esau's five wives. The first two are introduced at Genesis 26: 34-35. The remaining three are listed at Genesis 36:1-5, which first lists all the wives, then follows up with the children at 15-19. But both G and F break with that order:

Scriptural order breadth-first (Septuagint) G order depth-first F order T order: Origo Humani Generis
Esau's wives: Gen 26:34: (A) Ioudin daughter of Beer. Gen 28:9: (B) Maeleth, daughter of Ismael. Gen 36:1-5: (C) Ada daughter of Ailon the Chettite, (D) Olibema daughter of Ana, (E) Basemmath daughter of Ismael; Ada bore (C.1) Eliphaz, Basemmath bore (E.1) Ragouel, Olibema bore (D.1) Ieous, (D.2) Ieglom, (D.3) Kore. Gen 11-13: Sons of Eliphaz: (C.1.1) Thaiman, (C.1.2) Omar, (C.1.3) Sophar, (C.1.4) Gothom, (C.1.5) Kenez, (C.1.6) Amalek. Sons of Ragouel: (E.1.1) Nachoth, (E.1.2) Zare, (E.1.3) Some, (E.1.4) Moze. Genesis 15:19: (C.1.5.1) Kenites, (C.1.5.2) Kenezites, (C.1.5.3) Kedmonites, (C.1.5.4) Chettites. Genesis 36:33: (E.1.2.1) Iobab son of Zara. Job 42:14: Day, Cassia, Horn of Antimony. Ipse Esau habuit uxoris quinque: (A) prima Iudin filiam Heber Cetthei; (E) secunda Basemath filiam Elom Euhei, de ipsa natus est (E.1) Raguel, qui Raguel habuit filios IIII: (E.1.1) primitivus Nachet, (E.1.2) secundus Zareth, quia Zaret genuit (E.1.2.1) Iob ..., (E.1.3) tertius Some, (E.1.4) IIII Mozae...; (B) tertia Malel filia Ismahel sterelis fuit; (C) quarta Ada filia Elom Cetthei, ex ipsa natus est (C.1) Elifas Themaneorum rex ... qui habuit filios V, (C.1.1) primitivus Theman, (C.1.2) secundus Omar, (C.1.3) III Sofar Nomadorum rex, (C.1.4) IIII Gothomi, (C.1.5) V Zenez ..., ex illis nati sunt (C.1.5.1) Cenei de Sophar et (C.1.5.2) Cenez, (C.1.5.3) Cenezei et (C.1.5.4) Cinei, ... (C.1.6) Amalech...; Nam uxor Esau quinta fuit Annae Euhei nomine (D) Elibama ex ipsa natus est (D.1) Iehul et (D.2) Iegloria et (D.3) Chorrem tertius. (268-277) Ipse Esau abuit uxores quinque: (A) prima Iudin filiam Eber Cethei; aliam nomine (E) Basemath filiam Elon Euei qui genuit (E.1) Rauel, Raguel autem genuit filios quattuor: (E.1.1) primus Naath, (E.1.2) secundus Zaraa..., (E.1.3) tertius Senna, (E.1.4) quartus Maza; secundus vero filius Rauel Zara genuit (E.1.2.1) Iob... filiarum autum ob hec sunt nomina: primas (E. Die, IIus (E. Cassia, IIIus (E. in Iob Cornus Tibie ...; tertia autum uxor Esau (B) Malaleel et dicta est filia qui fuit sterelis; (C) quarta Ada filia Elon Ethei, ex ipsa natus est (C.1) Elifaz Themaneorum rex ... qui habuit filios quinque, (C.1.1) I Theman, (C.1.2) II Gomar, (C.1.3) III Sophar (C.1.4) IIII Gotomi, (C.1.5) V Cenaz ex illo nati sunt (C.1.5.1) Cenei et (C.1.5.2) Cezei; (C.1.6) Amalech...; Nam uxor Esau quinta filia fuit Ame Cunei nomine (D) Oolibama ex ipsa nati sunt (D.1) Geul et (D.2) Eglon et (D.3) Core.. (Link to 26r. This seems to be the only text that sets out the daughters of Job.) Esau duxit uxores V: (A) prima Iudin, filia Heber Cetthei, (E) secunda Basemat, filia Helon Euuei, (B) tertia Malelelet, filia Ismael, (C) quarta Ada, filia Elon Cetthei, (D) quinta Elibema, filia Annei Euuei. De Ada, filia Elom Cetthei, genuit (C.1) Eliphas Temaneorum. De Elibema genuit filios tres: (D.1) primus Ieul, (D.2) secundus Ieclom, (D.3) tertius Correm. (D.1.1) Ieul genuit Zara. Zara genuit (D.1.1.1) Iobab, id est Iob. Eliphas Temanaeorum genuit filios V: (C.1.1) primus Themaris, (C.1.1.2) secundus Omera, (C.1.3) tertius Zophar Nomades, (C.1.4) quartus Gothom, (C.1.5) quintus Cenez, ex quo Cenezei. Item de concubina nomine Tham, quae fuit soror Lotan, filia Seir Cetthei, genuit filium (C.1.6) Amalech.

It is notable in the data above that both the G and F texts of the Liber employ depth-first traverse. The Origo restores the breadth-first method, although it does not revise the wife order, but retains the distinctive order where Basemath is second instead of fifth.

The treatment of this section in our manuscripts of the Great Stemma is ambigous. One suspects there may have once been a graphic format in use long ago which favoured the traverse format, but firm evidence for this does not exist. This issue is discussed on the Esau page.

Let us now turn, in a second tabulation, to the data order of the Horrite tribes from Genesis 36:20-30. We have discussed separately the manifold revisions, and errors in this section during the copying history of the Great Stemma:

Scriptural order breadth-first (Septuagint) G order depth-first F order T order: Origo Humani Generis
The Horrites: Gen 36:20-30 (1) Lotan, (2) Thamna, (3) Sobal, (4) Sebegon, (5) Ana, (6) Deson, (7) Asar, (8) Rison. Sons of Lotan (1.1) Chorri, (1.2) Haiman. Sons of Sobal (3.1) Golon, (3.2) Manachath, (3.3) Gaibel, (3.4) Soph, (3.5) Onam. Sons of Sebegon (4.1) Aie, (4.2) Onan: Children of Ana (5.1) Deson, (5.2) Olibema. Sons of Deson (6.1) Hamada, (6.2) Asban, (6.3) Iethran, (6.4) Charran. Sons of Asar (7.1) Balaan, (7.2) Zoukam, (7.3) Ioykam, (7.4) Oukan. Sons of Rison (8.1) Os, (8.2) Aram. (1) Primitivus Lothan et filii eius duo: (1.2) Eman et (1.1) Chorri; (3) secundus Sobal et filii eius sex: (3.2a) Anacha, (3.2b) Cat, (3.3) Gebel, (3.4) Sophan et (3.5) Onan; (4) tertius Sebegon et filii eius duo: (4.1) Ea et (4.2) Enan...; (5) quartus Anan et filii eius duo: (5.1) Deson et (5.2) Elibathe; (6) quintus Deson et filii IIII: (6.1) Emadan, (6.2) Asban, (6.3) Thara et (6.4) Cortum; (7) sextus Asan et filii eius quattuor: (7.1) Balan, (7.2) Zuchan, (7.3) Iuscham et (7.4) Uschan; (8) septimus Rison et filii eius duo: (8.1) Oe et (8.2) Arranh. (295-302. Peculiarities here are the omission of 2 and 3.1 (both found in GS) and the division of 3.2, as well as the transposition in order of Haiman and Chorri.) Septem enim fuerunt fili Seir Orrei et nepotes XXII et ista nomina eorum: (1) primus Iotan et filii eius duo: (1.2) Eman et (1.1) Corei; (3) II Sobal et filii eius sex: (3.2a) Aban, (3.2b) Manaat, (3.3) Ebal, (3.4) Sevi et (3.5) Onam; (4) tertius Sebegon et filii eius duo: (4.1) Aia et (4.2) Onas...; (5) [omitted]; (6) V Dison et filii eius IIII: (6.1-4) [omitted]; (7) [omitted]: (7.1) Balaam, (7.2) Zucam, (7.3) Iosdam et (7.4) Iuscam, VI; (8) VII Rison et filii eius duo: (8.1) Ohe et (8.2) Aran. Hii sunt filii Seir septem et soror eorum (2) Tamna ... (Link to 26v.) (1) Primus filius Lotan et filii duo: (1.1) Eman et (1.2) Chorri; (3) secundus Subal et fili sex: (3.1) Collam, (3.2a) Macha, (3.2b) Cath, (3.3) Gabel, (3.4) Soran, et (3.5) Ionan; (4) tertius Sebegeon et filii duo, (4.1) Aea et (4.2) Oman; (5) quartus Anor et filii duo: (5.1) Deson et (5.2) Euibathe; (6) quintus Deson et fili IV: (6.1) Emadan, (6.2) Asban, (6.3) Tharram, (6.4) Corram; (7) sextus Asan et filii IV: (7.1) Balam, (7.2) Zucan, (7.3) Ioascan, (7.4) Iuscan; (8) septimus Rison et filii duo: (8.1) Oe, (8.2) Arram.

This depth-first order is fairly close to what we see it in the Great Stemma, where it is natural to read each line from top to bottom. Plainly there are some errors in our recensions, particularly with the sons of Sobal, which appear in altered order. Some names have been seriously altered orthographically: for example Oe has become Hus. But it is plain that a diagrammatic summary must have served as a buffer in compiling this information for the Liber Genealogus. Doubtless the archetype of the Great Stemma in use in 427 was more accurate in these details than the recensions we now see. Epsilon is pictured:

The third tabulation comprises a section that is entirely omitted all of our recensions of the Great Stemma: a listing found in the Liber Genealogus of two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren of the Patriarch Reuben. This raises not one but two interesting questions: why is the text missing from the Great Stemma, and what is the source of a curious error, the duplication of one of the names?

The only grandson of Reuben named by scripture is Eliab. Genesis names three sons of Eliab. These four persons are likely to have been described as a group in the original diagram which was consulted by the Liber author, since the G/F recensions list them depth-first.

Scriptural order breadth-first (Septuagint) G order depth-first F order T order: Origo Humani Generis
Sons of (1) Rouben: Gen 46:9: (1.1) Henoch, (1.2) Phallous, (1.3) Hasron, (1.4) Charmi. Num 26:8-9 (also 16:1): sons [sic] of Phallou: (1.2.1) Eliab. Sons of Eliab: ( Namouel, ( Dathan, ( Abiron. Ista nomina filiorum (1) Ruben: (1.1) primitivus Enoch ..., (1.2) secundus Phallus ... qui genuit (1.2.2) Enoch et (1.2.1) Eliab. Eliab genuit ( Datan ( Namuhel et ( Abyron.... (1.3) tertius Aaron ... (1.4) IIII Carmin ... (324-328. None of our mss. of the Great Stemma transmit this sub-branch. A peculiarity of this passage is the interpolation of 1.2.2 Enoch, not found in scripture.) Ista nomina filiorum (1) Ruben: (1.1) primus Enoch ..., (1.2) secundus Fallus, ipse est qui genuit (1.2.2) Enoch et (1.2.1) Eliab. Eliab genuit ( Datan ( Namuhel et ( Abiron.... (1.3) tertius filius Ruben Asor ... (1.4) Quartus Carmin ... (Link to 26v.) Ipse (1) Ruben genuit filios IV: (1.1) Enos ... (1.2) Palus ... (1.3) Astron ... (1.4) Carmin ... Palus genuit filios duos: (1.2.2) Enoch et (1.2.1) Eliab; Eliab genuit filios tres: ( Dathan, ( Namuel et ( Abyron....

An extra person, 1.2.2 Enoch, has been inserted here. He is surely a duplicate of the Enoch numbered 1.1. The duplication may come from a variant Vetus Latina text (it is notable that Phallou is said by Genesis to have sons in the plural), but this is more likely to have arisen from a misreading of the source diagram.[*]There is no critical edition of the Vetus Latina version of Numbers yet.

All five persons are entirely absent from our recensions of the Great Stemma. It is plausible to suppose that this part of the diagram's material was omitted when the Stemma was converted from roll to sectional form.

A section at the end of the Liber Genealogus which recapitulates the main figures among the Levites down to Moses and his sons provides our fourth tabulation. This a separated, appended section of the Liber. The corresponding passage of the Great Stemma is placed halfway through the chart, and has a peculiar arrangement which at first might appear disordered. Close analysis of the Liber Genealogus allows us to suggest reasons for these distortions. Here are the text passages to compare:[*]There is no critical edition of the Vetus Latina version of Exodus yet.

Scriptural order breadth-first (Septuagint) G order depth-first F order T order: Origo Humani Generis
Levi recapitulation: Exodus 6:16-25: (1) Leui, (1.1) Gedson (1.2) Kaath (1.3) Merari. Sons of Gedson: (1.1.1) Lobeni, (1.1.2) Semei. Sons of Kaath: (1.2.1) Amram, (1.2.2) Isaar, (1.2.3) Chebron (1.2.4) Oziel. Sons of Merari: (1.3.1) Mooli (1.3.2) Omousi. Children of Amram: ( Aaron, ( Moses, ( Mariam. Sons of Isaar: ( Kore, ( Napheg, ( Zechri. Sons of Oziel: ( Misael, ( Elisaphan, ( Setri. Sons of Aaron: ( Nadab, ( Abioud ( Eleazar, ( Ithamar. Sons of Kore: ( Asir, ( Elkana, ( Abiasath. Son of Eleazar: ( Phinees. Exodus 18:3-4: sons of Moses ( Gersam, ( Eliezer. (1) Levi genuit (1.2) Gaath. Gaath autem genuit (1.2.1) Ambram. Ambram genuit ( Aaron et ( Moysen et ( Mariam ex Iocabeth. Et Aaron sacerdos genuit ( Nadab et ( Abiud .. et ( Eleazar ... et ( Itamar. ... Eleazar genuit ( Finees. Deinde Moyses ipse genuit ( Gersam et ( Eleazarum (474-495). (See Caput 30. In the GS, only Beta includes ( Finees.) Qui Moises ex genere Levitarum erat. (1) Levi enim genuit (1.2) Gaat... Gaath genuit (1.2.1) Amram. Amram genuit ( Aaron, ( Moysen et ( Mariam... Aaron genuit ex Elisabeth ... ( Babiuth et ( Nabaioth ... et ( Eleazar ... et ( Ithamar. Nam Eleazar genuit ( Finees.... (1.2.2). Moyses ... genuit ( Gersan ... et ( Eleazarum. (Link to 27v. This section is heavily abridged by the F editor.) (1) Leuui genuit (1.1) Cath. Cath genuit (1.1.1) Ambram. Ambram genuit filios tres, (1.1.1) Aaron, (1.1.2) Moyses, et (1.1.3) Mariam sororem eorum ... Aaron genuit filios duos, ( Nadab et ( Abiud ... Item genuit filios II, ( Eleazar et ( Ithamar. Eleazar genuit ( Finees. Moyses genuit filios II, ( Gersam et ( Eliezer.

G omits part of the biblical text, but it is plain that it varies the order to set out depth-first those names it does include.

Why Misiel appears a second time in the G recension of the Liber as Masiel, an additional, fictitious son of Issar, is unclear.

Having made my case, I do not want to conceal the fact that some of the evidence still seems anomalous. We have established a loose association in the data order between the G recension and the Great Stemma, but have also noted certain peculiarities in the Great Stemma's data presentation which require further study:

If the data in the Liber follows the order of the diagram at the micro level, what can we say of the macro level? Here, one again, we find that the text order mimics the data order of the most likely original format of the chart. The numbers in the following diagram represent the order of the material in the Liber Genealogus, overlaid on a schematic view of the Great Stemma:

Here we see how the Liber begins the upper line (Filum A), interrupts this with Filum B (the children of Cain), then continues via the Matthew genealogy to Christ, then examines the timeline material (in yellow) and closes with the Lucan genealogy (the blue line at bottom ending with an arrow at right).

My hypothesis is that the abstract used by the Liber author took the form of a diagram, and that the Liber author entered the personal names into his text in the order in which he read them from that diagram. The Great Stemma in the form we now see, split into codex pages, it is not that diagram, but the evidence consistently points to the existence of an earlier, parent version, the ur-Stemma, which must have been drawn in a more logically consistent fashion without the constraints of being divided into page-sized sections.

This position was argued in a paper I presented in August 2011 at the Oxford Patristics Conference. The paper is to appear in Studia Patristica 54 and is currently in press.

The next step in research would be to reconstruct the layout of an ur-Stemma that could have served as the unitary source of both the Liber in its G recension and of the Great Stemma. To accomplish this we would need to deconstruct the Great Stemma as we see it now, removing from it:

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