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See below for a selection of the latest books from Palaeography (history of writing) category. Presented with a red border are the Palaeography (history of writing) books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Palaeography (history of writing) books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Palaeography, both in the narrow sense of the history of handwriting and more broadly as book history and the study of documents and manuscripts as material objects, stands as the foundation of much of medieval studies. However, the palaeographical method has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, due on the one hand to the ever continuing desire for greater rigour, and on the other to the sudden availability of many thousands - if not millions - of digitised manuscripts and relatively powerful desktop computers with which to manipulate them. This book presents an authoritative reflection of the state of the art in the application of ICT to the field of palaeography. Although the focus is on palaeography in the narrow sense of Western European medieval handwriting, some chapters apply to the field more widely and encompass issues such as crowdsourcing, diplomatics, and digital libraries as well as Hebrew and modern manuscripts.
Latin books are among the most numerous surviving artifacts of the Late Antique, Mediaeval, and Renaissance periods in European history; written in a variety of formats and scripts, they preserve the literary, philosophical, scientific, and religious heritage of the West. The Oxford Handbook of Latin Palaeography surveys these books, with special emphasis on the variety of scripts in which they were written. Palaeography, in the strictest sense, examines how the changing styles of script and the fluctuating shapes of individual letters allow the date and the place of production of books to be determined. More broadly conceived, palaeography examines the totality of early book production, ownership, dissemination, and use. The Oxford Handbook of Latin Palaeography includes essays on major types of script (Uncial, Insular, Beneventan, Visigothic, Gothic, etc.), describing what defines these distinct script types, and outlining when and where they were used. It expands on previous handbooks of the subject by incorporating select essays on less well-studied periods and regions, in particular late mediaeval Eastern Europe. The Oxford Handbook of Latin Palaeography is also distinguished from prior handbooks by its extensive focus on codicology and on the cultural settings and contexts of mediaeval books. Essays treat of various important features, formats, styles, and genres of mediaeval books, and of representative mediaeval libraries as intellectual centers. Additional studies explore questions of orality and the written word, the book trade, glossing and glossaries, and manuscript cataloguing. The extensive plates and figures in the volume will provide readers wtih clear illustrations of the major points, and the succinct bibliographies in each essay will direct them to more detailed works in the field.
In this book, Philip Zhakevich examines the technology of writing as it existed in the southern Levant during the Iron Age II period, after the alphabetic writing system had fully taken root in the region. Using the Hebrew Bible as its corpus and focusing on a set of Hebrew terms that designated writing surfaces and instruments, this study synthesizes the semantic data of the Bible with the archeological and art-historical evidence for writing in ancient Israel. The bulk of this work comprises an in-depth lexicographical analysis of Biblical Hebrew terms related to Israel's writing technologies. Employing comparative Semitics, lexical semantics, and archaeology, Zhakevich provides a thorough analysis of the origins of the relevant terms; their use in the biblical text, Ben Sira, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and ancient Hebrew inscriptions; and their translation in the Septuagint and other ancient versions. The final chapter evaluates Israel's writing practices in light of those of the ancient world, concluding that Israel's most common form of writing (i.e., writing with ink on ostraca and papyrus) is Egyptian in origin and was introduced into Canaan during the New Kingdom. Comprehensive and original in its scope, Scribal Tools in Ancient Israel is a landmark contribution to our knowledge of scribes and scribal practices in ancient Israel. Students and scholars interested in language and literacy in the first-millennium Levant in particular will profit from this volume.
This work, by the greatest living authority on medieval palaeography, offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date account in any language of the history of Latin script. It also contains a detailed account of the role of the book in cultural history from antiquity to the Renaissance, which outlines the history of book illumination. Designed as a textbook, it contains a full and updated bibliography. Because the volume sets the development of Latin script in its cultural context, it also provides an unrivalled introduction to the nature of medieval Latin culture. It will be used extensively in the teaching of latin palaeography, and is unlikely to be superseded.
Decades after Michael Ventris deciphered Linear B and showed that its language was Greek, nearly one-sixth of its syllabic signs' sound-values are still unknown. This book offers a new approach to establishing these undeciphered signs' possible values. Analysis of Linear B's structure and usage not only establishes these signs' most likely sound-values - providing the best possible basis for future decipherments - but also sheds light on the writing system as a whole. The undeciphered signs are also used to explore the evidence provided by palaeography for the chronology of the Linear B documents and the activities of the Mycenaean scribes. The conclusions presented in this book therefore deepen our understanding not only of the undeciphered signs but also of the Linear B writing system as a whole, the texts it was used to write, and the insight these documents bring us into the world of the Mycenaean palaces.
'Phags-pa Chinese is the earliest form of the Chinese language to be written in a systematically devised alphabetic script. It is named after its creator, a brilliant thirteenth-century Tibetan scholar-monk who also served as political adviser to Kublai Khan. 'Phags-pa's invention of an alphabet for the Mongolian language remains an extraordinarily important accomplishment, both conceptually and practically. With it he achieved nothing less than the creation of a unified script for all of the numerous peoples in the Mongolian empire, including the Central Asian Turks and Sinitic-speaking Chinese. 'Phags-pa is of immense importance for the study of premodern Chinese phonology. However, the script is difficult to read and interpret, and secondary materials on it are scattered and not easily obtained. The present book is intended as a practical introduction to 'Phags-pa Chinese studies and a guide for reading and interpreting the script. It consists of two parts. The first part is an introductory section comprising four chapters. This is followed by a glossary of 'Phags-pa Chinese forms and their corresponding Chinese characters, together with pinyin and stroke order indexes to those characters. The first introductory chapter outlines the invention of the 'Phags-pa writing system, summarizes the major types of material preserved in it, and describes the historical and linguistic contexts in which this invention occurred. Following chapters detail the history of 'Phags-pa studies, the alphabet and its interpretation, and the salient features of the underlying sound system represented by the script, comparing it with those of various later forms of Chinese that have been recorded in alphabetic sources. A Handbook of 'Phags-pa Chinese will be of special interest to Chinese historical phonologists and scholars concerned with the history and culture of China and Central Asia during the Yuan period (1279-1368 A.D.).
The Decipherment of Ancient Maya Writing is an important story of intellectual discovery and a tale of code breaking comparable to the interpreting of Egyptian hieroglyphs and the decoding of cuneiform. Using classic articles taken from publications unavailable to most readers, accounts by Spaniards who witnessed the writing of the glyphs and research by twentieth-century scholars--from Tatiana Proskouriakoff to Michael Coe--this book provides a history of the interpretation of Maya hieroglyphs. Introductory essays offer the historical context and describe the personalities and theories of the many authors who contributed to the understanding of these ancient glyphs.More than two hundred line drawings illustrate the text and serve as an introduction to decipherment. This landmark work in Maya studies is the first book to examine the centuries of thought behind the decoding of Maya hieroglyphs.
From the earliest scratches on stone and bone to the languages of computers and the internet, A History of Writing offers an investigation into the origin and development of writing throughout the world. Illustrated with numerous examples, this book offers a global overview in a format that everyone can follow. Steven Roger Fischer also reveals his own discoveries made since the early 1980s, making it a useful reference for students and specialists as well as a delightful read for lovers of the written word everywhere.
The cuneiform script, the writing system of ancient Mesopotamia, was witness to one of the world's oldest literate cultures. For over three millennia, it was the vehicle of communication from (at its greatest extent) Iran to the Mediterranean, Anatolia to Egypt. The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture examines the Ancient Middle East through the lens of cuneiform writing. The contributors, a mix of scholars from across the disciplines, explore, define, and to some extent look beyond the boundaries of the written word, using Mesopotamia's clay tablets and stone inscriptions not just as 'texts' but also as material artefacts that offer much additional information about their creators, readers, users and owners.
Medieval cartularies are one of the most significant sources for a historian of the Middle Ages. Once viewed as simply repositories of charters, cartularies are now regarded as carefully curated collections of texts whose contents and arrangement reflect the immediate concerns and archival environment of the communities that created them. One feature of the cartulary in particular that has not been studied so fully is its materiality: the fact that it is a manuscript. Consequently, it has not been recognised that many cartularies are multi-scribe manuscripts which grew for many decades after their initial creation, both physically and textually. This book offers a new methodology which engages with multi-scribe contributions in two cartulary manuscripts: the oldest cartularies of Glasgow Cathedral and Lindores Abbey. It integrates the physical and textual features of the manuscripts in order to analyse how and why they grew in stages across time. Applying this methodology reveals two communities that took an active approach to reading and shaping their cartularies, treating these manuscripts as a shared space. This raises fundamental questions about the definition of cartularies and how they functioned, their relationship to archives of single-sheet documents, and as sources for institutional identity. It therefore takes a fresh look at the genre of medieval cartularies through the eyes of the manuscripts themselves, and what this can reveal about their medieval scribes and readers. JOANNA TUCKER gained her PhD from the University of Glasgow.
What has fifteenth-century England to do with the Renaissance? By challenging accepted notions of 'medieval' and 'early modern' David Rundle proposes a new understanding of English engagement with the Renaissance. He does so by focussing on one central element of the humanist agenda - the reform of the script and of the book more generally - to demonstrate a tradition of engagement from the 1430s into the early sixteenth century. Introducing a cast-list of scribes and collectors who are not only English and Italian but also Scottish, Dutch and German, this study sheds light on the cosmopolitanism central to the success of the humanist agenda. Questioning accepted narratives of the slow spread of the Renaissance from Italy to other parts of Europe, Rundle suggests new possibilities for the fields of manuscript studies and the study of Renaissance humanism.