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Between roughly 1350 and 1500, the English vernacular became established as a language of literary, bureaucratic, devotional and controversial writing; metropolitan artisans formed guilds for the production and sale of books for the first time; and Gutenberg's and eventually Caxton's printed books reached their first English consumers. This book gathers the best work on manuscript books in England made during this crucial but neglected period. Its authors survey existing research, gather intensive new evidence and develop new approaches to key topics. The chapters cover the material conditions and economy of the book trade; amateur production both lay and religious; the effects of censorship; and the impact on English book production of manuscripts and artisans from elsewhere in the British Isles and Europe. A wide-ranging and innovative series of essays, this volume is a major contribution to the history of the book in medieval England.
Learning to read in medieval Germany meant learning to read and understand Latin as well as the pupils' own language. The teaching methods used in the medieval Abbey of St Gall survive in the translations and commentaries of the monk, scholar and teacher Notker Labeo (c.950-1022). Notker's pedagogic method, although deeply rooted in classical and monastic traditions, demonstrates revolutionary innovations that include providing translations in the pupils' native German, supplying structural commentary in the form of simplified word order and punctuation, and furnishing special markers that helped readers to perform texts out loud. Anna Grotans examines this unique interplay between orality and literacy in Latin and Old High German, and illustrates her study with many examples from Notker's manuscripts. This study has much to contribute to our knowledge of medieval reading, and of the relationship between Latin and the vernacular in a variety of formal and informal contexts.
Professor Beach's book on female scribes in twelfth-century Bavaria - a full-length study of the role of women copyists in the Middle Ages - is underpinned by the notion that the scriptorium was central to the intellectual revival of the Middle Ages and that women played a role in this renaissance. The author examines the exceptional quantity of evidence of female scribal activity in three different religious communities, pointing out the various ways in which the women worked - alone, with other women, and even alongside men - to produce books for monastic libraries, and discussing why their work should have been made visible, whereas that of other female scribes remains invisible. Beach's focus on manuscript production, and the religious, intellectual, social and economic factors which shaped that production, enables her to draw wide-ranging conclusions of interest not only to palaeographers but also to those interested in reading, literacy, religion and gender history.
The Bobbio Missal was copied in south-eastern Gaul around the end of the seventh and beginning of the eighth century. It contains a unique combination of a lectionary and a sacramentary, to which a plethora of canonical and non-canonical material was added. The Missal is therefore highly regarded by liturgists; but, additionally, medieval historians welcome the information to be derived from material attached to the codex, which provides valuable data about the role and education of priests in Francia at that time, and indeed on their cultural and ideological background. The breadth of specialist knowledge provided by the team of scholars writing for this book enables the manuscript to be viewed as a whole, not as a narrow liturgical study. Collectively, the essays view the manuscript as physical object: they discuss the contents, they examine the language, and they look at the cultural context in which the codex was written.
The significance of the Bible in the life, thought and culture of the early Middle Ages can hardly be overstated. Here eleven linked studies, embracing palaeography, history, art history, theology and textual scholarship, examine and interpret the evidence of Bible manuscripts (including gospel books and Psalters) in their cultural context from late antiquity to the thirteenth century. Subjects include the earliest Bible manuscripts, the Gospels in a missionary context, the scriptorium of Tours, the development of the early glossed Psalter, the Old Testament in tenth- and eleventh-century England, the Italian Giant Bibles, the origins of the Paris Bible, the illustration of the early Gothic Psalter and the planning and production of the Hamburg Bible. Together these essays provide a broad-ranging, authoritative treatment of themes which are of central importance for the history and culture of the times.
This is a fascinating study of the making of the Harley Psalter, an illustrated manuscript which was produced at Christ Church, Canterbury, over a period of about 100 years, from c. 1020 to c. 1130. The Harley Psalter was closely based on the Utrecht Psalter, the most celebrated of all Carolingian illuminated manuscripts. Through meticulous observation of the Harley Psalter, William Noel analyses how the artists and scribes worked with each other and with their manuscript exemplars in making their illustrated text. The author demonstrates that this work is best understood not as a copy of the Utrecht Psalter, but rather as one of a series of Anglo-Saxon manuscript experiments that incorporated its imagery. This is a crucial work for understanding the development of art, script and book making during what has been termed the 'golden age' of Anglo-Saxon art.
From the time of its composition (c.1280) for Philip the Fair of France until the early sixteenth century, Giles of Rome's mirror of princes, the De regimine principum, was read by both lay and clerical readers in the original Latin and in several vernacular translations, and served as model or source for several works of princely advice. This study examines the relationship between this didactic political text and its audience by focusing on the textual and material aspects of the surviving manuscript copies, as well as on the evidence of ownership and use found in them and in documentary and literary sources. Briggs argues that lay readers used De regimine for several purposes, including as an educational treatise and military manual, whereas clerics, who often first came into contact with it at university, glossed, constructed apparatus for, and modified the text to suit their needs in their later professional lives.
The Byzantines used imagery to communicate a wide range of issues. In the context of Iconoclasm - the debate about the legitimacy of religious art conducted between c. AD 730 and 843 - Byzantine authors themselves claimed that visual images could express certain ideas better than words. Vision and Meaning in Ninth-Century Byzantium deals with how such visual communication worked and examines the types of messages that pictures could convey in the aftermath of Iconoclasm. Its focus is on a deluxe manuscript commissioned around 880, a copy of the fourth-century sermons of the Cappadocian church father Gregory of Nazianzus which presented to the Emperor Basil I, founder of the Macedonian dynasty, by one of the greatest scholars Byzantium ever produced, the patriarch Photios. The manuscript was lavishly decorated with gilded initials, elaborate headpieces and a full-page miniature before each of Gregory's sermons. Forty-six of these, including over 200 distinct scenes, survive. Fewer than half however were directly inspired by the homily that they accompany. Instead most function as commentaries on the ninth-century court and carefully deconstructed both provide us with information not available from preserved written sources and perhaps more important show us how visual images communicate differently from words.
A detailed study of the Trier Gospels, an important early medieval manuscript. Through an investigation of its production, Professor Netzer reveals the cross-cultural influences among the Insular, Continental and Mediterranean worlds in the eighth century, demonstrating in particular the complicated process of cultural interplay that took place in the scriptorium at Echternach. She traces the history of the production of the manuscript through a detailed analysis of its components: the individual texts, construction and arrangement of gatherings, scripts, ornamental initials, canon tables and illustrations. She sheds light on the manuscript's sources, on the different backgrounds of the two scribe-artists involved in its production, on the influences which determined the size and layout of the codex, the role of the pictures within the book, and the place of this manuscript in the development of Insular and Continental book production. This study makes a significant contribution to the understanding of early medieval book production and the influence of missionaries from the British Isles on early Continental culture.
Bernhard Bischoff (1906-1991) was one of the most renowned scholars of medieval palaeography of the twentieth century. His most outstanding contribution to learning was in the field of Carolingian studies, where his work is based on the catalogue of all extant ninth-century manuscripts and fragments. In this book, Michael Gorman has selected and translated seven of his classic essays on aspects of eighth- and ninth-century culture. They include an investigation of the manuscript evidence and the role of books in the transmission of culture from the sixth to the ninth century, and studies of the court libraries of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious. Bischoff also explores centres of learning outside the court in terms of the writing centres and the libraries associated with major monastic and cathedral schools respectively. This rich collection provides a full, coherent study of Carolingian culture from a number of different yet interdependent aspects, providing insights for scholars and students alike.
This book, first published in 2003, presents a detailed survey of all book scripts in use in western and central Europe from c.1100 to c.1530 (with the exception of Humanistic script). This period has been poorly served in almost all other palaeographical handbooks. By adopting a largely new classification of scripts based on objective criteria, which incorporates many of the terms currently in use, this book aims to end the confusion which has hitherto obscured the study of late-medieval handwriting. It is based upon an examination of a very large number of dated specimens, and is thus the first survey to take full advantage of the incomparable palaeographical resource provided by the Catalogues of Dated Manuscripts. The text is illustrated throughout with 600 drawings of letters and symbols. There are 160 actual-size reproductions providing datable specimens of all the scripts discussed, accompanied by partial transcriptions and palaeographical commentary.