Size Matters (Part 2): Giant Medieval Manuscripts!

medievalfragments

By Jenny Weston

In last week’s blogpost, Irene O’Daly explored the world of portable books — manuscripts that are small enough (and light enough) to be carried around by the user. In today’s post we shift our attention to the opposite end of the ‘size-spectrum’ and examine some of the largest manuscripts ever produced in the Middle Ages.

Book1 Late-Medieval Choir Books

While most medieval manuscripts are of a size that could be easily picked up and carried, there are some books that are so large and so heavy that it would take two (or more) people to move them.

Among these are volumes known as ‘Giant Bibles’. These books typically contain a complete collection of the Old and New Testaments and present huge dimensions. One particularly famous large-format Bible is an early thirteenth-century pandect known as the Codex Gigas, which measures (a whopping) 890 x 490 mm and weighs over 165 pounds. In addition to…

View original post 594 more words

Advertisements

Size Matters: Portable Medieval Manuscripts

medievalfragments

By Irene O’Daly

Medieval books were often expensive to produce, and usually the property of institutions. But some manuscripts were copied specifically for individuals, and designed to be carried on the person. Portable manuscripts come in many different forms and each is a witness to a different context of use – a valuable insight into medieval culture. Size is a major factor influencing the portability of an object, indeed, it can be a defining characteristic in evaluating the potential use-context of a manuscript, as discussed here in another blog entry. But size does not always tell the full story.

Take, for example, the production of one-volume Bibles in the thirteenth century. These Bibles (often termed ‘Paris Bibles’, as Paris was the major, though not only, centre of their production) represented a dramatic departure from previous practices. Bibles were traditionally large, often copied in separate volumes, but Paris Bibles were…

View original post 545 more words

PhillyDH@Penn

PennWIC

PhillyDH@PennWe are excited to announce that PhillyDH@Penn will be back for a second year on Friday, June 20, 2014, in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, 6th floor of Van Pelt Library. PhillyDH@Penn is a digital humanities unconference, planned by folks from the PhillyDH group and Penn Libraries. Last year’s unconference drew attendees working in schools, libraries, museums, cultural and historical institutions around the Philadelphia-area and beyond.

This year’s unconference will feature a lightning round, hour-long workshops sessions, and many unconference sessions (learn more about unconferences). Anyone at any level of DH scholarship is welcome to attend – we have the most basic workshops and more advanced sessions. Most importantly, PhillyDH@Penn provides an opportunity to learn, network with colleagues, and bring this knowledge back to your own DH endeavors.

Registration is now open. We are also looking for unconference…

View original post 59 more words

13th Century Entanglements, Part 3

S.J. Pearce is an assistant professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University, where her teaching and research focus on the intellectual history and literature of Jews, Christians and Muslims in medieval Spain.  She is currently completing a book-length project that examines the ways in which Jewish intellectuals in 13th-century Spain and France understood Arabic to be a language of cultural prestige.  She earned her Ph.D. at Cornell University (Near Eastern Studies, 2011); and during the 2012-13 academic year, held the Louis and Hortense Apfelbaum Fellowship at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  The 2012-2013 Fellows contributed to a new web exhibit titled 13th Century Entanglements:  Judaism, Christianity & Islam, in which each Fellow presented a manuscript or printed work used in research during the year.  Dr. Pearce chose LJS 453, and her text from the exhibit follows.

View original post 408 more words

13th Century Entanglements, Part 2

Katelyn Mesler received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2012.  In 2012-2013, she held the Erika A. Strauss Teaching Fellowship at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, and she is currently a Mandel Fellow in the Scholion Interdisciplinary Research Center in the Humanities and Jewish Studies (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem).  She has published several articles on topics ranging from medieval Christian eschatology to magic, medicine, and science in the medieval Jewish and Christian traditions.  The 2012-2013 Fellows contributed to a new web exhibit titled 13th Century Entanglements:  Judaism, Christianity & Islam, in which each Fellow presented a manuscript or printed work used in research during the year.  Dr. Mesler chose LJS 449, and her text from the exhibit follows.
If You Find an Engraved Stone: The Transmission of Science and Magic

Among the scientific writings of Late Antiquity and the Middle…

View original post 388 more words

13th Century Entanglements, Part 1

Charles H. Manekin, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, held the Ellie and Herbert D. Katz Distinguished Fellowship at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in Spring 2013.  The 2012-2013 Fellows contributed to a new web exhibit titled 13th Century Entanglements:  Judaism, Christianity & Islam, in which each Fellow presented a manuscript or printed work used in research during the year.  Professor Manekin chose LJS 229, and his text from the exhibit follows.
Commentary on Averroes’ Middle Commentaries on the Isagoge of Porphyry, the Categories and De Interpretatione of Aristotle

LJS 229 LJS 229

It is hard to overestimate the importance of the first three books of the logical canon known as the Organon—the Isagoge (Introduction) of Porphyry of Tyre, and the Categories and the De Interpretatione of Aristotle—for medieval intellectual life. Already in late antiquity these books were an essential part of the medical…

View original post 506 more words

Video posted for Manuscripts: The Archaeolozoology of Animal Skin

Video has been posted for “Manuscripts: The Archaeolozoology of Animal Skin,” a lecture at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts presented April 10, 2014, by Matthew Collins and Sarah Fiddyment from the University of York, and Caroline Checkley-Scott and Stephen J. Milner from the University of Manchester.

The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies was thrilled to welcome the team behind the Books and Beasts project, a collaboration between the Bioarchaeology group at the University of York and the Libraries and Department of Italian at the University of Manchester, which seeks to discover and trace the use of different types of animals used to make parchment, through the use of collagen analysis. The lecture was part of a “whistle-stop East Coast tour” of the team, which included stops in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, New Haven, and Boston. You can read more about the tour, and the project, at

View original post 93 more words