Medieval Life, Personages, Celtic Art, Calligraphy and Illuminated Manuscripts
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Category — Rare Manuscripts

10th Annual Marco Symposium at The University of Tennessee March 1-3 2012

Be there or be square! I’ll be there on and off as time permits.

From The University of Tennessee’s events calendar:

“Grounding the Book: Readers, Writers, and Places in the Pre-Modern World”

The 2012 Marco Symposium, co-organized by Thomas E. Burman (history), Maura Lafferty (Classics), and Anthony Welch (English) will bring together up to ten scholars from a range of disciplines to explore the complex interaction between pre-modern writers and readers, their books, and the places-libraries, museums, monasteries, university classrooms, the courts of patrons-where they wrote and read them. A substantial amount of recent scholarship in the interdisciplinary field of the history of reading has made clear the countless ways in which understanding the materiality of texts sheds fascinating light how on those texts were read and deployed. The layout of a copied or printed page, the other works with which a text appears in a book, the marginalia that so frequently appears in margins: all these and many other aspects of the ‘material text’ open valuable windows through which we can catch glimpses of writers and readers interacting with texts.

Read the rest here.

February 21, 2012   Comments Off on 10th Annual Marco Symposium at The University of Tennessee March 1-3 2012

Video Documentary on the Book of Kells

I came across a documentary video on the Book of Kells today and I’m sharing. This is part I and, if you follow it to YouTube, you will find the rest of the documentary. Enjoy.

October 27, 2011   1 Comment

News – Codex Calixtinus Stolen

Codex Calixtinus Saint JacobOne of the rarest and most beautiful illuminated manscripts dating from the 12th century is missing from the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It is the Codex Calixtinus. The miniature of Saint Jacob above is from this guidebook. It is a book that will literally take your breath away with it’s beauty.  Here is the link to the story on the BBC News site.

Here is a second link to the story in the Guardian with a beautiful leaf from the codex.


July 7, 2011   3 Comments

CBS News 60 Minutes Visits the Vatican Library

I hope everyone stayed tuned to CBS after the Masters yesterday to watch 60 Minutes. They did a marvelous piece on the Vatican Library with Morely Safer as host.  In case you missed it, video is available at CBS News.

April 11, 2011   Comments Off on CBS News 60 Minutes Visits the Vatican Library

“Illuminating the Medieval Hunt” at the Morgan

Gaston Phoebus (1331–1391),  Le Livre de la chasse , Paris, circa 1407

There is a unique and exciting opportunity for rare book lovers on view at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. Their illuminated book, Gaston Phoebus (1331–1391), Le Livre de la chasse, Paris, circa 1407, has been unbound to aid in the creation of a facsimile and the individual leaves are on display from April 18 to August 10. From Antiques and the Arts:

The Morgan’s copy is thought to have been commissioned by Philip the Bold’s son, John the Fearless (1371–1419), who presumably inherited his father’s manuscript and had copies made. During the late Fifteenth Century, it was owned by King Ferdinand II of Aragón and Queen Isabella of Castile, who added to it their full-page coat of arms. Of the 46 known surviving copies of the manuscript, the Morgan’s is one of the two finest extant examples; the other, in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, was made at the same time and contains the same cycle of 87 miniatures.

Le Livre de la chasse is divided into four books — on gentle and wild beasts; on the nature of dogs and their care; on hunting in general and hunting with dogs; and on hunting with traps, snares and cross bow. Written in French, the work was enormously popular throughout Europe and England, where it was translated under the title Master of Game.

 Le Livre de la chasseThe manscript is richly decorated and the miniatures are unique windows to observed medieval life. The manuscript is from a famous court. This was a historically critical time of rapid cultural evolution following the black death of the previous century. If you are unable to make it to the Morgan to see this book, a large selection of images from another copy of this 15th century manuscript is available here.


April 2, 2008   Comments Off on “Illuminating the Medieval Hunt” at the Morgan