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medieval text manuscripts Blog

Welcome to the Medieval Text Manuscripts Blog!  This blog highlights what makes our text manuscripts particularly interesting and appealing to us – and (we hope) to you too!  Here we explore what these books can tell us about how they were made and used.  We also share what we know of their most fascinating and unusual contents, makers, and owners.  Some of our discoveries are quite significant, some merely amusing, and some bizarre.  All medieval manuscripts have much to reveal to their attentive modern audiences.  Follow our blog to learn more about them.



Bringing the Past Alive

Anyone who has ever handled medieval manuscripts comes away with a sense of how they bring the past alive in a very human way. In all sorts of manners, manuscripts divulge...

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Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Some medieval and Renaissance manuscripts survive in almost pristine condition. There is a special pleasure in turning the pages of manuscripts such as our copy of Thomas Aquinas’s commentary on Aristotle’s Ethics...

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Book of Secrets

Look too briefly at the book below and it might trick you. The faded title written hastily upon its modest binding proclaims it to be...

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Medieval Must-Haves

The text manuscripts featured on this blog so far range in their contents from the rare or unique to works that would have been circulated and valued within particular circles ...

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A Love Token

We’re guessing love is on your mind right now, whether it be a many-splendored thing or full of anxious fear (or both!).

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The Deluge of Doom!

Aside from the prodigious quantity of snow it deposited on the American East Coast, one of the most notable stories about the recent Winter Storm Jonas was...

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Sons(-in-Law) and Lovers

In most of our encounters with writing on the medieval manuscript page, we know very little about the person who set pen to parchment (or paper) long ago. Their script may tell us a bit about them. Paleographers, those who study early handwriting, can often place and date scribes’ hands on the basis of particular script features...

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Smuggled Writings and Banned Books

He prophesied a “Sword of of the Lord” poised over the earth. He oversaw the immolation of great works of art and literature in so-called bonfires of the vanities. He brought down the Medici and defied the pope. He was challenged to a trial by fire...

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When Coats of Arms Wear Many Hats

Capping our last post on medieval heraldry, this week’s post is dedicated to heraldic headgear and the stories it can tell us. The previous post addressed, among other things, the symbolic meanings and associations linked to the colors of a coat of arms...

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The Dos and Don’ts of Medieval Heraldry

If called upon to imagine a medieval knight, odds are most of us picture someone looking a bit like the knights in this Arthurian miniature, clad in armor, helmeted, swords drawn for battle. With their visors mostly down, these knights are practically encased in their battle gear...

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