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les Enluminures

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.

Archive 2021

Time, Daylight, and the End-of-Year Calendar

Short winter days are now upon us. Usually, we don’t consider the actual length of our day to be shortened, otherwise we could leave work at 3:00pm! There may be less daylight now, but the measure of the day does not change throughout the year. Why is this?

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Porous Borders in Medieval Europe?

Nationalism vs. European unification; these have been pressing questions in Europe since the end of World War II, if not before. They are crucial questions now (and highly controversial ones), given the resurgence of nationalist movements across the world, whether one is contemplating Trump’s “America first,” Brexit, or Marine Le Pen. And these issues certainly have ramifications for medieval historians since contemporary political movements are looking back to the Middle Ages (or a fictionalized version of the medieval past) to support their agendas.

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STUDENTS AS CURATORS: Manuscripts in the Classroom at Ohio State University

Late-July 2020 was a stressful time for many of us in higher education facing the start of a new semester in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ll admit to having been particularly anxious about it all. I’d never before taught in either hybrid or fully online environments, and like so many other instructors I found myself scrambling to come up with ways to help make my students’ “classroom” experience in the fall edifying, engaging, and entertaining.

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I am the scribe, Joel ben Simeon

I collect works by Dora Maar. She was the mistress of Picasso from 1936 to 1945. Before meeting Picasso, she was a surrealist photographer of considerable renown, but Picasso disdained photography as “not art,” and so in his formidable presence she turned to draftsmanship (her “dessins d’après les maîtres”) and eventually to painting. At this point you are wondering: What does this have to do with Joel ben Simeon?

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