From Manuscript to Print: the Evolution of the Medieval Book

 

Cicero, 14th Century
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Manuscripts, frequently passed down for several generations, can preserve archeological layers that reveal the experiences of their former owners. This exemplar of the Rhetorica ad Herennium testifies to its importance among medieval and Renaissance readers alike. The parchment leaves have been torn and repaired: below the tear, on the older parchment, a late Gothic hand of the 14th century is preserved; above the tear, on the newer parchment, a humanistic hand of the 15th century appears. The interlinear and marginal comments, or "glosses," in the older portion of the book reveal how carefully the text was read by successive owners, and the effort made by a later owner to restore the mutilated text likewise indicates how keenly it continued to be valued.

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Pseudo-Cicero. Rhetorica ad Herennium. Italy, 14th and 15th centuries.
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How the Classics Survived
Manuscripts in the Age of Print
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