From Manuscript to Print: the Evolution of the Medieval Book


9th Century
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The graceful script in this fragment (which was recovered from the binding of a book) is an example of handwriting that was developed during the Carolingian Renaissance. It is identified by paleographers as "Caroline minuscule," since it was fostered during the time of Charlemagne (Carolus Magnus in Latin) and because it used letters that were smaller (minus) than the exclusively capital letters employed by the ancient Romans. We call these letters "lower case" because printers used to keep the type for minuscule characters in a lower case and the type for capital letters in an upper case. Modern print, in fact, is ultimately based on the revolutionary form given to the Roman alphabet during the time of Charlemagne. Minute details enable us to identify Tours as this manuscript’s place of origin.

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Bible Fragments, Book of Numbers. France (Tours), 9th century.
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the Sacred Word
Private Prayer
Leather and Chains
Medieval Music
How the Classics Survived
Manuscripts in the Age of Print
Evolution of the Book
Appetite for Destruction
Manuscript Facsimiles
Cornell's Medieval Books
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