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abecedarium

abecedarium  

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Overview Page
Elementary teaching in Antiquity and the Middle Ages consisted in learning firstly to read the letters of the alphabet. Exceptionally when a child learned to read alone from a text ...
Acts, Documentary

Acts, Documentary  

Documents of a formal nature, preserved in original or in copy, and varying according to their author and the nature and importance of the question they concern.Physical CharacteristicsNormally ...
Animal Husbandry

Animal Husbandry  

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Subject:
History
Concerned not only with ‘domestic animals,’ but also bees and silkworms. Throughout the MA, animals for the most part were allowed to wander free; thus horses, for example, were often ...
Arabic papyri

Arabic papyri  

Employed from at least 2000 bc in Egypt, its land of origin, the papyrus was used by the Arabs following their conquest of that country in 640. Its Islamic utilization ...
armorial

armorial  

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A coat of arms used as a decorative motif, especially on 18th-century Chinese export porcelain, where pieces were decorated in China with European coats of arms for export to Europe.
art and architecture: Insular

art and architecture: Insular  

The term ‘Insular’ refers to the cultures of the British Isles from the mid 6th through the late 9th centuries, sometimes called ‘Northumbro-Irish’ to suggest the two main zones of ...
birch bark

birch bark  

Birch inner bark, cut into strips or rectangles, was commonly used as a writing material (with pen and ink) in and around north India from at least the 4th century ...
book

book  

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A book is the emblem of St Anne, St Augustine, St Bernard, and other saints.Recorded from Old English (in form bōc, originally meaning also ‘a document or charter’), the word is of Germanic origin, ...
Book Trade

Book Trade  

In the strict sense hardly ever existed in Byz., in contrast to the flourishing book production and distribution of late antiquity. There was a certain market for old and rare ...
Bookbinding

Bookbinding  

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Overview Page
The art of sewing quires together within a cover into a single codex. The last step in manuscript book production, binding protected codices and kept their contents in order. Most ...
bookmarks

bookmarks  

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Overview Page
Bookmarks, or bookmarkers, are items loosely inserted into a book to mark a particular place for reference or for easy return and continued reading. As a bibliographical tool, they are ...
books

books  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
Books of the Hebrew Bible were scrolls, wrapped round rollers (Jer. 36: 2) and unrolled for the appropriate place (Luke 4: 17). Two hands were therefore required for reading them. The Christians' ...
Cairo Geniza

Cairo Geniza  

A collection of medieval Jewish MSS found in a storage room of the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo (al-*Fustat). Jewish tradition prohibits destroying or throwing away sacred documents out ...
cartellino

cartellino  

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(Italian, ‘a small piece of paper’)A trompe-l'oeil device, used mainly in Renaissance and Baroque art, consisting of the inclusion in a composition of a piece of paper or parchment painted ...
chancery

chancery  

(from the Latin cancella, ‘screen’, hence a screened-off place, or office) The writing-office attached to the court of a ruler, pope, etc. Since it supplied the writ necessary for a lawsuit to be ...
charms (verbal)

charms (verbal)  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
The etymology of the word ‘charm’ (from Latin carmen, ‘a chant’) shows that in medieval times it meant verbal formulas (see next entry), but in modern languages it is far more widely applied. All the ...
chrysography

chrysography  

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‘Chrysography’ (Greek: chrysographē) is the technical term for writing in gold, a feature of certain elaborate or important manuscripts from the early Christian era onwards.
codex

codex  

An ancient manuscript text in book form. The word comes (in the late 16th century, denoting a collection of statutes or set of rules) from Latin, literally ‘block of wood’, later denoting a block ...
codicology

codicology  

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A term of modern coinage, ‘codicology’ denotes the study of manuscript books, or codices, in all aspects, including their physical structure, texts, script, binding, decoration, and other features of ...
color

color  

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Overview Page
From the polychrome sculpture that once decorated the façades of many of the great churches of the MA, to the stained glass windows that embellished their interiors, medieval art and ...

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