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Overview

parchment

[Ma]

A long‐lasting thin flexible writing material made from cleaned and stretched animal skins, usually sheep or goat skins.

Parchment

Parchment   Reference library

Concise Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2021
Subject:
Names studies
Length:
27 words

... 1881: 55; Essex and Middx. English: nickname from Middle English parchemin , parchmen , parchement ‘parchment’ (Old French parchemin ), perhaps for someone who made or sold parchment...

Parchment

Parchment   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the Bible

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Religion
Length:
113 words

... . A superior quality of writing material produced from animal skins by a process of cleaning, stretching, and rubbing with chalk or pumice. Parchment is durable and holds ink well on both sides. From the second century BCE , parchment and leather were preferred for Torah scrolls intended for public reading. Parchment gradually replaced papyrus for most purposes during the first two centuries CE , and it remained the standard writing material in Europe until the advent of mechanical printing. Thus, the great majority of biblical manuscripts are...

parchment

parchment   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of Local and Family History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
History, Local and Family History
Length:
17 words

... . Many old documents were written on both sides of the treated skins of sheep or...

parchment

parchment   Quick reference

The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Local and Family History
Length:
20 words

... Many old documents were written on both sides of the treated skins of sheep or goats. See also vellum...

parchment

parchment ([Ma])   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2021
Subject:
Archaeology
Length:
20 words

... [Ma] A long‐lasting thin flexible writing material made from cleaned and stretched animal skins, usually sheep or goat...

parchment

parchment   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of Art (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
147 words

... . Writing material made from the skins of sheep or calf, less frequently pig, goat, and other animals; it has also been used for painting, and occasionally for printing and bookbinding. Pliny says that it was invented in the second century bc in Pergamum; hence the name ‘parchment’ from the Latin pergamena , ‘of Pergamum’. Skin had been used as a writing material before this, but the refined methods of cleaning and stretching involved in making parchment enabled both sides of a leaf to be used, leading eventually to the supplanting of the...

parchment

parchment   Quick reference

A Dictionary of the Bible (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Religion
Length:
28 words

... A kind of refined leather used in Palestine during the Roman era as a more durable material for writing than * papyrus , as used by the * Qumran ...

parchment

parchment   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
129 words

... Writing material made from animal skins (usually sheep or calf, less frequently pig, goat, and other animals) which are specially cleaned and stretched. According to Pliny, parchment was discovered in the 2nd century bc by Eumenes II of Pergamum after the Ptolemies had banned the export of papyrus from Egypt in an attempt to prevent the growth of the Pergamene Library. Parchment had been known before this, however. Until it was gradually superseded by paper from the 14th century onwards, parchment was the main writing material in the West and...

parchment

parchment   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the Book

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Social sciences
Length:
26 words

... *Sheepskin or *goatskin , treated and dried without tanning, to produce a stiff but flexible substance used for writing, bookbinding, or other purposes. See also vellum...

Parchment

Parchment   Reference library

Ernst Gamillscheg and Alice-Mary Talbot

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
270 words

...106). Parchment dyed with purple was reserved for the emperor. Expensive and scarce, parchment was sometimes unavailable. An animal skin yielded only two bifolia (i.e., eight pages), and the supply of parchment was seasonal, being more abundant in spring when lambs were slaughtered. Arethas of Caesarea paid between 6 and 8 nomismata for sufficient parchment to produce a volume of about 400 folios ( N. Wilson in Books & Bookmen 1–4). This scarcity prompted the reuse of parchment MSS as palimpsests . The oldest preserved large Greek parchment codices...

Parchment

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Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
662 words

...c., another less burdensome writing material appeared in the West: paper , which from the 14th c. gradually pushed back the use of parchment, at least in the more common spheres of life. Parchment manuscripts continued to exist in great numbers, as well as first-class books and de luxe books, until the late 15th century. The appearance of printing did not lead to the total disappearance of parchment: not only did parchment manuscripts continue to be produced for works presented to great personages or Kings , but they were also printed, for particularly...

Parchment

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Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... Material for manuscripts or bookbinding made from the skins of animals, so called from Pergamum, in Mysia, Asia Minor, where it was used for writing material when Ptolemy prohibited the export of papyrus from...

parchment

parchment   Reference library

A Dictionary of English Manuscript Terminology 1450–2000

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, History
Length:
334 words

...by bibliographers and bookdealers) to denote any type of parchment, has meant that the terms ‘parchment’ and ‘vellum’ have commonly been used interchangeably since at least the early sixteenth century. The production of parchment involves the splitting, scraping, shaving, de-greasing, and dressing of the skins, the flesh side being the smoother, usually whiter side, best for writing purposes, the hair side being the outer, usually darker side, marked by grain or traces of hair follicles. When parchment was used for codices, the cut skins would usually be...

Parchment

Parchment   Reference library

The Grove Encyclopedia of Materials and Techniques in Art

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
1,515 words
Illustration(s):
1

... [Lat. pergamena , from the city of Pergamon]. Animal skin dried and treated to provide a flat sheet for writing, painting, bookbinding and other purposes (see fig.). The terms ‘parchment’ and ‘vellum’ have long been used indiscriminately, but strictly speaking ‘vellum’ should refer only to skins made from calves. ‘Parchment’ is often used of skins made from sheepskin, thus distinguishing it from vellum, but is better employed to define all skins treated in a certain way, together with the name of the animal from which it is taken: thus goatskin...

Parchment

Parchment   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Western Art

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
184 words

... , animal skins, cow, goat, sheep, or less frequently, pig and other animals, prepared for writing, painting, illumination, and occasionally for printing. It was an ideal support for illumination and provided a very receptive and durable surface for writing. Because of this durability it continued to be used for authoritative documents and luxury books after the widespread availability of paper. Depending on the animal used, the final product varied in colour, weight, and size. Often referred to as vellum, which etymologically means calfskin, parchment...

parchment

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Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2021
Subject:
Language reference, History of English
Length:
66 words

...parchment [ME] This comes from Old French parchemin , a blend of late Latin pergamina ‘writing material from Pergamum’ and Parthica pellis ‘Parthian skin’ (a kind of scarlet leather). The use of treated animal skin as a writing material, when papyrus was the usual material ( see paper ), was traditionally said to have been invented by King Eumenes II of Pergamum ( r .197–158 bc...

Parchment

Parchment   Reference library

The Grove Encyclopedia of Medieval Art and Architecture

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... [ Lat. pergamena , from the city of Pergamon ] Animal skin dried and treated to provide a flat sheet for writing, painting, bookbinding, and other purposes. The terms parchment and Vellum have long been used indiscriminately, but strictly speaking ‘vellum’ should refer only to skins made from calves. ‘Parchment’ is often used of skins made from sheepskin, thus distinguishing it from vellum, but is better employed to define all skins treated in a certain way, together with the name of the animal from which it is taken: thus goatskin parchment,...

Parchment

Parchment   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
889 words

...papyrus to parchment may have been the result of the Egyptian embargo on exporting papyrus. The transition to parchment took place in Palestine as well, and the Jewish sages of the Roman period were of the opinion that any mention of a “book” in the Bible referred to a parchment scroll. It is possible that the use of parchment in Judaism became dominant under the influence of Hellenistic scribal culture: it is attested that the Hebrew and Aramaic languages borrowed more than twenty technical Greek terms pertaining to the manufacture of parchment during that...

parchment ware

parchment ware ([Ar])   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2021
Subject:
Archaeology
Length:
29 words

... ware [Ar] A range of tableware, mostly bowls, in pale fabrics with simple red‐brown painted decoration that was popular in Britain in the 3rd and 4th centuries ad...

parchment-runner

parchment-runner   Reference library

A Dictionary of English Manuscript Terminology 1450–2000

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, History
Length:
121 words

...-runner A parchment-runner is a device for marking out lines on a page at regular intervals and was commercially produced in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It comprised a small brass wheel with steel points or spikes rotating at the end of a narrow metal shaft with a wooden handle.When the wheel was run up the sides of a sheet or membrane it would leave small regularly spaced prick marks or indentations which could guide horizontal ruling for writing purposes. Such devices were associated with scriveners, although advertised as useful ‘for...

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