The Secrets of Medieval Fonts

One of the fundamental things in a medieval book is letters – those symbols that fill up page after page and that make up meaning. Each one of us human beings writes differently and considering that medieval books were made before the invention of print, it follows that the scripts they carry show a great variety in execution styles. This is perhaps the most amazing experience of spending a day going through a pile of medieval books in the library: the immense variation in the manner in which the text is written on the parchment pages…. Please read this great article by ERIK KWAKKEL.

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One of the fundamental things in a medieval book is letters – those symbols that fill up page after page and that make up meaning. Each one of us human beings writes differently and considering that medieval books were made before the invention of print, it follows that the scripts they carry show a great variety in execution styles. This is perhaps the most amazing experience of spending a day going through a pile of medieval books in the library: the immense variation in the manner in which the text is written on the parchment pages.

No surviving artefact underscores this point of variation better than advertisement sheets of commercial scribes. The one in Fig. 1 was produced by Herman Strepel and through it he shows off his expertise – and in a sense his merchandise – to customers who visited his shop. The blank back shows that the sheet was hanging on the wall, like a menu in a fast-food…

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Viking treasure hoard 1,000 years old discovered in Scotland

The first images have been released of Viking treasure buried in a Scottish field for more than 1,000 years. The objects were found inside a pot unearthed in Galloway and include rare items such as a silver brooch from Ireland and silk from around modern-day Istanbul as well as gold and crystal. The items date from the ninth and 10th centuries, and are part of a wider hoard of about 100 pieces, which experts say is the most important Viking discovery in Scotland for more than a century.

See more on The Independent

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Cambridge 1,000 year old songs discovered and played for the first time

An ancient song repertory was performed for the first time in 1,000 years this week after being ‘reconstructed’ by a Cambridge researcher and a world-class performer of medieval music. ‘Songs of Consolation’, performed at Pembroke College Chapel, Cambridge on April 23, is reconstructed from neumes (symbols representing musical notation in the Middle Ages) and draws heavily on an 11th century manuscript leaf that was stolen from Cambridge and presumed lost for 142 years.

Performance featured music set to the poetic portions of Roman philosopher Boethius’ magnum opus The Consolation of Philosophy. One of the most widely-read and important works of the Middle Ages, it was written during Boethius’ sixth century imprisonment, before his execution for treason. Such was its importance, it was translated by many major figures, including King Alfred the Great, Chaucer and Elizabeth I.Hundreds of Latin songs were recorded in neumes from the 9th through to the 13th century. These included passages from the classics by Horace and Virgil, late antique authors such as Boethius, and medieval texts from laments to love songs.

Read the whole story on the  University of Cambridge Official Site.

 

 

Rare medieval plainsong discovered in Norfolk, UK — minimamedievaliablog

An unusual discovery has been made in the library of Norwich Cathedral. Conservator Lorraine Finch, brought in to check over books hundreds of years old, has found something hidden inside one of the covers: a 600-year-old plain chant parchment written by a monk, with a doodle in the margin, hidden as recycled binding in an … Continue reading Rare medieval plainsong discovered in Norfolk, UK

via Rare medieval plainsong discovered in Norfolk, UK — minimamedievaliablog

Manuscriptorium, a digital library for manuscript resources and virtual research

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xManuscriptorium is a freely accessible digital library which enables ready access to concentrated information on historical resources via sophisticated search tools. The aim is creating a virtual research environment providing access to all existing digital documents in the sphere of historic book resources (manuscripts, incunabula, early printed books, maps, charters and other types of documents). These historical resources, otherwise scattered in various digital libraries around the world, are now available under a single digital library interface.

Access is provided to more than 5 million images. Registered users have access to a set of tools that allow them to add favourite items, organize documents into collections, create virtual documents from the digital images aggregated in the Manuscriptorium, and save both simple and complex queries as well as query sequences and repeat them by a single click.

A blog, a guide and several tutorials also provide help and support to…

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New Discovery Pushes Back Date Of Human Existence In Ireland By 2,500 Years

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A remarkable archaeological discovery in a Co. Clare cave has pushed back the date of human existence in Ireland by 2,500 years.

This discovery re-writes Irish archaeology and adds an entirely new chapter to human colonisation of the island – moving Ireland’s story into a new era.

Radiocarbon dating of a butchered brown bear bone, which has been stored in a cardboard box at the National Museum of Ireland for almost 100 years, has established that humans were on the island of Ireland some 12,500 years ago – 2,500 earlier than previously believed.

Since the 1970s, the oldest evidence of human occupation on the island of Ireland has been at Mount Sandel in Co. Derry. This site has been dated at 8,000 BC, which is in the Mesolithic period, indicating that humans had occupied the island for some 10,000 years.

However, new analysis of the bear patella – or knee bone – originally found in Co. Clare in 1903 gives us undisputed evidence that people existed in Ireland during the preceding Palaeolithic period at 10,500 BC, some 12,500 years ago.

This is a major breakthrough for archaeologists who have spent decades searching for earlier signs of human occupation on the island.

The discovery was made by Dr Marion Dowd, an archaeologist at IT Sligo, and Dr Ruth Carden, a Research Associate with the National Museum of Ireland.

Read the whole story on IT Sligo News

Full article with evidence is published on Quaternary Science ReviewsVolume 139, 1 May 2016, Pages 158–163.