Session 7: Manuscript Culture

Codex (pl. codices); books that comprise a number of sheets of paper or parchment (animal skin); the codex replaced the scroll as the major medium for longer texts, although the scroll was often used for administrative purposes
Folio (or folium; pl. folia); literally “leaf”; the term used for a page of a manuscript; the front of the page is the “recto”, the back of the page is the “verso”.
Palaeography The study of ancient handwriting with two main objectives: 1) to read ancient texts with accuracy, and 2) to date and localize their handwriting
Scribe A person tasked with copying a text into a codex. The scribe may also be the author (the writer of the text), but oftentimes is just making a copy.
Scriptorium Literally “a place for writing”; refers to a place where scribes gathered to write, copy and decorate manuscripts; often ecclesiastic, but could also be secular (or belong to the king)
Psalter A book containing the Psalms, to be read regularly under monastic rule
Hagiography Or “vita”; the life and miracles of a saint
Charter Or a “royal diploma”; a document issued by the king (or a governing body in his name) that often designated rights to an individual or entity