Manuscripts

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Post  meodingu on Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:08 pm

Manuscripts
Main article: Manuscript
Folio 14 recto of the 5th century Vergilius Romanus contains an author portrait of Virgil. Note the bookcase (capsa), reading stand and the text written without word spacing in rustic capitals.

The fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century A.D. saw the decline of the culture of ancient Rome. Papyrus became difficult to obtain due to lack of contact with Egypt, and parchment, which had been used for centuries, became the main writing material.

Monasteries carried on the Latin writing tradition in the Western Roman Empire. Cassiodorus, in the monastery of Vivarium (established around 540), stressed the importance of copying texts.[10] St. Benedict of Nursia, in his Regula Monachorum (completed around the middle of the 6th century) later also promoted reading.[11] The Rule of St. Benedict (Ch. XLVIII), which set aside certain times for reading, greatly influenced the monastic culture of the Middle Ages and is one of the reasons why the clergy were the predominant readers of books. The tradition and style of the Roman Empire still dominated, but slowly the peculiar medieval book culture emerged.

Before the invention and adoption of the printing press, almost all books were copied by hand, which made books expensive and comparatively rare. Smaller monasteries usually had only a few dozen books, medium-sized perhaps a few hundred. By the ninth century, larger collections held around 500 volumes and even at the end of the Middle Ages, the papal library in Avignon and Paris library of Sorbonne held only around 2,000 volumes.[12]



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Manuscripts Empty Re: Manuscripts

Post  akaishuu on Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:04 pm

Paper books
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This section may contain inappropriate or misinterpreted citations that do not verify the text. Please help improve this article by checking for inaccuracies. (help, talk, get involved!) (September 2010)

The Arabs revolutionised the book's production and its binding in the medieval Islamic world. They were the first to produce paper books after they learnt papermaking from the Chinese in the 8th century.[17] Particular skills were developed for script writing (Arabic calligraphy), miniatures and bookbinding. The people who worked in making books were called Warraqin or paper professionals. The Arabs made books lighter—sewn with silk and bound with leather covered paste boards, they had a flap that wrapped the book up when not in use. As paper was less reactive to humidity, the heavy boards were not needed. The production of books became a real industry and cities like Marrakech, Morocco, had a street named Kutubiyyin or book sellers which contained more than 100 bookshops in the 12th century; the famous Koutoubia Mosque is named so because of its location in this street. In the words of Don Baker:
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