This course is an introduction to the making and use of scrolls in the European Middle Ages. The codex, with its portability and instant access to any place in the text, became the dominant container for writing after the 4th century BCE, but scrolls continued to be made. Why and how did the scroll format remain popular and relevant in the age of the codex? This course proposes four main reasons, which
account for essentially every kind of scroll that still exists today. We will see and examine in detail a number of beautiful objects, and come to understand the thinking of those who chose the scroll format for their texts.
This module features four main units, each of which is based on one of the reasons for scroll-making:
- Scrolls of indeterminate length
- Scrolls in long format
- Ceremonial and archaizing scrolls
- Portable scrolls
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