Manuscript Studies: Volume 7, Issue 1

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Penna volans Discovered: Analysis of a New Exemplar of Calligraphic Virtuosity by Baldericus van Horicke (Brussels, ca. 1616)
    (2023-05-02) Bonilla, Diego N; Peleato, Sofía A; Bonilla, Diego N; Peleato, Sofía A
    This article analyses an unpublished manuscript (here referred to as the Cuaderno Español) discovered in a private collection in Madrid, which contains eight folios of calligraphy by the hand of Baldericus van Horicke (†1643), a noted writing master active primarily at the court of the Archdukes of Austria in Brussels. A detailed paleographical study of the new manuscript enhances our knowledge of this exceptional virtuoso of the pen, who practiced at the height of the golden age of the writing arts in Europe. Additionally, such an analysis demonstrates how these calligraphic materials were used to teach the art of writing from the seventeenth century onwards.
  • Publication
    MS Bodley Or. 621 as a “Study Psalter” for Christian Hebraists
    (2023-05-02) Pan, Celeste J.; Pan, Celeste J.
    Because of its diminutive size, unconventional decorative scheme and total lack of built-in translations, MS Bodley Or. 621 is an anomaly among the nine “Hebrew Psalters for Christian Use” listed by Raphael Loewe. It has received scant attention principally because, as a book that appears to have been intended for Jews only to be later appropriated by Christians, it seems to be of lesser relevance to discussions of thirteenth-century English Hebraism than those psalters that were unambiguously custom-made for gentile scholars. This article challenges this premise and this conclusion. By re-examining and synthesising the paleographical and codicological evidence presented by the text proper, I suggest that the psalter may indeed have been commissioned by a Christian according to his specific needs. By considering the form, content, and distribution of the marginal annotations, especially those that contain not only Latin and French translations but also Hebrew roots, I highlight the remarkable and unique method of learning Hebrew adopted by one of the scholars, which is not unlike the modern notion of learning a language through immersion. By approaching the all-Hebrew psalter with an imperfect grasp of the language, he transforms the experience of reading into a learning process, and the psalm text into a type of textbook. This agrees well with the short and fragmentary nature of surviving Hebrew grammars from thirteenth-century England, and perhaps explains why there was no need for more comprehensive works.
  • Publication
    Aspiring to Be a Buddha and Life Before Liberation: The Colophons of the Siamese Questions of King Milinda
    (2023-05-02) Ooi, Eng Jin; Ooi, Eng Jin
    This article presents the colophons of a Buddhist text, the Questions of King Milinda, as seen in manuscripts found mainly in Central Thailand. Through a survey of over seventy Pāli palm-leaf manuscripts and a Thai samut khoi (folding book), the colophons reveal information not only related to textual transmission, but also to the social and soteriological ambitions of the communities that created them. Inspired by the ideology of merit, which promises good karmic returns for presenting and preserving the Dharma in this world, donors and scribes produced various kinds of aspirations (Pāli: patthanā). These aspirations are recorded in colophons. In this group of manuscripts, it is not uncommon to find that the preferred path to Nirvana among stakeholders is to become a Buddha. This is somewhat contrary to the general assumption that the way of arhat is preferred for a community that upheld the Theravāda tradition. Moreover, the quest to be fully awakened and omniscient is shown not to be confined to kings or to the nobility, but shared by a wider layer of society. The colophon of the samut khoi was sponsored by the noble royal ladies (pavaranārī) from the court of Ayutthaya. It gives us a glimpse into what—in a past era—was considered good and righteous, both materially and spiritually, by the inner circle of the ruling establishment. Accordingly, colophons deserve special attention as they provide information not only about their respective manuscripts but also about the socio-cultural aspects of the community that preserved and transmitted them.
  • Publication
    Multiple Hands in the Marginal Annotations of the Hebrew Bible Codex Madrid M1 (Biblioteca Histórica Marqués de Valdecilla, BH MSS1)
    (2023-05-02) Martín-Contreras, Elvira; Martín-Contreras, Elvira
    This article presents a paleographical analysis of the marginal annotations that appear next to the biblical text in the Hebrew Bible codex known as Madrid M1. In order to do so, a new methodology has been developed. The ensuing analysis has identified a great number of annotations, largely located in the outer and intercolumnar margins, written by multiple hands. These later interventions have different aims and produce diverse results. The systematic additions associated with different Masoretic textual phenomena reveal an interest in organizing the information differently and offering the information on each phenomenon consistently by adding cases that are lacking. The non-systematic additions seem to be more the result or reflection of later revisions, readings, and uses of the manuscript. The annotations of both types show a clear intention to complete and expand the already abundant information found in the margins of Madrid M1, rather than an effort to correct it.