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Title: What is a Scriptorium?
Contributor(s): Mugridge, Alan John (author)
Publication Date: 2007
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Abstract: Did the early Christians make use of already established "scriptoria," and can we (by a study of the extant manuscripts) perceive any stages in the process which saw Christians develop their own "scriptoria" so as to be able to produce such fine manuscripts of the Bible in the fourth and fifth centuries as the codices Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus? For the sake of this study "Early Christianity" will be taken to mean Christianity in the Graeco-Roman world up until the end of the fifth century. Gamble notes that the issue of scriptoria in early Christianity is a problem partly of definition and partly of evidence. It is a problem of evidence, because there is so little of it. In this paper I wish to make some observations about the linguistic evidence as well as the issue of definition. We will examine the usage of the Latin word "scriptorium," as well as any Greek equivalent. In the light of modern references to "scriptoria" in the ancient world, I will pose some questions of definition which I believe follow from conclusions drawn in the first parts of the paper. What was a "scriptorium"? When was the word "scriptorium" first used to refer to a place where books were copied?
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: The XXIV [24th] International Congress of Papyrology, Helsinki, 1-7th August, 2004
Source of Publication: Proceedings of The XXIV [24th] International Congress of Papyrology, p. 781-792
Publisher: Societas Scientiarum Fennica - Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum
Place of Publication: Helsinki
Field of Research (FOR): 210306 Classical Greek and Roman History
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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