Introduction to Medieval Palaeography (HISM401)

15 credits

Texts written in the middle ages survive primarily in manuscripts and booklets or on loose leaves, all of them handwritten. This module is an introduction to the study of medieval manuscript material and in particular to the disciplines of palaeography (the study of handwriting) and codicology (the study of the physical manufacture of books). Studying the handwriting found in medieval manuscripts allows us to read texts accurately, as well as to distinguish between different types of scripts and when they were written. Examining how books were put together provides an insight into the changing technologies of book production, which can also offer information about the date and place of manufacture. This module will introduce students to medieval manuscript studies and offer them the opportunity to learn the basic skills needed for reading, using and understanding medieval manuscripts.