What is scriptorium: history and facts

History 2023

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What is scriptorium: history and facts
What is scriptorium: history and facts

For a modern person, a book or a newspaper is a common occurrence. But at the dawn of their appearance, manuscripts and books were the greatest value for people. They contained not only religious texts, but also prescriptions for medicines and other important information. The number of books and scrolls was small. Typography appeared only in the XIII century, and before that all valuable information was copied by hand in scriptoria.

History of occurrence

Definition from history, what a scriptorium is found in school textbooks on the Middle Ages. It sounds like this: "This is a workshop for copying manuscripts in monasteries." Such premises appeared in the VI century AD. e. in Europe. Of particular note are southern Italy, France and Spain. The famous center was the Italian monastery Vivarium. It established a school for the training of scribes.

Workshop in the monastery for copying manuscripts

In the early period of the Middle Ages, almost all ancient libraries disappeared: they either burned down in a fire or were destroyed due to hostilities and riots. Various factors, the flourishing of Christianity did not condone the preservation of ancient values. But religious literature was needed. Therefore, in the monasteries, books entered the ranks of the most importantdetails. In those days, the ministers of the church saw for the first time what a scriptorium was, rewriting various works in them.

Founder of the Scriptorium

In the Middle Ages, the clergy were the most literate and knowledgeable people who were subject to the ability to read and write, unlike the lower classes.

The monks had a positive attitude towards classical literature, copied and maintained the safety of the scrolls, accumulating extensive book depositories. These guardians included Cassiodorus, who founded the Vivarium monastery in southern Italy. This statesman was one of the first to know what a scriptorium is, which he established in the new monastery along with a library.

what is scriptorium

In addition to the Christian ones, the repository also contained manuscripts with texts by Latin and Greek authors. In his treatise, he teaches the art of handling books - copying, correcting mistakes and restoring.

Features of census takers

The art of the manuscript in the Middle Ages reached perfection. Numerous manuscripts are valuable as excellent examples of writing and illustration.

What is a scriptorium, it was well known to the ministers of the church. Such activities were respected and revered. Sometimes the rewriting was carried out under a special vow, in other cases it was the ordinary work of literate novices.

As a rule, the most literate person read the work aloud, while others rewrote it. There was also a division of duties: someone rewrote especially significant books in calligraphic handwriting, andthe rest were copying the text.

what is scriptorium: definition by history

Daily, the monks copied no more than six pages, as it was a very laborious process, due to which vision deteriorated and the back and whole body ached.

Originally, the manuscript was written from dictation on my knees. Tables appeared, apparently, only in the VI century. This is evidenced by the first drawings of painters working at the tables that have survived from those times to the present day.

Until the end of the 11th century, manuscripts were written on parchment made from the skins of domestic animals. Then they started using paper, which was cheaper.

In the XIII century. with the invention of the printing press, the scriptorium loses its significance, as the mass production of books by the secular population begins.

Interesting facts

Until the 13th century, the rewriting of books was the business of monks only. Then ordinary members of the church were involved in this occupation. To create one handwritten creation, a variety of craftsmen were required: from scribes and translators to jewelers. Over time, every inhabitant of medieval Europe already knew what a scriptorium was. Some especially valuable folios were decorated with embossing or precious gems. Such luxurious manuscripts were very expensive. For example, one very noble nobleman bought one precious book, giving away an entire settlement for it.

To save the most valuable folios from being stolen, which often weighed more than 10 kg due to the abundance of precious stones, they were attached to the tables with heavy chains. It is noteworthy thatall work (even leather polishing) was carried out silently. It is also important that all the works that have survived to this day were rewritten and preserved in monasteries.

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