Paleography and Other Auxiliary Sciences

History 281

Fall 2014
3104 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
W 10-12P

This course is designed as a general introduction to the use of primary documents pertinent to Mediterranean history and culture during the ancient and medieval periods.  It will address issues of paleography, codicology, textual tradition, and the critical edition of sources. The main focus will be on Greek and Arabic documents,  but the issues covered will be of interest to anyone interested in the manuscript culture of the medieval Mediterranean even beyond these two languages. We will mainly study books, but will also refer to administrative documents. Though the bulk our material will be medieval, the course is of potential interest to clacissists, since the works of ancient authors survive mostly in medieval manuscripts.  The unifying theme for covering such a great chronological, geographical, cultural, and linguistic gamut will be the common developments regarding the technology of book production and the logic of authoring, editing, and reproducing texts before the advent of printing, though differences will also be discussed.