The Origin Of Medieval Manuscripts Mainly In The Czech Lands

The Origin Of Medieval Manuscripts Mainly In The Czech Lands

By Lenka Horakova

Dergimizin Yayınlanan Sayıları, Vol.10:1 (2008)

Introduction: This article deals with the origins of manuscripts, their production process, materials used for writing and people who participated in it. It also presents the manuscript from the point of view of its structure (incipit, explicit and others). It depicts different types of decorations in Middle Ages and adds examples of particular pieces of writing. According to the content the books are divided into two basic categories. The fist one are ecclesiastical books (Bible and other liturgical books) and the second one are secular books (scholastic books, books for entertainment and historical books). In this article some major Czech manuscripts are presented and depicted.

In this paper I would like to explain the term medieval manuscript, how and in what environment manuscripts came to existence and what their value was. I would also like to make the readers familiar with several books which originated in that period and were written on the area of the Czech Lands or were even written in the Czech language.

The form of a medieval book was hand-written codex. Codex is a book composed of sheets bound together along one edge. Its production process was very long and costly. This is also the reason why the number of medieval books was considerably lower than in Modern Period (after the invention of book printing). The medieval manuscript was very rare and it was often a part of cathedrale treasures. In these books it is possible to find originals as well as some transcripts. The most used and the most popular books, e.g. the Bible, liturgical books, etc., used to have more copies. The transcripts were written by different scribes and in differents times, which caused differences in particular pieces of texts and growing number of mistakes. Often one manuscript was composed of several pieces of writing more or less related.

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