L. D. Reynolds, N. G. Wilson: Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature (1968/1991)

8 December 2014, dusan

“One of the remarkable facts about the history of Western culture is that we are still in a position to read large amounts of the literature produced in classical Greece and Rome despite the fact that for at least a millennium and a half all copies had to be produced by hand and were subject to the hazards of fire, flood, and war. This book explains how the texts survived and gives an account of the reasons why it was thought worthwhile to spend the necessary effort to preserve them for future generations.

In the second edition a section of notes was included, and a new chapter was added to deal with some aspects of scholarship since the Renaissance. In the third edition, the authors responded to the urgent need to take account of the very large number of discoveries in this rapidly advancing field of knowledge by substantially revising or enlarging certain sections.”

Publisher Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1968
Third edition, 1991
ISBN 0198721463, 9780198721468
352 pages

Review (of 2nd ed., E. Christian Kopff, The Classical Journal, 1976)
Review (M. Possanza, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 1991)

Publisher (4th ed.)

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Jonathan Bloom: Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World (2001)

10 August 2013, dusan

“Like the printing press, typewriter, and computer, paper has been a crucial agent for the dissemination of information. This engaging book presents an important new chapter in paper’s history: how its use in Islamic lands during the Middle Ages influenced almost every aspect of medieval life. Focusing on the spread of paper from the early eighth century, when Muslims in West Asia acquired Chinese knowledge of paper and papermaking, to five centuries later, when they transmitted this knowledge to Christians in Spain and Sicily, the book reveals how paper utterly transformed the passing of knowledge and served as a bridge between cultures.

Jonathan Bloom traces the earliest history of paper—how it was invented in China over 2,000 years ago, how it entered the Islamic lands of West Asia and North Africa, and how it spread to northern Europe. He explores the impact of paper on the development of writing, books, mathematics, music, art, architecture, and even cooking. And he discusses why Europe was so quick to adopt paper from the Islamic lands and why the Islamic lands were so slow to accept printing in return. Together the beautifully written text and delightful illustrations (of papermaking techniques and the many uses to which paper was put) give new luster and importance to a now-humble material.”

Publisher Yale University Press, 2001
ISBN 9780300089554
320 pages

review (Richard W. Bulliet, Technology and Culture)
review (Farid Mahdavi, Journal of Interdisciplinary History)
review (Timothy J. Reiss, Speculum)
commentary (Jussi Parikka, August 2013)


PDF (updated on 2016-12-23)

Postmedieval, a Journal of Medieval Cultural Studies, Vol 4, No 1: Ecomaterialism (2013)

8 April 2013, dusan

postmedieval is a cross-disciplinary, peer-reviewed journal in medieval studies that aims to bring the medieval and modern into productive critical relation.

“The latest issue of postmedieval takes up Jane Bennett’s challenge in the last chapter of her book Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things to rethink environment and landscape from an actor-network point of view. Focusing upon the meeting of ecocriticisim with other modes of theoretical and critical inquiry, ecomaterialism creates a forum where the materiality of the world obtains the complicated agency and lack of catastrophe that environmental criticism too often does not grant. We focus upon the living elements earth, air, water, fire, and their medial instantiations: cloud, road, glacier, abyss. Rather than a traditional ecocritical mode that traces the interface of human with landscape, we are interested in reconceiving ecomaterial spaces and objects as a web of co-constituitive and hybrid actants.”

Edited by Jeffrey Cohen and Lowell Duckert
Publisher Macmillan, 2013
ISSN 2040-5960
123 pages


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