Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a lovely decorated initial from a fourteenth century manuscript produced in England.
Image source: British Library MS Lansdowne 475. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.
Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is the beautiful binding of a fifteenth century gospel book. I confess I’m not quite sure if the binding is original. I don’t know much about them, and the caption from the Walters Museum is a bit puzzling as it describes it as the “original treasure binding” but later states “The codex’s later history included a re-binding with silver covers from Kayseri that date to approximately 1700. This jeweled and enameled silver binding bears a composition of the Adoration of the Magi on the front and the Ascension on the back”.
Whenever it was made, I think it’s stunning.
Image source: Walters Museum MS W.540. Creative Commons licensed via Flickr.
This looks fun! Go… participate!
May 2013 marks the first anniversary of e-codices Flickr Project. To celebrate this event, I would like to invite you to participate in curating an exhibition called My Manuscript Journey using the e-codices images present on Flickr. This could be a good way to find out what interests you and a good opportunity for you to express yourselves visually by creating a gallery with e-codices content. The most popular manuscript images will be used to create a set of 20 images that will be printed and used for the exhibition. The exhibition will take place in September 2013 at the premises of e-codices office at the University of Fribourg, in Fribourg, Switzerland. As a reward for the contribution, on the day of the opening, 10 names of the participants will be drawn and they will receive a copy of one of the printed images that will be sent to them by post. Here is how to participate: First of all you will need a Flickr account. If you don`t have one, you can create one easily using your Facebook or Google account to sign up on the Flickr homepage(www.flickr.com). To create a Gallery just go to one of the e-codices manuscript images (www.flickr.com/photos/e-codices/) that you want to add and within the Actions menu click the “Add to a gallery” link . From here you will create a new gallery , with the title My Manuscript Journey. Add 10 of your favorite images from e-codices Collections on Flickr (Top ten only, please , and no videos). The best approach would be to access directly the collections: “Themed journeys” and “The treasure”. (Images from “Behind the scene” collection are not eligible for this exhibition). It would be great if you could explain the reasons for your choices beside each image. The time frame to create your gallery is May 1 - May 31, 2013 I have created the following discussion topic: “My Manuscript Journey” where all the additional notifications will be posted and where you can also submit the link of your created gallery. In case you need some more clarification, feel free to e mail me on the following e-mail: email@example.com Thanks in advance for your participation and I am looking forward to see where this “Manuscript Journey” will take us. Sincerely, Rromir Imami Image credits: Rromir Imami
Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a beautiful calendar for May from a stunning manuscript called the The Hours of René d’Anjou which is in the collection of the British Library.
Image source: British Library MS.Egerton 1070. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.
Interesting opportunities which might appeal to some of you.
Obit of the Day: End the Beguines*
When Marcella Pattyn died on April 14, 2013 she took 800 years of history with her. Ms. Pattyn was a Beguine. A creation of the Middle Ages, beguines were lay women who formed communities that allowed them independence, both socially and economically.
During the Medieval period women of the upper class were given two choices for their adult lives: marriage or religious life. They were to either be under the rule of their husband or the rule of God, serving as a nun. (Women of the lower classes could sometimes live alone and run a business but usually only as widows.)
In the 12th century in Flanders (a region that now is part of Belgium and The Netherlands) lay communities sprang up in cities where widows of the Crusades would congregate but without the rules of a convent or giving up their freedom. They could travel freely on their own. They could marry at any time. Some even lived in homes with servants.
At their peak Beguines were found across northern Europe and could have thousands of members. They would provide services for the poor and needy as well as sell handmade textiles.
To no one’s surprise, the group was quickly considered a threat. Independent women who were without strict supervision? It must be heresy. And in 1311 Pope Clement V banned the movement. (Less than a century earlier in 1233 Pope Gregory IX had given papal backing to the Beguines.)
In order to maintain their existence some of the Beguine orders partnered with monastic orders in order to continue their work with some level of “supervision.” (Random note: There were male communities similar to the Beguines called the Beghards who were also considered heretics but less for their service than for their theology which bordered on anarchism.)
Although the orders persisted for centuries in France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium their numbers dwindled. Belgium at one time had 94 Beguine communities. In 1856 they were down to 20.
In 1941 when Marcella Pattyn, a partially blind 21-year-old, was sent to the beguinage in Ghent there were two. Unable to join convents because of her disability, a wealthy aunt sponsored her entrance into the Beguines. This last small group of Beguines moved to the town of Courtrai and in 1960 there were nine left.
By 2008 Marcella Pattyn was the last of her order. The town of Courtrai celebrated her with chocolates and champagne and had a bronze statue made in her likeness to stand outside the beguinage.
Ms. Pattyn died at the age of 92, taking with her a glimpse into medieval life.
(Image of Marcella Pattyn and her statue is courtesy of FOCUS-WTV in Belgium.)
* The title of the post is a play on the Cole Porter song, “Begin the Beguine,” written in 1935. The two words are unrelated. There is no known etymology for the order, although the community in Lieges, Belgium was founded by Lambert de Begue. By the time of the Porter song the term “beguine” was commonly used to mean a “close couples’ dance” in the Caribbean. - Wikipedia
Medieval advertisement for a bookstore
In medieval times, books were not just made by monks. By the thirteenth century commercial scribes had become the go-to people for a book. To attract clients, the professionals running these “bookstores” made advertisement sheets, like this one. They were usually put on display outside the shop’s entrance: clients looked at the samples and choose a letter type for the book they were about to order. This one is from the shop of Herman Strepel in Münster, Germany, and dates from c. 1447. Herman did an excellent marketing job because he wrote the names of the letter types in gold next to the samples.
Image source: Photo by nuclearmse and Creative Commons licensed via Flickr.
Pretty medieval manuscript of the day shows St Michael slaying the dragon. As dragons go, it’s pretty tiny! I confess I imagined a rather larger, scalier, and altogether more fearsome foe. Even so, I’d probably do a runner if one like this wandered around the corner…
Image source: Dunedin Public Libraries Medieval Manuscripts. Creative Commons licensed via Flickr.
Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a leaf from a mid-twelfth century bible produced in Italy.
Image source: Dunedin Public Libraries Medieval Manuscripts.Creative Commons licensed via Flickr.
Eton College are looking for an assistant librarian to work with their rare book collection. Thought the vacancy might interest one or two of you Tumblarians out there…
Pretty medieval manuscript of the day shows the assumption of the blessed virgin Mary. It is from a French book of hours in the collection of the Bibliothèque Renaissance de Nancy. The library has recently posted some beautiful images on Flickr.
Image source: MS 1874, Bibliotheque Renaissance de Nancy. Creative Commons licensed via Flickr.
Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a sumptuously illustrated leaf from a book of hours. This page shows the crucifixion, with a richly decorated border with flowers and mysterious creatures. Beautiful!
A full digitised edition is available on the main e-codices website.
Image source: Creative Commons licensed by e-codices via Flickr.
Pretty medieval manuscript of the day shows a mysterious winged queen offering a crimson robe to a stranger emerging from a swamp. Another baffling image from the ‘Splendor solis’, an alchemical treatise. I’ve no idea what’s going on here… any thoughts?
I particularly like the border, with the scenes from nature including birds, a monkey, and deer.
Image source: British Library MS Harley 3469. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.