IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 1621: Genres, Manuscripts, and the Transmission of Knowledge

Thursday 14 July 2005, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Michael W. Twomey, Department of English, Ithaca College, New York
Paper 1621-aEncyclopedias in England before the Suppression: The Medieval Evidence
(Language: English)
Michael W. Twomey, Department of English, Ithaca College, New York
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Bibliography, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Religious Life
Paper 1621-bBestiaries and Distinctiones
(Language: English)
Ilya Dines, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Religious Life, Theology

Grouped by IMC Programming Committee
Abstract Paper -a:
In order more fully to understand the British reception of encyclopedias during the Middle Ages, we need an adequate census of book ownership before the Suppression carried out under Henry VIII. Currently I am writing a reception history based on evidence from medieval booklists, wills, and other evidence of ownership. This paper will discuss several inferences that the evidence makes possible. For example, one striking discovery is that after the thirteenth century, copying generally declines, and the major form of acquisition becomes donation. Bequests provided many of the encyclopedias in monastic and university libraries.
Abstract Paper -b:
Bestiaries were one of the most popular genres of medieval literature, especially in England in the 12th to 14th centuries. Bestiaries belonged to the so-called ‘low’ tradition, while the genre of Distinctiones afford an example of the ‘high’ one. At first glance, there is nothing could unite these so different genres and in fact there was not a lot of it… This paper discusses a small group of English 13th-century bestiaries where these two disparate traditions met and produced a bestiary of a new type intended for completely different purposes compared to all preceding ones.
Abstract Paper -c:
In spite of its famous works, or, perhaps because of them, the British Library’s Harleian MS 978 has never been treated as a single work. Consequently, in order that the manuscript may present itself as a unified work, a study of its physical construction and coherence will first be undertaken.
In the course of this study the definitive location of the actual folia of the original manuscript will be established, as well as the original number of collations. Page layout, hands, and the interrelation of quires, lining, and folia will be examined. Links between parts, previously considered disparate, will be presented, and a manuscript that has been described as a miscellany will be seen as more than a simple collection of unconnected materials purchased at pecia.