The Book: Monasteries, Schools, and Notaries, Part 1: Reading the Late Medieval Marseille Archive

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The Book: Monasteries, Schools, and Notaries, Part 1: Reading the Late Medieval Marseille Archive

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Course Description

Medieval Europe has preserved enormous quantities of books and documentsmany millions of pages, in factwritten in Latin and other languages. However, only a tiny percentage of these texts have been edited and published. To gain access to the rest, you need to learn the art and science of reading medieval handwriting,

This module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space introduces students to the world of medieval paleography, the science of reading old handwriting. This particular module focuses on notarial handwriting from the city of Marseille in the 14th and 15th centuries. The module features household inventories, which identify some of the fascinating objects found in people’s houses. Assessments and quizzes will allow you to track your progress as you move from letter-group to letter-group. In addition to learning the handwriting, we will take special care to explore some of the many abbreviations and other eleme...

Medieval Europe has preserved enormous quantities of books and documentsmany millions of pages, in factwritten in Latin and other languages. However, only a tiny percentage of these texts have been edited and published. To gain access to the rest, you need to learn the art and science of reading medieval handwriting,

This module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space introduces students to the world of medieval paleography, the science of reading old handwriting. This particular module focuses on notarial handwriting from the city of Marseille in the 14th and 15th centuries. The module features household inventories, which identify some of the fascinating objects found in people’s houses. Assessments and quizzes will allow you to track your progress as you move from letter-group to letter-group. In addition to learning the handwriting, we will take special care to explore some of the many abbreviations and other elements of the secular registers of the later Middle Ages.

Some knowledge of Latin or another Romance Language will be very helpful for understanding the texts you will read, but students without these language skills will still enjoy this chance to explore medieval handiwork.


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Reviews 7/10 stars
1 Review for The Book: Monasteries, Schools, and Notaries, Part 1: Reading the Late Medieval Marseille Archive

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Paul Hundal profile image
Paul Hundal profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 138 reviews
  • 119 completed
5 years, 6 months ago
The presentation and tools used are excellent but the main point I learned is how difficult it is to read medieval script. My hat is off to Prof Smail whose understanding is absolutely invaluable for translating medieval texts and we certainly need to train others in this skill to continue translating all the remaining untranslated text. It certainly won't be me.
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