Author Archives: JB

It’s That Time of Year Again

Every year, in the second week of May, 3000+ medievalists descend on Kalamazoo, MI for the International Congress on Medieval Studies. No, we most of us don’t dress up. K’zoo plays host to hundreds of sessions showcasing papers by everyone … Continue reading

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Good Health & Anglo-Saxons…And A Little Lead Poisoning

So it turns out that Anglo-Saxons were actually quite healthy, comparatively. There was more infectious disease than in the Roman period, but anaemia, dental, and joint disease all decreased, and were lower than in the medieval period that followed. Stature … Continue reading

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A Scribe and His Cat

The Reichenauer Schulheft manuscript is really interesting because of the lines you see at the bottom of the verso (on the left here) page of this spread: It’s a piece of marginalia (i.e. something written into an empty space around … Continue reading

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New Manuscript Fragments at Rolduc Abbey

I’ve blogged before about the amazing palaeographical work happening over at the “Turning Over A New Leaf” project in Leiden. This week, Dr. Kwakkel and some of his students are at Rolduc Abbey hunting for medieval manuscript fragments – and … Continue reading

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We Study Human Beings

Today I attended a seminar where a few truly remarkable people talked about their life experiences. One of them was a doctor, who did a few years of residency in New York before becoming interested in medical administration, and deciding … Continue reading

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Left-Handed Monks

Did you know that, despite the sinister (pun fully intended) associations of left hands, some scribes were actually left-handed? Paleographers know this because unlike right-handed scribes, for whom writing involved pulling the pen and ink across the writing surface, writers … Continue reading

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More Digital Palaeography: DigiPal

A few posts ago I talked about Erik Kwakkel’s Turning Over a New Leaf, which uses computers to analyze manuscripts. Keeping with the same theme, I’ve recently discovered Peter Stokes’  and Stewart Brookes’ work in progress, DigiPal. Here’s what they … Continue reading

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