The following synopsis was prepared by Richard MacFarlane,
Director, Scottish Studies Society
Opening Remarks by Susannah Fereira,
Associate Professor, History,
University of Guelph
Welcome to everyone attending our colloquium today. A huge thank you to the Scottish Studies Society and Foundation for their dedicated support to this exhibit which we are opening today.
Experiential learning is all the rage at universities across Canada. The display of medieval exhibits involves extensive preparation with regard to researching, organizing, and planning. The Scottish studies courses offered at Guelph University have given our graduate students skills which they can put on their resume. More than this, these courses have given our students the path for a love of learning. The display of artifacts underlines the importance of the physical manuscript for appreciating and understanding history. Working with an original manuscript, our students experience an emotional connection which fuels their desire to explore and discover more about the past. This is all the more important, in an era when enrollment in history at universities has been declining. The greater benefit of examining these manuscripts is to learn about the history of art and the diversity of languages.
Presentations: Session 1
Dr. Sierra Dye, Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Scottish Studies, University of Guelph
"Witches, and Warlocks, and Scots, Oh My!
Guelph's Scottish Studies Archives
and Sources on Witchcraft, Magic and More"
The University of Guelph is honoured to have the manuscript collection, largely through the dedicated efforts of the Scottish Studies Society and Foundation. We have several Charters dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. For instance, the Sinclair Charters and Seals date from 1491 to 1574. We have great source material for studying early Scottish history. For instance, we have The Seal of James V and The Campbell of Monzie Family Papers. We have also received recently the Fraser Papers which we hope to add to the collection.
My paper today is about witchcraft. Scotland had a high proportion of people who were accused of witchcraft. At one stage, up to 60 per cent of the accused were executed. The definition of witchcraft changed over time. There was a witch hunting manual produced. The collection has an example of a pamphlet from 1591. Then there is the Chapbook collection. There is a digital repository, on line. And "how-to" manuals about witchcraft. It was about the supernatural. An example of documentation is contained in "Witches and Church Courts: Kirk Session and Presbytery Records." Over time, there have been numerous witchcraft cases and investigations. Another source is Sir George Maxwell's Diary. Maxwell was a dedicated hunter of witches. Sir William Fraser is the author of a book about Maxwell. The Scots have both healed and harmed people. Thanks to the amazing effort of the Scottish Studies Foundation and Society, we have one of the preeminent facilities in the world
Brittaney Payer, M.A. Candidate, History, University of Guelph
"Burn the Beggar! Felix Hemmerlin on Heresy,
Witchcraft, and the Mendicant Orders"
Felix Hemmerlin represented context and contradiction. This was a time in Scotland when the idea of a witch was formally defined. Hemmerlin argued that the witches are not responsible. It's the devil himself that is the culprit. Blame the devil for your problems. Hemmerlin looks at devils and demons. There was the "Council of Constance," 1414 to 1418, which advertised the threat of corrupted religion. It was about "late medieval anti-fraternalism and mendicant hypocrisy." Those who supported this movement argued that religious leaders are practicing a corrupt form of Christianity. These texts need to be studied, they said. It is a kind of supernatural panic. A historical source used was "The Opuscula et Tractatus." It was about church reform. The point is that we don't know, and we need to know. It is about studying what is going on behind the scenes regarding the burning of witches.
Richard Griffin, M.A. Candidate, History, University of Guelph
"Translations of Hemmerlin's Opuscula et Tractatus
and the Uses of Witchcraft"
Hemmerlin was a Swiss canon and a demonologist in the 14th century. He was focused on removing maledictions and curses. He used the Eucharistic host for religious blessings, for instance, of the wine and vines, to improve the crops. He also works on goats, sheep, and cows. He writes in German. He did not fix on controlling other peoples' problems. He focused on fixing illness and erratic behaviour. In Hemmerlin's view, these problems could be fixed by communicating with the demon. It was considered strange for the time period. It was meant to be used and read by the educated elite. It was written like a scientific manual. This study underlines the importance of translating these manuscript sources. And providing accessibility to a wider audience.
Andrew Vowles, Senior Writer and Editor,
Communications and Public Affairs
"Of Royals, Saints, and Dragons,
Fifteenth Century Pageantry and Piety in an
Image-With-An-Image in BL Royal MS 15.vi"
The interest in Scotland with pageantry and piety begins during the 15th century, about 1586. Margaret of Anjou (1430 to 1482) is betrothed to Henry VI. Margaret presents him with the Talbot Shrewsbury Book, including a bound anthology. The frontispiece of the book shows a kneeling Shrewsbury. This is about Henry's genealogical claim to the English and French thrones. The Order of the Garter ceremony illustrates the significance of pageantry in 15th century England. It was a time of the Hundred Years' War (1337 to 1453) and the War of the Roses (1455 to 1485), the series of dynastic civil wars whose violence and civil strife preceded the strong government of the Tudors. Fought between the houses of Lancaster and York for the English throne, the wars were named many years afterward from the supposed badges of the contending parties: the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster. This was a fierce battle over who would rule England.
The Order of the Garter dates from the 14th century and it is the highest order. Around 1348, King Edward III founded the Chivalric Order of the Garter, The blue and gold represent this order. From the Latin associated with this we get: "Honi soit qui mal y pense," which translates to: "Evil be to he who evil thinks." The order is associated with the legend of St. George and the dragon.
A story behind the garter was that when King Edward III was dancing with Joan of Kent, his first cousin and daughter-in-law, her garter slipped down to her ankle, causing people nearby to mock her.
In an act of chivalry, Edward placed the garter around his own leg saying, in Middle French, "Honi soit qui mal y pense. Tel qui s'en rit aujourd'hui, s'honorera de la porter, car ce ruban sera mis en tel honneur que les railleurs le chercheront avec empressement," in English: "Shame on him who thinks evil of it. Those who laugh at this today will be proud to wear it tomorrow because this band will be worn with such honor that those mocking now will be looking for it with much eagerness."
These words were first uttered by England's King Edward III in the 14th century. At that time, he reigned over a part of France. The language spoken at the English court among the aristocracy and clergy and in courts of law was Norman French, as it had been since the time of William the Conqueror of Normandy, starting in 1066.
While the ruling classes spoke Norman French, the peasants (who comprised the majority of the population) continued to speak English. French eventually fell out of use for reasons of practicality. By the middle of the 15th century, English again ascended to the throne, so to speak, replacing French in British centres of power.
Pageantry was the order of the day in England, in religious and street ceremonies. Elaborate processions occurred at St. George's Chapel. During the 1400s, there were colourful pageants along the streets in London, England. There were expectations, and they may have been raised expectations. This was a time when royalty combined public pageantry with private devotion. In 1422, the "Books of the Skinner's Company" parchment manuscript was an example of books and their illustrations which confirmed the Queen's status as mother, protector, and mediator. The Queen was described as a "tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide." In more recent years, scholars have argued for a more multi-faceted view than that of Shakespeare.
Presentations: Session 2
Broghan White, B.A. Candidate, English, University of Guelph
"A Great Thing in a Small Package:
How the Pocket Bible Reflects the Culmination of
Medieval Cultural and Technological Innovation"
My paper explores 13th century portable bibles. During the advent of the portable bible, there was a movement from oxen to horses, and the development of a "three field" farm system. A significant increase in population drove more book production and more reading. Animal skins were used to make parchment for books. The 14th century ushered in the feudal age which involved improving the condition of peasants. A stable political system led to cultural and technological innovations. As a result, there was an increase in the production of portable bibles. The objective was to establish an order and uniformity in bible production. One bible was called "The Paris Bible." There was also the rise of the university. The goal was to produce portable bibles that were not cumbersome.
Along with this was the development of the use of black letter script. And the use of the quill. There was more upright writing and a greater use of abbreviations. Books had thinner parchment. Parchment makers had some latitude to experiment in parchment production. What is uncertain are the methods and recipes of making parchment.
Kathryn M. Comper, M.A. Candidate, History, University of Guelph
"Exploring the Uses, Production, and Significance of
Thirteenth Century Portable Bibles"
I am going to do a presentation today about portable bibles during the 13th century, their use and significance. The Dominican and Franciscan orders and universities used these bibles. This is one reason why the portable bibles were in high demand. The central belief during this age was to preach the word of God. The objective was to make the narrative available to a wider audience, to teach good morals and religious doctrine. During the 12th century, some groups questioned the bible. There was the problem of heresy. Portable bibles were considered essential to eradicate the heresy. These bibles were standardized and somewhat uniform. The bible also encouraged the spread of independent booksellers. The portable bible was essential to the development of the modern day bible. Preachers used the bible to amplify their arguments. The bible became easier to use. It was seen as utilitarian. But it was reorganized by use of thinner parchment to fit into a condensed format. There was use of splitting parchment into thin layers. Wings from small birds were used to do the writing. Natural pigments were used for colours. The church wanted a uniform message of the Church of God. Marginal notes drew attention to use of specific passages such as during Palm Sunday. There were warnings about defying God. These standardized bibles were extremely durable.
Alex Wall, M.A. Candidate, History, University of Guelph
"Sermons and Community:
The Social Element of Late Medieval Sermons"
There was a renaissance of preaching in the 15th century in Italy and this was led by Saint Bernardino of Siena (1380 to 1444), an Italian priest and Franciscan missionary, and The Observant Franciscans. Sermons were a crucial part of life in late medieval Italy. The chief enemy of daily living was boredom and indifference. Some Italian mendicant preachers would incorporate local art into their sermons. Preachers deliberately employed the use of spectacle in order to draw crowds. There was a compromise by preachers between the religious message they wanted to convey and their need to entertain the crowds. In Italy, sermons were preached at all levels of society. There was also the use of popular myths and folk tales. There was the rise of humanism in late medieval Italy. And use of classical references. Franciscan preachers were preoccupied with mercantile concerns. This reflected the capitalistic nature of Italian communities. The focus was on establishing proper conduct for merchants and bankers. They preached proper mercantile values. Marginal groups were women and Jews. Franciscan sermons had positive and negative impacts on these marginal groups and these groups were encouraged to engage with the larger community during the preaching of sermons. Women could also engage in social activity during sermons. Sometimes, women served as preachers. The preachers sometimes stirred up communal violence against Jews. Some Jews were compelled to attend sermons by certain preachers.
Brenna Clark, M.A. Candidate, History, University of Guelph
"Parchment and Plague:
Finding the Black Death in Medieval Scottish Land Charters
Through Modern Bovine DNA Testing"
During the medieval age, parchment was taken from animal skins. Various approaches to extract DNA from parchment have been considered. The objective is to understand the science behind the concept. We can find what type of animal was used to make the parchment and where it was from. The scientific analysis can tell us about what life was like 600 years ago. There is the example of a cow. We can learn about the economic relations, for example, and who was trading with whom, and what countries were involved in trading of animals. What were the socio-economic conditions? Did the cow have important genetic markers? What was life like? We can also have the potential to understand the origin and spread of diseases such as the black plague. The plague could have hit hard where there was the centre of parchment production. Further research opportunities are evident. We can reach out and communicate with universities around the world. We can analyze scraps of parchment. There is the interdisciplinary value of studying DNA from parchment.
Evangeline Mann, B.A. Candidate, Art History, University of Guelph
"European Fashion in the Sixteenth Century:
The Depiction of Clothing in Germaine Hardouyn's Book of Hours (1526)"
Germain Hardouyn's Book of Hours (1526) illustrates the quality of clothing and fashion during the sixteenth century. Germain Hardouyn was a prolific printer active in Paris from 1500 to 1541. Many books were created for the Parisian market. In the book, there were illustrations of clothing. They were beautiful clothes. They were of high quality and durable. Spinners needed to work quickly. The visuals in the Book of Hours depict women as wearing luxurious and flowing garments. The church required finely crafted garments. This period was when silk fabric was created. There was also the dying and bleaching of the yarn. In 13th century Paris, high fashion clothes provided employment. It was the beginning of the creation of metallic thread, to make the garment even more beautiful. Women were depicted as wearing voluminous gowns. The art of spinning and proper textile work was taught. About 80 per cent of textile workers were women. This heralded the growth of the textile industry, especially in Paris.
Andrew Northey, B.A. Candidate, History and Classical Studies,
University of Guelph
"Adding Colour to the Past:
A Study on the Medieval Ink-Making Process
and the Clues of Identification"
(Recorded video presentation)
I have become fascinated with the use of colour, to see the physical evidence. This gets to the aspect of curiosity. When you look at an ancient document, you have an overwhelming feeling that can render you speechless. The visual is what impacts you. In Year 2003, as a six year old, I visited for the first time the Royal Ontario Museum. There was a display of knights. When I saw the display, I thought, "who made it?" How was it made?" and, "How did it last this long?"
There is the question of ink, and how the colours were made. How to get royal red, how to produce copper green, and how to achieve lighter or darker tones of colour. Black ink started at the end of the 12th century. Why were some colours chosen and others not? The answer was - practicality. The use of colours helped the reader more easily navigate through the manuscript. Red notes were added only after the manuscript was completed. Symbolism played an important role. For example, red was used for blood, lust, and love. The objective is to identify what the illumination was used for. Some techniques were expensive.
Then there are watermarks. They are used to identify who made the paper and when and where it is made. Some owners would change the watermark design on each printing project they did which made it more difficult to identify the "who, where and when" it was made.
Two research lessons stand out: The first is that information which has been gathered by researching the ink-making process has given more knowledge to the field. The second is that all of the data collected can be used as a stepping stone for further enquiry. There is much more to learn and this is what makes the study of ink and colour exciting. The mind is a fire that needs to be kindled
Presentations: Session 3
Janine Magilsen, B.A. Candidate, Classical and Museum Studies,
University of Guelph
The Transformation of Manuscripts Over Time
and How They Make Us Confront Mortality"
From medieval times, there are visual examples of memorialization. The question is, who owns the document? Who used it? What were their lives like? We can only guess who used a manuscript. Interactions of people have changed fundamentally. Colour changes of folios can indicate what their favourite pages were. An example is the Book of Hours, circa 1526. Evidence of a smudged page shows that this page was used in prayer. Manuscripts were used which document a person's death. Often, it is the only evidence that the owners had lived at all. The Psalter, dating from 1240 to 1260, was used to teach children. This points to discourse about death confrontation and death acceptance, to try and understand one's own mortality and the mortality of others. Some documents show, by lack of wear, that they were used carefully. Others have a lot of wear. Manuscripts with wear stains illustrate that they were heavily used and loved by their owners. The growth in understanding is that mortality is definite and life is fleeting. "You cannot understand an artifact unless you interact with it."
Nico Mara-McKay, M.A. Candidate, History, University of Guelph
"Commemorating Community: St. Kunibert's Office of the Dead"
In St. Kunibert's Office of the Dead, the depiction shows an elaborate funeral, part of the society at that time. In 1247, the church was consecrated in Cologne, Germany. St. Kunibert became the archbishop there. Referring to Prayer and Colophon, Office of the Dead in 1487, it was a demonstration of piety. In the 16th century, there was the advent of binding of books. The use of binding was to keep the thin parchment flat to keep it from wrinkling. Initial printing was with ink flourishes and there was rubrication in red and blue ink. This manuscript shows heavy use. Sections are marked with decorative large initials. This approach to printing and binding was intended for practical use within the church. Included was music with four-line Hufnagel notation. Corrections to the text exist. Often, hand-stitched inserts were used for the loss of parchment. The book was used to help the transition of the community of the living to the community of the dead. Along with this movement, the idea of purgatory started in 1274. Between the 12th and 15th century, funerals became more complex. Funerals also started to contain more images. There was the beginning of the death bed scene, as shown by a manuscript at the Princeton University Library. There were advisories on "how to have a good death." Burial scenes were depicted, and an example is at the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford in England. Some deceased wished for perpetual prayers. Lists of the deceased, a Necrologium, were prepared from the 1600s and 1700s. This was also called a "commemoration of all souls."
As written by "Les Enluminures" in Paris, "Relatively large in format, this carefully written and decorated liturgical manuscript from the important church of St. Kunibert in Cologne was used daily by the canons for the liturgy associated with death and burial. Dated and with a known donor, it is preserved in an elaborate sixteenth-century binding. It also includes an eighteenth-century necrology with names, dates, and burial location, making this an important document both as a record of people associated with the community and for the physical organization of the Church and its altars."
Rosalie Engels, Erasmus Mundus M.A. in Crossways in Cultural Narratives,
University of Guelph
"But Who Will Pay the Historians?
Medieval Schools and the Study of Classical Texts"
The use of written satire evolved and expanded from Juybyal, a Roman satirist. Juybyal used an eloquent style of Latin prose. School books were used. The age of the student was most likely pre-university. This visual of doodling in a school book likely dates from 1460 to 1480. How popular were school books? They were used to teach the intricacies of the Latin language. Secular texts were more widespread than thought. Use of juvenile satire can be traced to the 9th century. Peter Damian is an example of 11th century satire. The 15th century saw the greatest increased interest in juvenile satire, in texts. What can be most important when studying manuscripts is the information in the margins. The doodling or circular swirls on the manuscripts is evidence that the person was testing the writing instrument, to try and make the ink "run."
Dominic Marner, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Guelph
"Opening the Text in the Floreffe Bible (London, BL. Add. MS 17738):
From Ways of Seeing to Ways of Touching"
Introduction by Will Noel,
Associate University Librarian for Special Collections,
Princeton University, New Jersey
(via laptop video transmission)
In the United States, special collections are closing all over the country. Even the Met is closing. In the 1980s, I (Will Noel) was doing a Ph.D. in Cambridge, England while Dominic was doing his Ph.D. in East Anglia. A brilliant art historian said, "never let the facts get in the way of a good idea." The middle ages are so wacky. During that time, before you go to print, you had to have your ideas tested out, and fit them with the facts. At the 2019 medieval academy conference in Philadelphia, Dominic gave the same presentation as he will be giving today. I am looking forward to hearing it again.
Dominic Marner, University of Guelph:
"Thoughts on a Hole in the Parchment of the Floreffe Bible
(BL Add MS 17738)"
Thank you very much, Will, for your wonderful introduction. It was inspiring to me to look at medieval manuscripts. A glance of the digital image of the Floreffe Bible piqued my curiosity. This beautifully illustrated bible was decorated at Floreffe during the 1100s. Floreffe is seven miles southwest of Namur, Belgium. The decorative detail shows the complex interplay of visual elements and the text. To view the illustrations as to their meaning is to identify with the ongoing process of revelation. This was a deliberate strategy by the producers of the content of this bible.
The approach was to "read" the miniature images, for revelation. The reader was to connect the symbol of the evangelist with the Life of Christ. As a christological figure, the unicorn represents Christ, with the characteristics of divine unity, spiritual power and nobility. The image of the Ascension of Jesus scene depicts animals such as the ox and the lion which represent different stages of life. There is also the visual representation of the Crucifixion. The expression "bring hither the fatted calf and kill it" is an example of the religious text. Jesus on the cross, the image showing the act of piercing, and the wound itself. A single term might be used to bridge the Old with the New Testament. The bible brings together, deliberately, the visual images and the text. There is also growing use of associated meanings of a symbol. For instance, the idea of resurrection is illustrated by the image of three women at the end of the tomb. These images have unique and compelling aspects.
The miracle moment for me was when I viewed the digital image of the Floreffe Bible, from England. As I looked at the image, I noticed a defect or hole in the parchment which was not just a hole. It was a symmetric hole. This revelation stopped me in my tracks. It was a startling discovery. I needed to take a much closer look at this defect.
In medieval times, defects were repaired by being sewn or patched. In the Floreffe Bible, there are 49 holes. The patching of a hole was a standard practice.
What made this symmetric hole unique and different from all other patches? First, the line (page ruling to keep the script level and along a proper line) stopped abruptly at the hole. But below the hole, the page ruling ran continuously. This means that the hole was there prior to the lining. This also indicates that a letter was there prior to the hole in the parchment. There was also some wear at that point.
The next important piece of evidence was that there was a smaller hole prior to the writing of the text. After the written word was set down, they extended the hole in order to make it symmetrical. The text itself, amazingly, is relevant to the hole. Do we call this a miraculous coincidence? It is no coincidence. It is a deliberate relationship between image and text in a complex symphony of religious storytelling and revelations.
At this point in the Floreffe Bible, it is about the iconic story of "The Woman Who Touched Jesus' Garment," in Mark 5:21-34.
"And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea. And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
"And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."
It is about the tearing of a fabric, the garment. In fact, the word on the other side of the hole is "garment." It is depicted as the miracle of the woman who was under the issue of blood for many years. The miracle is that if I touch Jesus' garment, I shall be made whole. If you remember, Christ asked, "who touched my garment?" Even the manuscript is touched repeatedly, as if to underline that quotation. It is brilliantly choreographed, the interactive aspect of the book. I say, it is embedded in a larger miracle, Mark 5:41, when Christ says, "Talitha koum!" (Rise up!) It is the interface of image and word. It represents touching, leading, and healing.
The bible text tears open and then healing occurs. It encapsulates the interactive moment when Jesus touches the woman's fabric. Dating from the 4th century, there are also the images of the Catacomb of Marcellinus and Peter. The intermingling of different types of images provide evidence about the shift towards Christian imagery.
It is evident that the touch of a hemorrhaging woman is not a straightforward touch. It is a surprise for Jesus who is turning around to see who touched his garment. The woman, in a large crowd, is not clearly visible and approaches Jesus, secretly, from behind.
The healing of the woman is connected to a larger story. "A stolen touch, and a given touch." The flow of blood from the woman can be linked to the blood and resurrection of Christ.
The hole in the parchment literally breaks the text. The complex aspects to this treatment of the images and the text with the hole that is symmetrical are truly remarkable and understood by the reader, as he reads the text, as miraculous.
What happens, then, when the reader turns the page? The aperture becomes an eye. As the reader looks through the hole (the eye), he sees a glimpse of Mary Magdalene, known as the Jewish woman who travelled with Jesus. This view represents the theme in which Magdalene touches the garment of Christ.
What is incredible is the marriage of the image to the text, on the reverse side of the hole. The shape of the hole is deliberate. It is the shape of a human eye. The words which frame the "eye" are the body of Christ and the stomach of the woman. Textually and visually, it is linked with the "panin," the Eucharest, the body of Christ.
These associations can be linked again when the page is turned again, even without any hole at all. The text declares, "and they were beside themselves with wonder." This perfectly mirrors the reaction of the reader when reading this and seeing the hole. Literally, the reader reads about his emotional response to the images and text.
With this evidence, we cannot dismiss the hole as coincidental. The proof is in the proper weighing of the evidence. We have to consider the page format, the spacing, and structure. If the hole was not planned, the script should show either compression or expansion. There is no intent of either. Likewise, regarding the spacing, we see that the column widths are even. Were there increases or decreases of abbreviations? The numeric references are quite similar - 169, 181, 182.
There are two clues that suggest the scribe is intentionally lining up the page. It gives the appearance of a double line running through the hole. We must ask, was the double line used as an afterthought? From the evidence, not likely. In fact, the double line only occurs at this one spot. Everywhere else, a single line is used. It is quite evident that this double line was installed prior to the writing of the script. It is unique and relates to the positioning of the text and the hole. Essentially, this is the scribe coordinating the hole, text, and image. The positioning is precise in terms of measurements.
The interplay between text and image is striking. What makes the Floreffe Bible special is the complexity. This demonstrates that "a hole is not necessarily a defective hole." It compels us to assess the use of a hole more sensitively.
After the presentation, Richard MacFarlane commented about the hole: "What a fascinating presentation. The shape of the hole is not just an oval by chance but the precise shape of a human eye. I am surprised that the edges of the hole are not frayed, despite the age of the bible, and extensive use."
Another comment was that the hole looks like a downcast eye, as if Christ is looking down at the woman. Dominic Marner responded as follows: "Through the hole, there is the image of the touching of the vestments which represents the halo and the vestment. There is wear on the first side but not on the reverse of the hole. Christ's body is like parchment. When you have a tear in the parchment, you have a tear in the body of Christ. The readership of the Floreffe Bible are the monks. I don't believe we have evidence of the interactions by readers."
Richard Griffin asked: "Is there any rewriting of the ink?" Dominic Marner replied: "No."
Richard Griffin continued: "In the Floreffe Bible, the Latin word "vestimentum" is not perfectly aligned. Do you have a problem with that? Dominic Marner replied: "No. It is partially hidden, the garment. That's exactly what the miracle is all about. The woman is in a crowd and partially hidden, just like the text."
Closing Remarks and Thank You were made by Susannah Ferreira,
Associate Professor, History, University of Guelph
Illuminating Life: Manuscript Pages of the Middle Ages
Sample Manuscript on Display:
Western France, dated March 30, 1511. Ink on Parchment
Jean Bodin, The Declaration of Feudal Holdings. Early 16th century record of tenancy agreements and rent dues for the Abbey of Fontevraud in the fiefdom of Pignonniere. Manuscript was hand written by Jean Bodin and took a short period of 38 days. It is important in understanding the systems of administration in medieval France. It paints a picture of daily life.
Loan courtesy of "Les Enluminures"
by Melissa McAfee, Special Collections Librarian