In the Lilly Library this manuscript is shelfmarked as Ricketts 20. Written in the very early part of the 13th century in Germany most likely in Weissenau. This is not a small book but neither is it the largest I have handled by a significant amount.
This manuscript is certainly one that I could have spent many hours with but the library was closing in 45 minutes so I did not get as much quality time with the manuscript as I wanted to.
The script is beautiful and the experts call it a Gothic Textura. I call it a transitional script between Carolingian Minuscule and Gothic. As always naming and identifying scripts is not something that is always agreed upon.
Notice on the page that there is also a lot of abbreviation being used.
I find this book interesting from a codicology perspective as well. For example you have prick holes for lining in the spine and on the edges of pages.
Having pricked holes for lining in both the spine and the outer edge of the page indicates a higher likelihood that the pricking holes were put there when the parchment was folded before being put into quires and bound into the book. Of course this book was rebound at least once in the 19th century and with rebinding almost always comes trimming of the pages so we should take all evidence and conclusions with a grain of salt so to speak.
And the lines were left in which was the norm for manuscripts of higher quality.
We like to think of the parchment being perfect or practically perfect when it is used for manuscripts. This isn’t always true. The below picture shows the parchment wasn’t perfect but they used it anyway.
And what was on that page?
We will revisit this manuscript in a later post.