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Lecture 6

VISA-3027 Lecture 6: Podcast: Book Arts in the Early Medieval Period

Visual Culture - Art
Course Code
Heather Coffey

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VISA 3027: Medieval Art & Architecture
6. Podcast: Book Arts in the Early Medieval Period
Develop for intricate metal work to early Christian manuscript production with early
medieval monastic
Roman empire fractured in the western roman empire, the institutional of the church
stepped into the power vacuum after the collapse of the romanan empire
Pope isn't only leadership position but co-exist with other leader from tribal linage
The spread of Christianity - posterization (spreading work of god) facilitated by monastic
network - early on, pope would send certain spirital leader abroad to sermonize who
hasn't adopted Christianity
Chritianity spread was quick as conversation was an individual act, not tribal occurrence
Monasisim is a practice of devotion in Chritianity where people would devote entire life
and live in community as like-minded individuals. Early monastic order is the benedicting
order but as time goes on, there would be more monastic orders who differ their lifestyle
Monastery have communal spaces for men and women but usually it's a communal estate
for male members. Nunnery is same but for women
(Slide 32 - 35) Skelling Michael Monastery
Idea of Christianity spread through strong minded individuals from Roman who preach to
different population - image of the individual preacher but also organization of
community that began to percolate in northern europe
Romantic notion of monastery, men and women wearing different coloured robes living in
A lot of early monastery that enter in medieval ireland, france and britian had isolated
lifestyle that follow their life based on task
o Communal singing, communal meals and naps…
Another monasteries that are founded closer to major city center and equally important;
they are wealthier due to donation of worshipper and donors. Some monasteries become
landlord. The wealth and product of agricultural produces. Some monastery isn't allowed
to own land
Staircase that leads to living quarters
o Very romantic to us but very arduous
Communal church for munk
6 small beehive huts
Redamuntary construction
Built fro stone, dry sack method: slabs of rock/stone that’s arrange in circle to creat
beehive, no mortor to steal different pieces of rock, not fully secure against element,
Create fairly tight but not protected from water or air
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Neeed strong commitment for god to live
Interior is square with small fire (not sure), with some ledge (small storage)
o Rain system for water and maintence of crop
o Multiple wall to create settlement that's buffer from elements but not much
Extreme form of survival, have limited life expectancy, very hard, restricted diet and working
Not all are like this,
o Benedictine order is the riches and powerful; near cities and tended over time to
become landed estate
Romantic notion: saved literacy and sort of folk lore that viking would destroy villages and
monastery would preserve literacy and written work,
o They are structure that supporting literacy in latin (word of gospel in western europe
empite/ language of chritian church/ all children that join is fluent in latin -
(Slide 36) Codex Sinaiticus, Eastern Mediterranean, 350
Codex: a book, or a group of manuscript pages (folios), sewn together along one side and
placed in a binding
Transitional object, early 4th century
Capture transition preferential use of scrolls to the codex, parallel is abondonment of
scroll and adoption of codex instead,
Codex was consider better reposititory for things to be study:
1. scrolls were made from fiberiuos plants and reading was public reading, very usefell
to be read continuous without stopping. scrolls
Text is written in four vertical collumns used in scrolls, easier to track on visual
Scrolls isn't helpful for cross reference, good for portable, lighter and well
suited for oral performance, it's very difficult to cross reference on portion of
text to another
Each page is a folio, each transcipted and sewn together (group in different
number such as choir) and sewn in totality then glue in more durable binding,
Good for studying text closely, useful for chritian thologens and compare new
and old testiment
2. Durability - scrolls were fragile and from perpirious, not good when there is
codex made from parchment, more durable. Refer writening surface from skin of
animals (calvescows, sheeps, anything with hide), each folio in book represent half
of hind of animal, with 300 folios would need at least 150 animals - sacrifice for one
type of commodity for written work, animal skin treated with acidity material and
stretch and flatten and other part would be scrape off,
Vellum, more suppier as it's made from calves (baby cows), smooth and lighter in
colour due to being younger in age, need to sacrifice more animals due to size, most
esteem parchment
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