Wednesday, October 2, 2013

bound to enlighten

From: Huffington Post

"Measuring about 11-by-10 centimeters, the 50-page, tan-colored book is written in an archaic form of Hebrew with Babylonian vowel markings, according to the Religion News Service. The fact that that book appears to still have its original binding makes it very special, according to Dr. Jerry Pattengale, director of the Green Collection’s research arm, the Green Scholars Initiative.
     'It is certainly the earliest copy of such a book that has been known,' Pattengale told The Huffington Post.
     Predating the earliest known copies of the Torah by several hundred years, the [ninth century] prayer book—also known as a siddur—could prove to be an important link to religious scholarship of the era.
     'This artifact may very well be the earliest connection today’s practicing Jews have to the roots of their rabbinic liturgy,' Green announced at the Religion Newswriters Association conference, according to Forward. Jewish tradition dictates that holy texts be buried or hidden when they wear out, Green notes, which has led to very few surviving before the 15th century.'"
— Meredith Bennett-Smith, Huffington Post
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From: The DailyGlean
"This little beauty—a handwritten copy of St John’s Gospel from the New Testament—was just bought by the British Library for a cool $9 million. Its provenance is impeccable, having been placed in the coffin of St Cuthbert at Lindisfarne Priory in 698, where it lay undisturbed for the next 400 years. In 793, the Vikings attacked, and the community had to leave the island around 875, carrying Cuthbert’s coffin with them. The gospel was discovered in 1104 when the coffin was opened for reburial and enshrinement in Durham Cathedral."
The DailyGlean
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"The codex was the early form of what we know as a book—that is, pages bound together (the term codex is Latin for 'block of wood.')
     Papyrus codices date from the First Century A.D. and by the Fourth Century A.D. codices (of papyrus or parchment) had supplanted scrolls as the reading devices of choice. Codex users valued the format over scrolls for the same qualities we value in books today: portability, ease of finding your place, and the ability to write on both sides of the page (save parchment!)."
— Valerie Peterson,

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