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Cursor Mundi (CURSOR 7)
C. Vircillo Franklin
Material Restoration
A Fragment from Eleventh-Century Echternach in a Nineteenth-Century Parisian Codex

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XVI+242 p., 18 b/w ill. + 0 colour ill., 1 b/w tables, 1 b/w line art, 156 x 234 mm, 2010
ISBN: 978-2-503-52909-7
Languages: English, Latin
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Retail price: EUR 55,00 excl. tax
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Material Restoration is a riveting scholarly detective story that traces the history of an Echternach manuscript fragment.

Material Restoration follows the journey of a parchment bifolium, which was first used in the binding of a manuscript produced in Echternach around the year 1000, and then removed from its original container-codex after it was appropriated by the French during the Napoleonic wars. By tracing the creation, interpretations, and migratory life of the parchment until its eventual incorporation within a nineteenth-century codex, this analysis presents the bifolium as an illustration of ‘new philology’, and as an essential material and cultural element of the different codices that contained it. Material Restoration also analyses the texts inscribed on the bifolium, which include a charter, two poems, and verbal and musical glosses. By considering these texts within the context of the networks that produced and used them, the book offers an intriguing insight into the monastic and literary communities of eleventh-century Echternach. Material Restoration is a riveting and satisfying scholarly detective story that combines both erudition and new discoveries, and adheres to the standards of both classical and new philology.

Table of Contents





List of Figures


List of Abbreviations




Part I: The Modern Age


Chapter 1. The Fragmentation of Modern Scholarship


Chapter 2. Dispersal and Restoration in the Nineteenth Century


Appendix: The Lists of the Manuscripts Taken from Luxembourg to Paris


Part II: The Beginnings (900–1000)


Chapter 3. The Charter


Chapter 4. The Poems and the Glosses: Edition and Translation


Edition of Musical Glosses by S. J. Barrett


Chapter 5. ‘Salue abba mitissime’: Two Kinds of Spiritual Food


Chapter 6. ‘O sacrata dies’: Poetry as lectio divina


Chapter 7. The Glosses


Conclusion. ‘Habent sua fata libelli’




Manuscript Index


General Index



"[Franklin's] work is a model case study that convincingly demonstrates the importance - and the potential payoff - of considering context and provenance alongside text and codex. Every manuscript, no matter how fragmentary, has a story to tell, and Franklin tells this one vividly and with imposing scholarship."

(Lisa Fagin Davis, in Speculum 86/3, July 2011, p. 756)

"Le mérite majeur de ce travail, outre son intérêt intrinsèque et ses aspects d'enquête policière, est d'avoir surmonté la fragmentation des savoirs, presque inévitable, mais préjudiciable à la compréhension intégrale d'un document."

(P.-M. Bogaert, dans Revue Bénédictine, 2011/1, p. 232)

"(...) ces quelques détails ne doivent aucunement faire oublier le grand mérite de cet ouvrage, rappelé dans la conclusion (...), et qui est de replacer, de manière très convaincante, trois textes (une charte et deux poèmes) dans un contexte matériel, historique et culturel sans lequel on ne saurait en percevoir pleinement le sens et la portée."

(François Ploton-Nicollet, dans: Bibliothèque de l'École des chartes, 170/1, 2012, p. 251-255)
Interest Classification:
Book History, Manuscript Studies & Palaeography
Palaeography, Scripts & Manuscript Studies
Roman scripts & Western manuscripts
Medieval & Modern (Indo-European) Languages & Literatures
Comparative & cultural studies through literature

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