Book Series Instrumenta Patristica et Mediaevalia, vol. 93

The Art of Publication from the Ninth to the Sixteenth Century

Samu Niskanen (ed)

  • Pages: 416 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:12 b/w, 8 col., 14 tables b/w., 4 maps b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2023

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60296-7
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60297-4
  • E-book
  • Available

Written transmission relies on the fact of ‘publication’. This book asks what ‘publishing’ meant in the context of a manuscript culture, in which books were copied slowly and singly by hand.


Samu Niskanen is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Helsinki. His research is mainly concerned with intellectual life and Latin literature in the Middle Ages.


Written transmission relies on the fact of ‘publication,’ the step between the authorial process and reception. But what does ‘publishing’ mean in the context of a manuscript culture, in which books were copied slowly and singly by hand? This is a fundamental question. If one fails to appreciate the act of publication, one’s understanding of any authorial work and its reception from any period will remain defective. The case studies in this volume ask what it meant for medieval and renaissance authors and their associates to publish. The contexts under scrutiny range from England to Italy, from hagiography to literary criticism, and from Carolingian monasteries to renaissance libraries. Medieval publishing remains undiscovered territory in the main. This volume constitutes a first effort towards a long-term narrative, from the ninth to the sixteenth century.


Samu Niskanen (University of Helsinki): Introduction 
Jesse Keskiaho (University of Helsinki), Publications and Confidential Exchanges: Carolingian Treatises on the Soul
Lauri Leinonen (University of Helsinki), Contextualizing the Publication of Dudo of Saint-Quentin’s Historia Normannorum
Tuomas Heikkilä (University of Helsinki), Publishing a Saint: The Textual Tradition of the Life and Miracles of St Symeon of Trier
James Willoughby (University of Oxford), The Chronicle of Ralph of Coggeshall: Publication and Censorship in Angevin England
Jakub Kujawiński (Adam Mickiewicz University/University of Helsinki), Nicholas Trevet OP (c. 1258–after 1334) as Publishing Friar. Part I. Commentaries on the Authors of Classical and Christian Antiquity
Luca Azzetta (University of Florence), Errors in Archetypes and Publication: Observations on the Tradition of Dante’s Works
Marco Petoletti (University of Milan), The Art of Publishing One’s Own Work: Petrarch’s De vita solitaria
Valentina Rovere (University of Helsinki), To Publish Post Mortem: Boccaccio’s Latin Works and Martino da Signa
Outi Merisalo (University of Jyväskylä), Publishing in Laurentian Florence: Jacopo di Poggio Bracciolini’s Edition of Poggio’s Historiae Florentini populi
Giovanna Murano, History Rewritten: Francesco Guicciardini’s Storia d’Italia and Fiammetta Frescobaldi
Jaakko Tahkokallio (National Library of Finland), Theories, Categories, Configurations: A Historian’s Point of View on the Study of Publishing in Manuscript