Book Series Palaeography, Manuscript Studies & Book History (Outside a Series)

Unveiled Faces of Medieval Hebrew Books

The evolution of Manuscript Production - Progression or Regression ?

M. Beit-Arié

  • Pages: 116 p.
  • Size:155 x 220 mm
  • Illustrations:23 b/w
  • Language(s):English, Hebrew
  • Publication Year:2003

Temporarily Out of Stock
  • ISBN: 978-965-493-160-1
  • Hardback
  • Temporarily Out of Stock


This study examines five different aspects of the production of medieval Hebrew manuscripts while attempting to check whether the manuscripts reflect a clear historical process of progress and rationalization: ergometrically amelioration of the technical production procedures, growing efficiency in copying, greater comfort of reading and clarity of the text hierarchy, and greater faithfulness to the copied text. The study addresses the question whether the history of Jewish handwritten book production and consumption until the beginning of Hebrew printing mirrors compromises between economic constraints and functional needs or optimization of production process, as it is claimed by Ezio Ornato concerning Western manuscripts, or it is possible to discern the dominant impact of interests other than economic or functional in the history of the fabrication of Hebrew books, such as the esthetical and the “rethorical”. These aspects are analyzed while deploying the unique empirical procedure of Hebrew quantitative codicology, based on a database of codicological features of all the extant dated Hebrew manuscripts.