Scribes, Script, and Books: The Book Arts from Antiquity to the Renaissance

$61.00
ALA Member: 
$ 54.90
Item Number: 
978-0-8389-1038-2
Published: 
2010
Publisher: 
ALA Editions
Pages: 
392
Width: 
8 12"
Height: 
11"
Format: 
Softcover
AP Categories: 
A
  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Author
  • Reviews

In this detailed overview of the history of the handmade book, Avrin looks at the development of scripts and styles of illumination, the making of manuscripts, and the technological processes involved in paper-making and book-binding. Readers will have a greater understanding of ancient books and texts with

  • More than 300 plates and illustrations
  • Examples of the different forms of writing from ancient times to the printing press
  • Coverage of cultural and religious books
  • Full bibliography

Reference librarians and educators will find this resource indispensable.

Plates

Figures

Maps

Tables

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1 Writing
Embryo Writing
Systems and Stages
The Ancestors of Western Script
Chapter 2 The Alphabet
Principle and System
Diffusion of the Alphabet
Chapter 3 The Book in the Ancient World: Mesopotamia
History of Mesopotamia: Summer, Assyria, Babylonia
Books: Materials and Techniques
Literature
Scribes
Colophons
Chapter 4 The Egyptian Book
History and Evidence
Materials
Scrolls
Titles and Colophons
Literature
Illustrations
Scribes
Chapter 5 The Hebrew Book
History
Materials
The Making of a Torah Scroll
Scribes
Books Other than the Torah
Development of the Hebrew Codex: The Middle Ages
Adornment and Illumination of Hebrew Manuscripts
Chapter 6 The Greek and Hellenistic Book
History and Evidence for the Book
Materials
The Writing of a Scroll
Readers and Scribes
Colophons
Literature
Hellenism and the Book
Parchment
Chapter 7 The Roman Book
History and Literature
Materials
Publishers, Scribes, and Readers
Education
From Scroll to Codex
Chapter 8 Latin Script
Capitals
Cursive Scripts
Uncials
Minuscules
Gothic Script
Humanistic Script
Calligraphy after the Invention of Printing
Chapter 9 Codices Manu Scripti: Books Written by Hand
The Monastery and the Literary Tradition
Materials
Design and Preparation of the Codex
The Scribe
Colophons
The Artist
Women and Books
The Late Middle Ages
Scources of Manuscripts
Chapter 10 Manuscript Illumination
Methodology
Early Christian and Byzantine Manuscripts
Hiberno-Saxon
Carolingian Renaissance
Ottonian
Romanesque
Gothic
Chapter 11 The Islamic Book
Materials: Papyrus, Parchment, and Paper
Tools, Ink, and Paint
Format
Literature
Script and Scribes
Illustrations
Chapter 12 Papermaking
From the Far East to the Near East
Spain
Italy
European Methods
New Raw Materials
Innovations
Chapter 13 Bookbinding
Technique: Forwarding
Finishing
History
Chapter 14 On the Eve of Printing
Block Printing in the Far East and Near East
Block Printing in Europe
Block Books

Bibliography

Index

Leila Avrin

Leila Avrin was a faculty member at the School of Library and Archive Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. She also chaired the Israel Bibliophile Society. The author of Micrography as Art (CNRS/Jerusalem, 1981), Avrin published numerous articles on the book of arts. She held a doctorate in art history and an MLS from the University of Michigan.

"Avrin's book continues to be the best general introduction to the book arts, a rather recondite topic for most readers, even librarians. The author's learning and enthusiasm easily render otherwise dry facts into an enjoyable romp through the development of the 'book' in all of its various incarnations from the clay tablets of Mesopotamia to the incunabula of the Early Modern Europe."
--Internet Reference Services Quarterly

"After completing Avrin's book, readers will recognize not only how the printing and manufacturing of books have undergone a significant transformation in the past five thousand years, but also how the book is a tradition building on the work of scribes, illuminators, papermakers and bookbinders—all craftsmen whose work continues to delight us today. Rare book librarians, art historians and book arts aficionados will benefit from Avrin's study."
--Catholic Library World

"At a time when there is so much discussion of the future of the book and the rise of the e-book, an understanding of the history of books and writing is more relevant than ever ... This remains one of the best single-volume accounts of the history of writing and books in pre-modern times."
--The Australian Library Journal