Finding the Prior Leaf
Manuscript Fragments and Original Codices
Keywords:Fragmentology, Guides, Reconstructions, Synecdoche
Fragments of Latin-script medieval manuscript books evoke the whole to which they once belonged, encouraging us to build a mental model of the now-broken whole. Discussing fragments thus requires a way to describe not just the surviving objects and how they relate to their current context, but also how they related to the original. At the most basic level, relating individual pieces to an original codex requires identifying the fragment’s physical role and orientation in the codex. Then, if the text of the fragment is known, extrapolation can be used to reconstruct leaves, gatherings, and codicological units. An extrapolative method is documented and validated using experimental data and examples from the Fragmentarium web platform.
Copyright (c) 2023 William Duba
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