Pseudo-Geber refers to a corpus of Latin alchemical writing dated to the late 13th and early 14th centuries, attributed to Geber, an early alchemist of the Islamic Golden Age. The most important work of the corpus is Summa perfectionis magisterii written before 1310, whose actual author has sometimes been identified as Paul of Taranto; the work was influential in the domain of metallurgy in late medieval Europe. The historicity of Jābir ibn Hayyān itself is in question, most of the numerous Islamic works attributed to him are, pseudepigraphic, it is common practice of historians of alchemy to refer to the earlier, Greek-inspired body of Islamic texts as the Corpus Jabirianum or Jabirian Corpus, to the 13th to 14th century Latin corpus as Pseudo-Geber or Latin Pseudo-Geber, a term introduced by Marcellin Berthelot. The "Pseudo-Geber problem" is the question of a possible relation between the two corpora; this question has long been controversially discussed. It is now thought that at least parts of Latin Pseudo-Geber are based on earlier Islamic authors such as Al-Razi.
The following set of books is called the "Pseudo-Geber Corpus". The works were first edited in the 16th century, but had been in circulation in manuscript form for 200 years beforehand; the stated author is Geber or Geber Arabs, it is stated in some copies that the translator is Rodogerus Hispalensis. The works attributed to Geber include: Summa perfectionis magisterii. Liber fornacum, De investigatione perfectionis, De inventione veritatis. Being the clearest expression of alchemical theory and laboratory directions available until then—in a field where mysticism and obscurity were the usual rule—Pseudo-Geber's books were read and influential among European alchemists; the Summa Perfectionis in particular was one of the most read alchemy books in western Europe in the late medieval period. Its author assumed that all metals are composed of unified sulfur and mercury corpuscles and gave detailed descriptions of metallic properties in those terms; the use of an elixir for transmuting base metals into gold is explained and a lengthy defense is given defending alchemy against the charge that transmutation of metals was impossible.
The practical directions for laboratory procedures were so clear that it is obvious the author was familiar with many chemical operations. It contains early recipes for producing mineral acids, much like the earlier Arabic corpus, it was not equaled in chemistry until the 16th century writings of chemist Vannoccio Biringuccio, mineralogist Georgius Agricola and assayer Lazarus Ercker. The next three books on the list above are shorter and are, to a substantial degree, condensations of the material in the Summa Perfectionis. Two further works, Testamentum Geberi and Alchemia Geberi, are "absolutely spurious, being of a date ", as Marcellin Berthelot put it, they are not included as part of the Pseudo-Geber corpus, their author is not the same as the others, but it is not certain that the first four have the same author either. De Inventione Veritatis has the earliest known recipe for the preparation of nitric acid. Manuscripts: Geber Liber Fornacum translatum per Rodericum Yspanensem, Biblioteca Marciana, Venice, MS.
Latin VI.215. Geberi Arabis Philosophi sollertissimi rerum naturalium pertissimi, liber fornacum ad exterienda pertimentum interprete Rodogero Hisaplensi interprete, Glasgow University Library, Ferguson MS. 232. Eejisdem'liber fornacum', ad exercendam chemiam pertinentium, interprete Rodogero Hispalensi, British Library, MS Slane 1068Early editions: 1525: Faustus Sabaeus, Geberis philosophi perspicacissimi Summa perfectionis magisterii in sua natura ex exemplari undecumque emendatissimi nuper edita, Marcellus Silber, Rome. 1528, 1529: Geberi philosophi de Alchimia libri tres, Strasbourg 1531: Johann Grüninger, Geberi philosophi ac alchimistae maximi de alchimia libri tres, Strasbourg. 1541: Peter Schoeffer, Geberis philosophi perspicacissimi, summa perfectionis magisterii in sua natur ex bibliothecae Vaticanae exemplari 1545: Alchemiae Gebri Arabis libri, Nuremberg 1572: Artis Chemicae Principes, Avicenna atque Geber, Basel 1598: Geberi Arabis de alchimia traditio, Strasbourg. 1668: Georgius Hornius, Gebri Arabis Chemia sive traditio summae perfectionis et investigation magisterii, Leiden 1682: Gebri, regis Arabum, summa perfectionis magisterii, cum libri invastigationis magisterii et testamenti ejusdem Gebri - et Avicennae minearlium additione, GdanskEarly translations: 1530 Das Buch Geberi von der Verborgenheyt der Alchymia, Strasbourg 1551: Giovanni Bracesco, Esposizione di Geber filosofo, Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari e fratelli, Venice 1692: William Salmon, Gebri Arabis Summa: The Sum of Geber Arabs 1710: Geberi curieuse vollständige Chymische Schriften, Frankfurt Islamic alchemy was held in high esteem by 13th century European alchemists, the author adopted the name of an illustrious predecessor, as was usual practice at the time.
The authorship of Geber was first questioned in the late 19th century by the studies of Kopp, Hoefer and Lippmann. The corpus is influenced by medieval Islamic writers; the identity of the author remains uncertain. He may have lived in both; some books in the Geber corpus may have been written by authors that post-date the author o
Cleopatra the Alchemist
Cleopatra the Alchemist who lived during the 3rd century A. D. was a Macedonian Egyptian alchemist and philosopher. She experimented with practical alchemy but is credited as one of the four female alchemists that could produce the Philosopher's stone, she is considered to be the inventor of an early tool for analytic chemistry. The dates of Cleopatra the Alchemist's life and death are unknown, but she was active in Alexandria in the 3rd century or the 4th century A. D, she is associated with the school of alchemy typified by Mary the Comarius. These alchemists used complex apparatus for sublimation. Cleopatra is a pseudonym for an author, she is not the same person as Cleopatra VII, nonetheless she may be referred to as Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, in some works. One example of this can be found in Basillica Philosophica by Johann Daniel Mylius, where her seal is pictured alongside the motto: "The divine is hidden from the people according to the wisdom of the Lord", she is conflated with Cleopatra the Physician.
The two lived during the same time and are said to have similar styles in their writing, both having grand imagery. Cleopatra is used as a character within the dialogue of the alchemical texts themselves. Cleopatra was a foundational figure in pre-dating Zosimos of Panopolis. Michael Maier names her as one of the four women who knew how to make the philosopher's stone, along with Maria the Jewess and Taphnutia. Cleopatra was mentioned with great respect in the Arabic encyclopedia Kitab al-Fihrist from 988, she is credited with the invention of the alembic. Trying to quantify alchemy and its experiments, Cleopatra worked with weights and measures. Three alchemical texts related to Cleopatra survive; the text titled A Dialogue of Cleopatra and the Philosophers exists, but cannot be attributed to her. Jack Lindsay calls this discourse "the most imaginative and felt document left by the alchemist". Ἐκ τῶν Κλεοπάτρας περὶ μέτρων καὶ σταθμῶν. Χρυσοποιία Κλεοπάτρας Διάλογος φιλοσόφων καὶ Κλεοπάτρας Cleopatra's use of imagery reflects conception and birth, the renewal and transformation of life.
The philosopher alchemist who contemplates his work is compared to a loving mother who thinks about her child and feeds it. Cleopatra is most noted for the Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra, a single sheet document which contains only symbols and captions, it is first found on a single leaf in a tenth-to-eleventh century manuscript in the Biblioteca Marciana, Venice, MS Marciana gr. Z. 299. A copy can be found at Leiden University, located in the Netherlands. Chrysopoeia translated is "gold-making". An example of the imagery is the serpent eating its own tail as a symbol of the eternal return, called the Ouroboros: a snake curving around with its tail in its mouth is an obvious emblem of unity of the cosmos, of eternity, where the beginning is the end and the end is the beginning". On the Chrysopeoia is an inscription in a double ring this describing the Ouroboros: One is the Serpent which has its poison according to two compositions, One is All and through it is All, by it is All, if you have not All, All is Nothing.
Within the inscription ring is symbols for gold and mercury. Along with those are drawings of a "dibikos" and an instrument similar to a kerotakis, both alchemical apparatuses. Another of her symbols is the eight-banded star, it is believed that the drawing of these star symbols and the crescent shapes above them are a pictorial depiction of turning lead into silver. Apotheker, Jan & Sarkadi, Livia Simon. European Women in Chemistry Wiley-VCH GmbH & Co. KGaA Klossowski de la Rola, Stanislas; the Golden Game: Alchemical Engravings of the Seventeenth Century Thames & Hudson. Lindsay. Jack; the Origins of Alchemy in Graeco-Roman Egypt Barnes and Noble NY. Mitter, Swasti & Rowbotham, Sheila. Women Encounter Technology: Changing Patterns of Employment in the Third World. Routledge Patai, Raphael; the Jewish Alchemists: A History and Source Book Princeton University Press. Stanton J. Linden; the alchemy reader: from Hermes Trismegistus to Isaac Newton Cambridge University Press. Uglow, Jennifer S; the Macmillan dictionary of women's biography Macmillan
Raoult's law is a law of thermodynamics established by French chemist François-Marie Raoult in 1887. It states that the partial vapor pressure of each component of an ideal mixture of liquids is equal to the vapour pressure of the pure component multiplied by its mole fraction in the mixture. In consequence, the relative lowering of vapour pressure of a dilute solution of nonvolatile solute is equal to the mole fraction of solute in the solution. Mathematically, Raoult's law for a single component in an ideal solution is stated as p i = p i ⋆ x i, where p i is the partial pressure of the component i in the gaseous mixture, p i ⋆ is the vapor pressure of the pure component i, x i is the mole fraction of the component i in the mixture. Once the components in the solution have reached equilibrium, the total vapor pressure of the solution can be determined by combining Raoult's law with Dalton's law of partial pressures to give p = p A ⋆ x A + p B ⋆ x B + ⋯ If a non-volatile solute is dissolved into a solvent to form an ideal solution, the vapor pressure of the final solution will be lower than that of the solvent.
The decrease in vapor pressure is directly proportional to the mole fraction of solute in an ideal solution: p = p A ⋆ x A, Δ p = p A ⋆ − p = p A ⋆ = p A ⋆ x B. Raoult's law is a phenomenological law that assumes ideal behavior based on the simple microscopic assumption that intermolecular forces between unlike molecules are equal to those between similar molecules: the conditions of an ideal solution; this is analogous to the ideal gas law, a limiting law valid when the interactive forces between molecules approach zero, for example as the concentration approaches zero. Raoult's law is instead valid; the more similar the components are, the more their behavior approaches that described by Raoult's law. For example, if the two components differ only in isotopic content Raoult's law is exact. Comparing measured vapor pressures to predicted values from Raoult's law provides information about the true relative strength of intermolecular forces. If the vapor pressure is less than predicted, fewer molecules of each component than expected have left the solution in the presence of the other component, indicating that the forces between unlike molecules are stronger.
The converse is true for positive deviations. For a solution of two liquids A and B, Raoult's law predicts that if no other gases are present the total vapor pressure p above the solution is equal to the weighted sum of the "pure" vapor pressures p A and p B of the two components, thus the total pressure above the solution of A and B would be p = p A ⋆ x A + p B ⋆ x B. Since the sum of the mole fractions is equal to one, p = p A ⋆ + p B ⋆ x B = p A ⋆ + x B; this is a linear function of the mole fraction x B. Raoult's law was discovered as an idealised experimental law. Using Raoult's law as the definition of an ideal solution, it is possible to deduce that the chemical potential of each component of the liquid is given by μ i = μ i ⋆ + R T ln x i, where μ i ⋆ is the chemical potential of component i in the pure state; this equation for the chemical potential may be used to derive other thermodynamic properties of an ideal solution. However, a
Alchemy was an ancient branch of natural philosophy, a philosophical and protoscientific tradition practiced throughout Europe and Asia, originating in Greco-Roman Egypt in the first few centuries AD. It aims to purify and perfect certain objects. Common aims were chrysopoeia, the transmutation of "base metals" into "noble metals"; the perfection of the human body and soul was thought to permit or result from the alchemical magnum opus and, in the Hellenistic and Western mystery tradition, the achievement of gnosis. In Europe, the creation of a philosopher's stone was variously connected with all of these projects. In English, the term is limited to descriptions of European alchemy, but similar practices existed in the Far East, the Indian subcontinent, the Muslim world. In Europe, following the 12th-century Renaissance produced by the translation of Medieval Islamic works on science and the rediscovery of Aristotelian philosophy, alchemists played a significant role in early modern science.
Islamic and European alchemists developed a structure of basic laboratory techniques, theory and experimental method, some of which are still in use today. However, they continued antiquity's belief in four elements and guarded their work in secrecy including cyphers and cryptic symbolism, their work was guided by Hermetic principles related to magic and religion. Modern discussions of alchemy are split into an examination of its exoteric practical applications and its esoteric spiritual aspects, despite the arguments of scholars like Holmyard and von Franz that they should be understood as complementary; the former is pursued by historians of the physical sciences who examine the subject in terms of early chemistry and charlatanism, the philosophical and religious contexts in which these events occurred. The latter interests historians of esotericism and some philosophers and spiritualists; the subject has made an ongoing impact on literature and the arts. Despite this split, which von Franz believes has existed since the Western traditions' origin in a mix of Greek philosophy, mixed with Egyptian and Mesopotamian technology, numerous sources have stressed an integration of esoteric and exoteric approaches to alchemy as far back as Pseudo-Democritus's first-century AD On Physical and Mystical Matters.
Although alchemy is popularly associated with magic, historian Lawrence M. Principe writes: Most readers are aware of several common claims about alchemy—for example... that it is akin to magic, or that its practice or now is deceptive. These ideas about alchemy emerged after. While each of them might have limited validity within a narrow context, none of them is an accurate depiction of alchemy in general." The word alchemy comes from Old French alquemie, used in Medieval Latin as alchymia. This name was itself brought from the Arabic word al-kīmiyā' composed of two parts: the Late Greek term khēmeía, khēmía, meaning'to fuse or cast a metal', the Arabic definite article al-, meaning'The'. Together this association can be interpreted as'the process of transmutation by which to fuse or reunite with the divine or original form', its roots can be traced to the Egyptian name kēme, meaning'black earth' which refers to the fertile and auriferous soil of the Nile valley, as opposed to red desert sand.
According to the Egyptologist Wallis Budge, the Arabic word al-kīmiyaʾ means "the Egyptian ", borrowing from the Coptic word for "Egypt", kēme. This Coptic word derives from Demotic kmỉ, itself from ancient Egyptian kmt; the ancient Egyptian word referred to both the country and the colour "black". However, according to Mahn, this theory may be an example of folk etymology. Assuming an Egyptian origin, chemistry is defined as follows: Chemistry, from the ancient Egyptian word "khēmia" meaning transmutation of earth, is the science of matter at the atomic to molecular scale, dealing with collections of atoms, such as molecules and metals. Thus, according to Budge and others, chemistry derives from an Egyptian word khemein or khēmia, "preparation of black powder" derived from the name khem, Egypt. A decree of Diocletian, written about 300 AD in Greek, speaks against "the ancient writings of the Egyptians, which treat of the khēmia transmutation of gold and silver"; the Medieval Latin form was influenced by Greek chymeia meaning'mixture' and referring to pharmaceutical chemistry.
Alchemy is several philosophical traditions spanning three continents. These traditions' general penchant for cryptic and symbolic language makes it hard to trace their mutual influences and "genetic" relationships. One can distinguish at least three major strands, which appear to be independent, at least in their earlier stages: Chinese alchemy, centered in China and its zone of cultural influence. Chinese alchemy was connected to Ta
Gdańsk University of Technology
The Gdańsk University of Technology is a technical university in Gdańsk-Wrzeszcz, one of the oldest universities in Poland. It has nine faculties and with 41 fields of study and more than 18 thousand undergraduate, as well as about 626 doctoral students, it employs 2768 people, including 1313 academic teachers. It received CESAER Membership in 2015; the rector of the university is professor Jacek Namieśnik. Some degree courses and various specialisations are taught in English. Moreover, some of the courses offered by GUT are unique in Poland, for instance ones in Construction Chemistry, Nanotechnology and Cartography, as well as Engineering of Natural Resources. Students have access to specialist laboratories, lecture theatres with multimedia facilities, a library with 1.2 million volumes and various sports facilities. Undergraduates can join one or more of 60 student science or language societies as well as other organisations. GUT is the first and only Polish university to be a member of the CDIO Initiative, founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.
CDIO aims to provide an education for engineers that enables them to “Conceive, Design and Operate” pro-industrial technological systems. Active member of a number of university networks and associations, e.g. Baltic Science Research, Baltic University Network and the Baltic Sea Region University Network. In October 2015 became a member of CESAER. Listed among 800 best universities in the world by Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2016. With over nine people applying for one place at our university, GUT was ranked at the first position in this year's list of the most popular Polish universities; the ranking was published by the Ministry of Higher Education. GUT ranked 4th among technical universities and 9th among all universities in Poland in the prestigious higher education ranking prepared by the „Perspektywy” Educational Foundation. Gdańsk University of Technology has an international institutional accreditation EUA – IEP; the university was founded in 1904 as Königliche Technische Hochschule zu Danzig.
At the time Gdańsk, after partitions of Poland was known as Danzig, was part of the German Empire. The history of Gdańsk is complex and the city itself belonged, at different times to Poland and Germany. By the decision of Treaty of Versailles in the period of 1920-1939 it had become "free city"; the names of the city's educational institutions were affected by the changes in the city status. The university was known by different names: 1918–1921: Technische Hochschule in Danzig 1921–1939: Technische Hochschule der Freien Stadt Danzig 1939–1941: Technische Hochschule Danzig 1941–1945: Reichshochschule DanzigIn the late 1930s, Polish students were subject to discrimination by German teachers, many of whom had joined the NSDAP Nazi Party. Following the outbreak of World War II, Polish students were expelled from the university. Instructors who were members of the NSDP taught classes in uniforms of the Nazi party and began each class with a Hitler salute. Toward the end of the war, the university was turned into a German army hospital.
When the Soviet Red Army captured the university/hospital, Russian soldiers shot dead some of the Germans and closed all exits to the main building and burned alive the remaining wounded German soldiers. The Russians arranged barracks in other buildings. In 1945, all Germans were expelled from the city of Gdańsk and the burned ruins were turned into a Polish university. In light of tragic history of the university under Nazi rule, today's university does not continue traditions of pre-war schools and its history starts in 1945; the school was reorganized and rebuilt under the supervision of Stanisław Turski, a Polish mathematician and former inmate of German concentration camps. Turski served as the first post-war rector of the university. Important dates in Gdańsk University of Technology history: 1900 – the cornerstone is laid for the university building 1904 – King's Technical High School is created 1941-1945 – the university is subordinated to the nazi Germany 1945 – on May 24, the university became a Polish state academy 2004 – 100-year anniversary of founding a Gdańsk University of Technology 2014 – 110-year anniversary of founding a Gdańsk University of Technology 2020 – Smart University Gdańsk University of Technology is located in Gdańsk – a city of more-than-1000-year-old tradition, situated at the mouth of the Vistula River on the Baltic Sea.
Gdańsk has nearly 500 000 inhabitants. Gdańsk University of Technology is situated in the centre of old Wrzeszcz – a district which has good communication with every part of the city; the whole campus is located at Narutowicza street. Johannes Hevelius created the first world's great astronomical observatory equipped with telescopes. Hevelius was a physicist because he discovered centuries old changes in magnetic declination, he was technician too, because he constructed Poland's first pendulum clock, conceived and built the first world's periscope, as well as the first micrometer screw which belongs today to the Gdańsk City Council. Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit was born in Gdańsk, he is known for being the first to use mercury in temperature measuring devices and developed his own sc
A pot still is a type of distillation apparatus or still used to distill alcoholic spirits such as whisky or cognac. Pot stills operate on a batch distillation basis. Traditionally constructed from copper, pot stills are made in a range of shapes and sizes depending on the quantity and style of spirit desired. By law, cognac and Scotch malt whiskies, single pot still whiskey must be distilled using a pot still. During first distillation, the pot still is filled about two-thirds full of a fermented liquid with an alcohol content of about 7–12%. In the case of whiskey distillation, the liquid used is a beer, while in the case of brandy production, it is a base wine; the pot still is heated so that the liquid boils. The liquid being distilled is a mixture of water and alcohol, along with smaller amounts of other by-products of fermentation, such as aldehydes and esters. Alcohol has a normal boiling point of 78.4 °C, compared with pure water, which boils at 100 °C. As alcohol has a lower boiling point, it is more volatile and evaporates at a higher rate than water.
Therefore, the concentration of alcohol in the vapour phase above the liquid is higher than in the liquid itself. During distillation, this vapour travels up the swan neck at the top of the pot still and down the lyne arm, after which it travels through the condenser, where is cooled to yield a distillate with a higher concentration of alcohol than the original liquid; this distillate, called "low wines" has a concentration of about 25–35% alcohol by volume. These low wines can be further distilled a second time in a pot still to yield a distillate with a higher concentration of alcohol. In the case of many Irish whiskeys, the spirit is further distilled a third time; however and most single malt scotch whiskies are only distilled twice. During distillation, the initial and final portions of spirit which condense may be captured separately from that in the centre or "heart" of the distillation; this is because these portions of the distillate may contain high concentrations of methanol, or other congeners.
The modern pot still is a descendant of an earlier distillation device. The largest pot still used was located in the Old Midleton Distillery, County Cork, Ireland. Constructed in 1825, it is no longer in use; as of 2014 the largest pot stills in use are coincidentally located in the neighbouring New Midleton Distillery, County Cork and have a capacity of 16,498 imperial gallons. Components of a traditional pot still: Pot – where the wash is heated Swan Neck – where the vapours rise and reflux Lyne Arm – transfers the vapour to the condenser Condenser – cools the vapour to yield distillate Alembic Batch distillation Column still Single pot still whiskey Poitín Moonshine The Scottish Pot Stills: The Centrepieces of Every Distillery at Whisky.com
A manuscript was, any document, written by hand -- or, once practical typewriters became available, typewritten -- as opposed to being mechanically printed or reproduced in some indirect or automated way. More the term has come to be understood to further include any written, typed, or word-processed copy of an author's work, as distinguished from its rendition as a printed version of the same. Before the arrival of printing, all documents and books were manuscripts. Manuscripts are not defined by their contents, which may combine writing with mathematical calculations, explanatory figures or illustrations. Manuscripts may be in codex format. Illuminated manuscripts are enriched with pictures, border decorations, elaborately embossed initial letters or full-page illustrations. A document should be at least 75 years old to be considered a manuscript; the traditional abbreviations are MS for manuscript and MSS for manuscripts, while the forms MS. ms or ms. for singular, MSS. mss or mss. for plural are accepted.
The second s is not the plural. Before the invention of woodblock printing in China or by moveable type in a printing press in Europe, all written documents had to be both produced and reproduced by hand. Manuscripts were produced in form of scrolls or books. Manuscripts were produced on vellum and other parchment, on papyrus, on paper. In Russia birch bark documents as old as from the 11th century have survived. In India, the palm leaf manuscript, with a distinctive long rectangular shape, was used from ancient times until the 19th century. Paper spread from China via the Islamic world to Europe by the 14th century, by the late 15th century had replaced parchment for many purposes; when Greek or Latin works were published, numerous professional copies were made by scribes in a scriptorium, each making a single copy from an original, declaimed aloud. The oldest written manuscripts have been preserved by the perfect dryness of their Middle Eastern resting places, whether placed within sarcophagi in Egyptian tombs, or reused as mummy-wrappings, discarded in the middens of Oxyrhynchus or secreted for safe-keeping in jars and buried or stored in dry caves.
Manuscripts in Tocharian languages, written on palm leaves, survived in desert burials in the Tarim Basin of Central Asia. Volcanic ash preserved some of the Roman library of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum; the manuscripts that were being most preserved in the libraries of antiquity are all lost. Papyrus has a life of at most a century or two in moist Italian or Greek conditions. All books were in manuscript form. In China, other parts of East Asia, woodblock printing was used for books from about the 7th century; the earliest dated example is the Diamond Sutra of 868. In the Islamic world and the West, all books were in manuscript until the introduction of movable type printing in about 1450. Manuscript copying of books continued for a least a century. Private or government documents remained hand-written until the invention of the typewriter in the late 19th century; because of the likelihood of errors being introduced each time a manuscript was copied, the filiation of different versions of the same text is a fundamental part of the study and criticism of all texts that have been transmitted in manuscript.
In Southeast Asia, in the first millennium, documents of sufficiently great importance were inscribed on soft metallic sheets such as copperplate, softened by refiner's fire and inscribed with a metal stylus. In the Philippines, for example, as early as 900AD, specimen documents were not inscribed by stylus, but were punched much like the style of today's dot-matrix printers; this type of document was rare compared to the usual leaves and bamboo staves. However, neither the leaves nor paper were as durable as the metal document in the hot, humid climate. In Burma, the kammavaca, Buddhist manuscripts, were inscribed on brass, copper or ivory sheets, on discarded monk robes folded and lacquered. In Italy some important Etruscan texts were inscribed on thin gold plates: similar sheets have been discovered in Bulgaria. Technically, these are all inscriptions rather than manuscripts; the study of the writing, or "hand" in surviving manuscripts is termed palaeography. In the Western world, from the classical period through the early centuries of the Christian era, manuscripts were written without spaces between the words, which makes them hard for the untrained to read.
Extant copies of these early manuscripts written in Greek or Latin and dating from the 4th century to the 8th century, are classified according to their use of either all upper case or all lower case letters. Hebrew manuscripts, such as the Dead Sea scrolls make no such differentiation. Manuscripts using all upper case letters are called majuscule, those using all lower case are called minuscule; the majuscule scripts such as uncial are written with much more care. The scribe lifted his pen between each stroke, producing an unmistakable effect of regularity and formality. On the other hand, while minuscule scripts can be written with pen-lift, they may be cursive, that is, use little or no pen-lift