Art history is the study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts. The study includes painting, architecture, ceramics and other decorative objects. Art history is the history of different groups of people and their culture represented throughout their artwork. Art historians compare different time periods in art history; such as a comparison to Medieval Art to Renaissance Art. This history of cultures is shown in their art work in different forms. Art can be shown by attire, religion, sports. Or more visual pieces of art such as paintings, sculptures; as a term, art history encompasses several methods of studying the visual arts. Aspects of the discipline overlap; as the art historian Ernst Gombrich once observed, "the field of art history much like Caesar's Gaul, divided in three parts inhabited by three different, though not hostile tribes: the connoisseurs, the critics, the academic art historians". As a discipline, art history is distinguished from art criticism, concerned with establishing a relative artistic value upon individual works with respect to others of comparable style, or sanctioning an entire style or movement.
One branch of this area of study is aesthetics, which includes investigating the enigma of the sublime and determining the essence of beauty. Technically, art history is not these things, because the art historian uses historical method to answer the questions: How did the artist come to create the work?, Who were the patrons?, Who were his or her teachers?, Who was the audience?, Who were his or her disciples?, What historical forces shaped the artist's oeuvre, how did he or she and the creation, in turn, affect the course of artistic and social events? It is, questionable whether many questions of this kind can be answered satisfactorily without considering basic questions about the nature of art; the current disciplinary gap between art history and the philosophy of art hinders this inquiry. Art history is not only a biographical endeavor. Art historians root their studies in the scrutiny of individual objects, they thus attempt to answer in specific ways, questions such as: What are key features of this style?, What meaning did this object convey?, How does it function visually?, Did the artist meet their goals well?, What symbols are involved?, Does it function discursively?
The historical backbone of the discipline is a celebratory chronology of beautiful creations commissioned by public or religious bodies or wealthy individuals in western Europe. Such a "canon" remains prominent, as indicated by the selection of objects present in art history textbooks. Nonetheless, since the 20th century there has been an effort to re-define the discipline to be more inclusive of non-Western art, art made by women, vernacular creativity. Art history as we know it in the 21st century began in the 19th century but has precedents that date to the ancient world. Like the analysis of historical trends in politics and the sciences, the discipline benefits from the clarity and portability of the written word, but art historians rely on formal analysis, semiotics and iconography. Advances in photographic reproduction and printing techniques after World War II increased the ability of reproductions of artworks; such technologies have helped to advance the discipline in profound ways, as they have enabled easy comparisons of objects.
The study of visual art thus described, can be a practice that involves understanding context and social significance. Art historians employ a number of methods in their research into the ontology and history of objects. Art historians examine work in the context of its time. At best, this is done in a manner which respects imperatives. In short, this approach examines the work of art in the context of the world within which it was created. Art historians often examine work through an analysis of form; this approach examines how the artist uses a two-dimensional picture plane or the three dimensions of sculptural or architectural space to create his or her art. The way these individual elements are employed results in representational or non-representational art. Is the artist imitating an object or image found in nature? If so, it is representational; the closer the art hews to perfect imitation, the more the art is realistic. Is the artist not imitating, but instead relying on symbolism, or in an important way striving to capture nature's essence, rather than copy it directly?
If so the art is non-representational—also called abstract. Realism and abstraction exist on a continuum. Impressionism is an example of a representational style, not directly imitative, but strove to create an "impression" of nature. If the work is not representational and is an expression of the artist's feelings and aspirations, or is a search for ideals of beauty and form, the work is non-representational or a work of expressionism. An iconographical analysis is one. Through a close reading of such elements, it is possible to trace their lineage, with it draw conclusions regarding the origins and tra
In polymer chemistry and materials science, resin is a solid or viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin, convertible into polymers. Resins are mixtures of organic compounds; this article focuses on naturally-occurring resins. Plants secrete resins for their protective benefits in response to injury; the resin protects the plant from pathogens. Resins confound a wide range of herbivores and pathogens, while the volatile phenolic compounds may attract benefactors such as parasitoids or predators of the herbivores that attack the plant. Most plant resins are composed of terpenes. Specific components are alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, delta-3 carene, sabinene, the monocyclic terpenes limonene and terpinolene, smaller amounts of the tricyclic sesquiterpenes, longifolene and delta-cadinene; some resins contain a high proportion of resin acids. Rosins on the other hand consist, inter alia, of diterpenes. Notable examples of plant resins include amber, Balm of Gilead, Canada balsam, copal from trees of Protium copal and Hymenaea courbaril, dammar gum from trees of the family Dipterocarpaceae, Dragon's blood from the dragon trees, frankincense from Boswellia sacra, galbanum from Ferula gummosa, gum guaiacum from the lignum vitae trees of the genus Guaiacum, kauri gum from trees of Agathis australis, hashish from Cannabis indica, labdanum from mediterranean species of Cistus, mastic from the mastic tree Pistacia lentiscus, myrrh from shrubs of Commiphora, sandarac resin from Tetraclinis articulata, the national tree of Malta, spinifex resin from Australian grasses, turpentine, distilled from pine resin.
Amber is fossil resin from other tree species. Copal, kauri gum and other resins may be found as subfossil deposits. Subfossil copal can be distinguished from genuine fossil amber because it becomes tacky when a drop of a solvent such as acetone or chloroform is placed on it. African copal and the kauri gum of New Zealand are procured in a semi-fossil condition. Solidified resin from which the volatile terpenes have been removed by distillation is known as rosin. Typical rosin is a transparent or translucent mass, with a vitreous fracture and a faintly yellow or brown colour, non-odorous or having only a slight turpentine odor and taste. Rosin is insoluble in water soluble in alcohol, essential oils and hot fatty oils. Rosin melts under the influence of heat. Rosin burns with a smoky flame. Rosin consists of a complex mixture of different substances including organic acids named the resin acids. Related to the terpenes, resin acid are oxidized terpenes. Resin acids dissolved in alkalis to form resin soaps, from which the purified resin acids are regenerated upon treatment with acids.
Examples of resin acids are abietic acid, C20H30O2, plicatic acid contained in cedar, pimaric acid, C20H30O2, a constituent of galipot resin. Abietic acid can be extracted from rosin by means of hot alcohol. Pimaric acid resembles abietic acid into which it passes when distilled in a vacuum. Rosin is obtained from pines and some other plants conifers. Plant resins are produced as stem secretions, but in some Central and South American species such as Euphorbia dalechampia and Clusia species they are produced as pollination rewards, used by some stingless bee species to construct their nests. Propolis, consisting of resins collected from plants such as poplars and conifers, is used by honey bees to seal gaps in their hives. Shellac and lacquer are examples of insect-derived resins. Asphaltite and Utah resin are petroleum bitumens, not a product secreted by plants, although it was derived from plants. Human use of plant resins has a long history, documented in ancient Greece by Theophrastus, in ancient Rome by Pliny the Elder, in the resins known as frankincense and myrrh, prized in ancient Egypt.
These were prized substances, required as incense in some religious rites. The word resin comes from French resine, from Latin resina "resin", which either derives from or is a cognate of the Greek ῥητίνη rhētinē "resin of the pine", of unknown earlier origin, though non-Indo-European; the word "resin" has been applied in the modern world to nearly any component of a liquid that will set into a hard lacquer or enamel-like finish. An example is nail polish. Certain "casting resins" and synthetic resins have been given the name "resin." Some resins when soft are known as'oleoresins', when containing benzoic acid or cinnamic acid they are called balsams. Oleoresins are occurring mixtures of an oil and a resin. Other resinous products in their natural condition are a mix with gum or mucilaginous substances and known as gum resins. Several natural resins are used as ingredients in perfumes, e.g. balsams of Peru and tolu, elemi and certain turpentines. Other liquid compounds found inside plants or exuded by plants, such as sap, latex, or mucilage, are sometimes confused with resin but are not the same.
Saps, in particular, serve. Plant resins are valued for the production of varnishes and food glazing agents, they are prized as raw materials for the synthesis of other organic compounds and provide constituents of incense and perfume. The oldest known use of plant resin comes from the late Middle Stone Age in Southern Africa where it was used as an adhesive for hafting stone tools
Heraldry is a broad term, encompassing the design and study of armorial bearings, as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement; the achievement, or armorial bearings includes a coat of arms on an shield and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, heraldic banners, mottoes. Although the use of various devices to signify individuals and groups goes back to antiquity, both the form and use of such devices varied and the concept of regular, hereditary designs, constituting the distinguishing feature of heraldry, did not develop until the High Middle Ages, it is often that the use of helmets with face guards during this period made it difficult to recognize one's commanders in the field when large armies gathered together for extended periods, necessitating the development of heraldry as a symbolic language but there is little actual support for this view.
The beauty and pageantry of heraldic designs allowed them to survive the gradual abandonment of armour on the battlefield during the seventeenth century. Heraldry has been described poetically as "the handmaid of history", "the shorthand of history", "the floral border in the garden of history". In modern times, individuals and private organizations, cities and regions use heraldry and its conventions to symbolize their heritage and aspirations. Various symbols have been used to represent groups for thousands of years; the earliest representations of distinct persons and regions in Egyptian art show the use of standards topped with the images or symbols of various gods, the names of kings appear upon emblems known as serekhs, representing the king's palace, topped with a falcon representing the god Horus, of whom the king was regarded as the earthly incarnation. Similar emblems and devices are found in ancient Mesopotamian art of the same period, the precursors of heraldic beasts such as the griffin can be found.
In the Bible, the Book of Numbers refers to the standards and ensigns of the children of Israel, who were commanded to gather beneath these emblems and declare their pedigrees. The Greek and Latin writers describe the shields and symbols of various heroes, units of the Roman army were sometimes identified by distinctive markings on their shields; until the nineteenth century, it was common for heraldic writers to cite examples such as these, metaphorical symbols such as the "Lion of Judah" or "Eagle of the Caesars" as evidence of the antiquity of heraldry itself. The Book of Saint Albans, compiled in 1486, declares that Christ himself was a gentleman of coat armour, but these fabulous claims have long since been dismissed as the fantasy of medieval heralds, for there is no evidence of a distinctive symbolic language akin to that of heraldry during this early period. The medieval heralds devised arms for various knights and lords from history and literature. Notable examples include the toads attributed to Pharamond, the cross and martlets of Edward the Confessor, the various arms attributed to the Nine Worthies and the Knights of the Round Table.
These too are now regarded as a fanciful invention, rather than evidence of the antiquity of heraldry. The development of the modern heraldic language cannot be attributed to a single individual, time, or place. Although certain designs that are now considered heraldic were evidently in use during the eleventh century, most accounts and depictions of shields up to the beginning of the twelfth century contain little or no evidence of their heraldic character. For example, the Bayeux Tapestry, illustrating the Norman invasion of England in 1066, commissioned about 1077, when the cathedral of Bayeux was rebuilt, depicts a number of shields of various shapes and designs, many of which are plain, while others are decorated with dragons, crosses, or other heraldic figures, yet no individual is depicted twice bearing the same arms, nor are any of the descendants of the various persons depicted known to have borne devices resembling those in the tapestry. An account of the French knights at the court of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I at the beginning of the twelfth century describes their shields of polished metal, utterly devoid of heraldic design.
A Spanish manuscript from 1109 describes both plain and decorated shields, none of which appears to have been heraldic. The Abbey of St. Denis contained a window commemorating the knights who embarked on the Second Crusade in 1147, was made soon after the event. In England, from the time of the Norman conquest, official documents had to be sealed. Beginning in the twelfth century, seals assumed a distinctly heraldic character. A notable example of an early armorial seal is attached to a charter granted by Philip I, Count of Flanders, in 1164. Seals from the latter part of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries show no evidence of heraldic symbolism, but by t
A seal is a device for making an impression in wax, paper, or some other medium, including an embossment on paper, is the impression thus made. The original purpose was to authenticate a document, a wrapper for one such as a modern envelope, or the cover of a container or package holding valuables or other objects; the seal-making device is referred to as the seal matrix or die. If the impression is made purely as a relief resulting from the greater pressure on the paper where the high parts of the matrix touch, the seal is known as a dry seal. In most traditional forms of dry seal the design on the seal matrix is in intaglio and therefore the design on the impressions made is in relief; the design on the impression will reverse that of the matrix, important when script is included in the design, as it often is. This will not be the case if paper is embossed from behind, where the matrix and impression read the same way, both matrix and impression are in relief; however engraved gems were carved in relief, called cameo in this context, giving a "counter-relief" or intaglio impression when used as seals.
The process is that of a mould. Most seals have always given a single impression on an flat surface, but in medieval Europe two-sided seals with two matrices were used by institutions or rulers to make two-sided or three-dimensional impressions in wax, with a "tag", a piece of ribbon or strip of parchment, running through them; these "pendent" seal impressions dangled below the documents they authenticated, to which the attachment tag was sewn or otherwise attached. Some jurisdictions consider rubber stamps or specified signature-accompanying words such as "seal" or "L. S." to be the legal equivalent of, i.e. an effective substitute for, a seal. In the United States, the word "seal" is sometimes assigned to a facsimile of the seal design, which may be used in a variety of contexts including architectural settings, on flags, or on official letterheads. Thus, for example, the Great Seal of the United States, among other uses, appears on the reverse of the one-dollar bill. S. states appear on their respective state flags.
In Europe, although coats of arms and heraldic badges may well feature in such contexts as well as on seals, the seal design in its entirety appears as a graphical emblem and is used as intended: as an impression on documents. The study of seals is known as sigillography or sphragistics. Seals were used in the earliest civilizations and are of considerable importance in archaeology and art history. In ancient Mesopotamia carved or engraved cylinder seals in stone or other materials were used; these could be rolled along to create an impression on clay, used as labels on consignments of trade goods, or for other purposes. They are hollow and it is presumed that they were worn on a string or chain round the neck. Many have only images very finely carved, with no writing, while others have both. From ancient Egypt seals in the form of signet-rings, including some with the names of kings, have been found. Seals have come to light in South Arabia datable to the Himyarite age. One example shows a name written in Aramaic engraved in reverse so as to read in the impression.
From the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC until the Middle Ages, seals of various kinds were in production in the Aegean islands and mainland Greece. In the Early Minoan age these were formed of soft stone and ivory and show particular characteristic forms. By the Middle Minoan age a new set for seal forms and materials appear. Hard stone requires new rotary carving techniques; the Late Bronze Age is the time par excellence of the lens-shaped seal and the seal ring, which continued into the Archaic and Hellenistic periods, in the form of pictorial engraved gems. These were a major luxury art form and became keenly collected, with King Mithridates VI of Pontus the first major collector according to Pliny the Elder, his collection fell as booty to Pompey the Great. Engraved gems continued to be collected until the 19th century. Pliny explained the significance of the signet ring, how over time this ring was worn on the little finger. Known as yinzhang in China, injang in Korea, inshō in Japan, ấn giám in Vietnam, seals have been used in East Asia as a form of written identification since the Qin dynasty.
The seals of the Han dynasty were impressed in a soft clay, but from the Tang dynasty a red ink made from cinnabar was used. In modern times, seals known as "chops" in local colloquial English, are still used instead of handwritten signatures to authenticate official documents or financial transactions. Both individuals and organizations have official seals, they have multiple seals in different sizes and styles for different situations. East Asian seals bear the names of the people or organizations represented, but they can bear poems or personal mottoes. Sometimes both types of seals, or large seals that bear both names and mottoes, are used to authenticate official documents. Seals are so important in East Asia that for
Byzantine studies is an interdisciplinary branch of the humanities that addresses the history, demography, religion/theology, literature/epigraphy, science, economy and politics of the Eastern Roman Empire. The discipline's founder in Germany is considered to be the philologist Hieronymus Wolf, a Renaissance Humanist, he gave the name "Byzantine" to the Eastern Roman Empire that continued after the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 AD. About 100 years after the final conquest of Byzantium by the Ottomans, Wolf began to collect and translate the writings of Byzantine philosophers. Other 16th-century humanists introduced Byzantine studies to Italy; the subject may be called Byzantinology or Byzantology, although these terms are found in English translations of original non-English sources. A scholar of Byzantine studies is called a Byzantinist. Byzantine studies is the discipline that addresses the culture of Byzantium, thus the unity of the object of investigation stands in contrast to the diversity of approaches that may be applied to it.
– There were "Byzantine" studies in the high medieval Byzantine Empire. In the Middle Ages, the interest in Byzantium was carried on by Italian humanism, it expanded in the 17th century throughout Europe and Russia; the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought the formation of Byzantine studies as an independent discipline. Greek-Hellenistic culture, Roman state traditions, Oriental influence and Christian faith, together with a relative unity of language and culture, constitute medieval Byzantium; the starting point of Byzantine history is taken to be the reign of Constantine the Great and the foundation of Constantinople. The "East Roman" era of Byzantium begins at the latest with the division of the Roman Empire into a Western Roman Empire and an Eastern Roman Empire; this "Early Byzantine" period lasts until 641 AD. Emperor Justinian I reconquered Italy, north Africa, southern Spain, but after the expansion of Islam a reorganized Byzantium, now based on administration by Themes, was limited to the Greek-speaking regions of the Balkan peninsula, Asia Minor, southern Italy.
This may be perceived as the "end of antiquity," and the beginning of the "Middle Byzantine" era. This was the era of Iconoclasm and of the origin of the Holy Roman Empire. Under the Macedonian Dynasty Byzantium regained power against the Islamic and Bulgarian states, but the death of Emperor Basil II marked a turning point, with Byzantine power in Asia Minor and southern Italy suffering from the Battle of Manzikert and the rise of the Normans, respectively. A certain stability was achieved under the Comnenian Dynasty, at least until the Battle of Myriokephalon. Internal conflicts facilitated the sack of Constantinople by the Crusaders and the establishment of Latin states in the south Balkans; the late period of the Byzantine Empire as a small state begins with the Palaiologos dynasty, threatened by the advances of the Ottoman Empire and the economic influence of Venice and Genoa. An empire weakened in part through civil war suffered a severe blow when Thessalonica was captured in 1430, fell to the Ottomans.
The Empire of Trebizond, founded in the wake of the Fourth Crusade forms a part of Byzantine history. It is possible to distinguish between three levels of speech: Atticism and Demotic, thus a certain diglossia between spoken Greek and written, classical Greek may be discerned. Major genres of Byzantine literature include hagiography. From the Byzantine administration, broadly construed, we have works such as description of peoples and cities, accounts of court ceremonies, lists of precedence. Technical literature is represented, by texts on military strategy. Collections of civil and canon law are preserved, as well as documents and acta; some texts in the demotic are preserved. There are three main schools of thought on medieval eastern Roman identity in modern Byzantine scholarship: 1) a preponderant view that considers "Romanity" the mode of self-identification of the subjects of a multi-ethnic empire, in which the elite did not self-identify as Greek and the average subject considered him/herself as "Roman", 2) a school of thought that developed under the influence of modern Greek nationalism, treating Romanness as the medieval manifestation of a perennial Greek national identity, 3) a line of thought promulgated by Anthony Kaldellis arguing that Eastern Roman identity was a pre-modern national identity.
Modes of transmission entails the study of texts that are preserved on papyrus, parchment or paper, in addition to inscriptions and medals. The papyrus rolls of antiquity are replaced by the parchment codices of the Middle Ages, while paper arrives in the 9th century via the Arabs and Chinese. Diplomatics entails the stud
An antiquarian or antiquary is an aficionado or student of antiquities or things of the past. More the term is used for those who study history with particular attention to ancient artifacts and historic sites, or historic archives and manuscripts; the essence of antiquarianism is a focus on the empirical evidence of the past, is best encapsulated in the motto adopted by the 18th-century antiquary Sir Richard Colt Hoare, "We speak from facts, not theory." Today the term is used in a pejorative sense, to refer to an excessively narrow focus on factual historical trivia, to the exclusion of a sense of historical context or process. During the Song Dynasty, the scholar Ouyang Xiu analyzed alleged ancient artifacts bearing archaic inscriptions in bronze and stone, which he preserved in a collection of some 400 rubbings. Patricia Ebrey writes; the Kaogutu or "Illustrated Catalogue of Examined Antiquity" compiled by Lü Dalin is one of the oldest known catalogues to systematically describe and classify ancient artifacts which were unearthed.
Another catalogue was the Chong xiu Xuanhe bogutu or "Revised Illustrated Catalogue of Xuanhe Profoundly Learned Antiquity", commissioned by Emperor Huizong of Song, featured illustrations of some 840 vessels and rubbings. Interests in antiquarian studies of ancient inscriptions and artifacts waned after the Song Dynasty, but were revived by early Qing Dynasty scholars such as Gu Yanwu and Yan Ruoju. In ancient Rome, a strong sense of traditionalism motivated an interest in studying and recording the "monuments" of the past. Books on antiquarian topics covered such subjects as the origin of customs, religious rituals, political institutions. Annals and histories might include sections pertaining to these subjects, but annals are chronological in structure, Roman histories, such as those of Livy and Tacitus, are both chronological and offer an overarching narrative and interpretation of events. By contrast, antiquarian works as a literary form are organized by topic, any narrative is short and illustrative, in the form of anecdotes.
Major antiquarian Latin writers with surviving works include Varro, Pliny the Elder, Aulus Gellius, Macrobius. The Roman emperor Claudius published antiquarian works, none of, extant; some of Cicero's treatises his work on divination, show strong antiquarian interests, but their primary purpose is the exploration of philosophical questions. Roman-era Greek writers dealt with antiquarian material, such as Plutarch in his Roman Questions and the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus; the aim of Latin antiquarian works is to collect a great number of possible explanations, with less emphasis on arriving at a truth than in compiling the evidence. The antiquarians are used as sources by the ancient historians, many antiquarian writers are known only through these citations. Despite the importance of antiquarian writing in the literature of ancient Rome, some scholars view antiquarianism as emerging only in the Middle Ages. Medieval antiquarians sometimes made collections of inscriptions or records of monuments, but the Varro-inspired concept of antiquitates among the Romans as the "systematic collections of all the relics of the past" faded.
Antiquarianism's wider flowering is more associated with the Renaissance, with the critical assessment and questioning of classical texts undertaken in that period by humanist scholars. Textual criticism soon broadened into an awareness of the supplementary perspectives on the past which could be offered by the study of coins and other archaeological remains, as well as documents from medieval periods. Antiquaries formed collections of these and other objects; the importance placed on lineage in early modern Europe meant that antiquarianism was closely associated with genealogy, a number of prominent antiquaries held office as professional heralds. The development of genealogy as a "scientific" discipline went hand-in-hand with the development of antiquarianism. Genealogical antiquaries recognised the evidential value for their researches of non-textual sources, including seals and church monuments. Many early modern antiquaries were chorographers:, to say, they recorded landscapes and monuments within regional or national descriptions.
In England, some of the most important of these took the form of county histories. In the context of the 17th-century scientific revolution, more that of the "Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns" in England and France, the antiquaries were on the side of the "Moderns", they argued that empirical primary evidence could be used to refine and challenge the received interpretations of history handed down from literary authorities. By the end of the 19th century, antiquarianism had diverged into a number of more specialized academic disciplines including archaeology, art history, sigillography, literary studies and diplomatics. Antiquaries had al
Diplomatics, or diplomatic, is a scholarly discipline centred on the critical analysis of documents: historical documents. It focuses on the conventions and formulae that have been used by document creators, uses these to increase understanding of the processes of document creation, of information transmission, of the relationships between the facts which the documents purport to record and reality; the discipline evolved as a tool for studying and determining the authenticity of the official charters and diplomas issued by royal and papal chanceries. It was subsequently appreciated that many of the same underlying principles could be applied to other types of official document and legal instrument, to non-official documents such as private letters, most to the metadata of electronic records. Diplomatics is one of the auxiliary sciences of history, it should not be confused with its sister-discipline of palaeography. In fact, its techniques have more in common with those of the literary disciplines of textual criticism and historical criticism.
Despite the verbal similarity, the discipline has nothing to do with diplomacy. Both terms are derived, by separate linguistic development, from the word diploma, which referred to a folded piece of writing material—and thus both to the materials which are the focus of study in diplomatics, to accreditation papers carried by diplomats; the word diplomatics was coined by the Benedictine monk Jean Mabillon, who in 1681 published his treatise, De re diplomatica. From there, the word entered the French language as diplomatique, English as diplomatic or diplomatics. Webster's Dictionary defines diplomatics as the "science of diplomas, or of ancient writings and public documents, decrees, codicils, etc. which has for its object to decipher old writings, to ascertain their authenticity, their date, etc."Giorgio Cencetti defined the discipline as "the study of the Wesen and Werden of documentation, the analysis of genesis, inner constitution and transmission of documents, of their relationship with the facts represented in them and with their creators".
The Commission International de Diplomatique has defined diplomatics as "the science which studies the tradition, the form and the issuing of written documents". More pragmatically, Peter Beal defines diplomatics as "the science or study of documents and records, including their forms, language and meaning, it involves knowledge of such matters as the established wording and procedures of particular kinds of document, the deciphering of writing, document analysis and authentication". Theo Kölzer defines diplomatics as "the teaching and the study of charters", he treats the terms "charter", "diploma", "document" as broadly synonymous, refers to the German scholar Harry Bresslau's definition of "documents" as "written declarations recorded in compliance with certain forms alternating according to the difference in person, place and matter, which are meant to serve as a testimony of proceedings of a legal nature". Properly speaking, as understood by present-day scholars, diplomatics is concerned with the analysis and interpretation of the linguistic and textual elements of a document.
It is, however associated with several parallel disciplines, including palaeography, sigillography and provenance studies, all of which are concerned with a document's physical characteristics and history, which will be carried out in conjunction with a diplomatic analysis. The term diplomatics is therefore sometimes used in a wider sense, to encompass some of these other areas; the recent development of the science in non-English Europe is expanding its scope to a cultural history of documentation including aspects of pragmatic literacy or symbolic communication. Christopher Brooke, a distinguished teacher of diplomatics, referred to the discipline's reputation in 1970 as that of "a formidable and dismal science... a kind of game played by a few scholars, most of them medievalists, harmless so long as it does not dominate or obscure historical enquiry. In the ancient and medieval periods, the authenticity of a document was considered to derive from the document's place of preservation and storage, in, for example, public offices, archives.
As a result, those with nefarious motives were able to give forged documents a spurious authenticity by depositing them in places of authority. Diplomatics grew from a need to establish new standards of authenticity through the critical analysis of the textual and physical forms of documents; the first notable application of diplomatics was by Nicolas of Cusa, in 1433, Lorenzo Valla, in 1440, who determined, that the Donation of Constantine, used for centuries to legitimize papal temporal authority, was a forgery. Diplomatics became important during the Counter-Reformation, its emergence as a recognisably distinct sub-discipline, however, is dated to the publication of Mabillon's De re diplomatica in 1681. Mabillon had begun studying old documents with a view towards establishing their authenticity as a result of the doubts raised by the Jesuit Daniel van Papenbroek over supposed Merovingian documents from the Abbey of Saint-Denis. During the Middle Ages, the