In textual studies, a palimpsest is a manuscript page, either from a scroll or a book, from which the text has been scraped or washed off so that the page can be reused for another document. Pergamene was made of lamb, calf, or goat kid skin and was expensive and not available, so in the interest of economy a pergamene was re-used by scraping the previous writing. In colloquial usage, the term palimpsest is used in architecture and geomorphology to denote an object made or worked upon for one purpose and reused for another, for example a monumental brass the reverse blank side of, re-engraved; the word "palimpsest" derives from the Latin palimpsestus, which derives from the Ancient Greek παλίμψηστος, a compound word that means "scraped clean and ready to be used again". The Ancient Greeks used wax-coated tablets, like scratch-pads, to write on with a stylus, to erase the writing by smoothing the wax surface and writing again; this practice was adopted by Ancient Romans. Because parchment prepared from animal hides is far more durable than paper or papyrus, most palimpsests known to modern scholars are parchment, which rose in popularity in Western Europe after the 6th century.
Where papyrus was in common use, reuse of writing media was less common because papyrus was cheaper and more expendable than costly parchment. Some papyrus palimpsests do survive, Romans referred to this custom of washing papyrus; the writing was washed from vellum using milk and oat bran. With the passing of time, the faint remains of the former writing would reappear enough so that scholars can discern the text and decipher it. In the Middle Ages the surface of the vellum was scraped away with powdered pumice, irretrievably losing the writing, hence the most valuable palimpsests are those that were overwritten in the early Middle Ages. Medieval codices are constructed in "gathers" which are folded stacked together like a newspaper and sewn together at the fold. Prepared parchment sheets retained their original central fold, so each was ordinarily cut in half, making a quarto volume of the original folio, with the overwritten text running perpendicular to the effaced text. Faint legible remains were read by eye before 20th-century techniques helped make lost texts readable.
To read palimpsests, scholars of the 19th century used chemical means that were sometimes destructive, using tincture of gall or ammonium bisulfate. Modern methods of reading palimpsests using ultraviolet light and photography are less damaging. Innovative digitized images aid scholars in deciphering unreadable palimpsests. Superexposed photographs exposed in various light spectra, a technique called "multispectral filming", can increase the contrast of faded ink on parchment, too indistinct to be read by eye in normal light. For example, multispectral imaging undertaken by researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University recovered much of the undertext from the Archimedes Palimpsest. At the Walters Art Museum where the palimpsest is now conserved, the project has focused on experimental techniques to retrieve the remaining text, some of, obscured by overpainted icons. One of the most successful techniques for reading through the paint proved to be X-ray fluorescence imaging, through which the iron in the ink is revealed.
A team of imaging scientists and scholars from the United States and Europe is using spectral imaging techniques developed for imaging the Archimedes Palimpsest to study more than one hundred palimpsests in the library of Saint Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. A number of ancient works have survived only as palimpsests. Vellum manuscripts were over-written on purpose due to the dearth or cost of the material. In the case of Greek manuscripts, the consumption of old codices for the sake of the material was so great that a synodal decree of the year 691 forbade the destruction of manuscripts of the Scriptures or the church fathers, except for imperfect or injured volumes; such a decree put added pressure on retrieving the vellum. The decline of the vellum trade with the introduction of paper exacerbated the scarcity, increasing pressure to reuse material. Cultural considerations motivated the creation of palimpsests; the demand for new texts might outstrip the availability of parchment in some centers, yet the existence of cleaned parchment, never overwritten suggests that there was a spiritual motivation, to sanctify pagan text by overlaying it with the word of God, somewhat as pagan sites were overlaid with Christian churches to hallow pagan ground.
Texts most susceptible to being overwritten included obsolete legal and liturgical ones, sometimes of intense interest to the historian. Early Latin translations of Scripture were rendered obsolete by Jerome's Vulgate. Texts might be in foreign languages or written in unfamiliar scripts that had become illegible over time; the codices themselves might be damaged or incomplete. Heretical texts were dangerous to harbor—there were compelling political and religious reasons to destroy texts viewed as heresy, to reuse the media was less wasteful than to burn the books. Vast destruction of the broad quartos of the early centuries took place in the period which followed the fall of the Western Roman Empire, but palimpsests were
Uncial is a majuscule script used from the 4th to 8th centuries AD by Latin and Greek scribes. Uncial letters were used to write Greek and Gothic. Early uncial script is to have developed from late Old Roman cursive. Early forms are characterized by broad single stroke letters using simple round forms taking advantage of the new parchment and vellum surfaces, as opposed to the angular, multiple stroke letters, which are more suited for rougher surfaces, such as papyrus. In the oldest examples of uncial, such as the fragment of De bellis macedonicis in the British Library, of the late 1st-early 2nd century, all of the letters are disconnected from one another, word separation is not used. Word separation, however, is characteristic of uncial usage; as the script evolved over the centuries, the characters became more complex. Around AD 600, flourishes and exaggerations of the basic strokes began to appear in more manuscripts. Ascenders and descenders were the first major alterations, followed by twists of the tool in the basic stroke and overlapping.
By the time the more compact minuscule scripts arose circa AD 800, some of the evolved uncial styles formed the basis for these simplified, smaller scripts. Uncial was still used for copies of the Bible, tapering off until around the 10th century. There are over 500 surviving copies of uncial script, by far the largest number prior to the Carolingian Renaissance. In general, there are some common features of uncial script: ⟨f⟩, ⟨i⟩, ⟨p⟩, ⟨s⟩, ⟨t⟩ are narrow. ⟨m⟩, ⟨n⟩ and ⟨u⟩ are broad. ⟨e⟩ is formed with a curved stroke, its arm does not connect with the top curve. ⟨l⟩ has a small base, not extending to the right to connect with the next letter. ⟨r⟩ has a long, curved shoulder ⟨ꞃ⟩ connecting with the next letter. ⟨s⟩ resembles the "long s" ⟨ſ⟩. In uncial scripts, the letters are sometimes drawn haphazardly. Due to its widespread use, in Byzantine, Italian, Spanish, "insular" centres, there were many different styles in use: African uncial is more angular than other forms of uncial. In particular, the bow of the letter ⟨a⟩ is sharp and pointed.
Byzantine uncial has two unique features: "b-d uncial" uses forms of ⟨b⟩ and ⟨d⟩, which are closer to half-uncial, was in use in the 4th and 5th centuries. Italian uncial has round letters with flatter tops, with a sharp bow, an horizontal rather than vertical stem in ⟨d⟩, forked finials. Insular uncial has definite word separation, accent marks over stressed syllables because Irish scribes did not speak a language descended from Latin, they use Insular scribal abbreviations not found in other uncial forms, use wedge-shaped finials, connect a subscript "pendant ⟨i⟩" with ⟨m⟩ or ⟨h⟩, decorate the script with animals and dots. French uncial uses thin descenders, an ⟨x⟩ with lines that cross higher than the middle, a ⟨d⟩ with a curled stem, there are many decorations of fish and birds. Cyrillic manuscript developed from Greek uncial in the late ninth century, was used to write the Old Church Slavonic liturgical language; the earlier form was called ustav, developed into semi-ustav script. There is some doubt about the original meaning of the word.
Uncial itself comes from St. Jerome's preface to the Book of Job, where it is found in the form uncialibus, but it is possible that this is a misreading of inicialibus, Jerome may have been referring to the larger initial letters found at the beginning of paragraphs. Habeant qui volunt veteres libros, vel in membranis purpureis auro argentoque descriptos, vel uncialibus ut vulgo aiunt litteris onera magis exarata quam codices. "Let those who so desire have old books, or books written in gold and silver on purple parchment, or burdens written in uncial letters, as they are popularly called."In classical Latin uncialis could mean both "inch-high" and "weighing an ounce", it is possible that Jerome was punning on this. The term uncial in the sense of describing this script was first used by Jean Mabillon in the early 18th century. Thereafter his definition was refined by Scipione Maffei, who used to refer to this script as distinct from Roman square capitals; the offi
John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, his ascetic sensibilities; the epithet Χρυσόστομος denotes his celebrated eloquence. Chrysostom was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church, exceeded only by Augustine of Hippo in the quantity of his surviving writings, he is honored as a saint in the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches, as well as in some others. The Eastern Orthodox, together with the Byzantine Catholics, hold him in special regard as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs; the feast days of John Chrysostom in the Eastern Orthodox Church are 27 January. In the Roman Catholic Church he is recognized as a Doctor of the Church and commemorated on 13 September in the current General Roman Calendar and on 27 January in the older calendar.
Other churches of the Western tradition, including some Anglican provinces and some Lutheran churches commemorate him on 13 September. However, certain Lutheran churches and Anglican provinces commemorate him on the traditional feast day of 27 January; the Coptic Church recognizes him as a saint. John was born in Antioch in 349 to Greek parents from Syria. Different scholars describe his mother Anthusa as a pagan or as a Christian, his father was a high-ranking military officer. John's father died soon after his birth and he was raised by his mother, he was tonsured as a reader. It is sometimes said that he was bitten by a snake when he was ten years old, leading to him getting an infection from the bite; as a result of his mother's influential connections in the city, John began his education under the pagan teacher Libanius. From Libanius, John acquired the skills for a career in rhetoric, as well as a love of the Greek language and literature; as he grew older, John became more committed to Christianity and went on to study theology under Diodore of Tarsus, founder of the re-constituted School of Antioch.
According to the Christian historian Sozomen, Libanius was supposed to have said on his deathbed that John would have been his successor "if the Christians had not taken him from us". John lived in extreme asceticism and became a hermit in about 375; as a consequence of these practices, his stomach and kidneys were permanently damaged and poor health forced him to return to Antioch. John was ordained as a deacon in 381 by Saint Meletius of Antioch, not in communion with Alexandria and Rome. After the death of Meletius, John separated himself from the followers of Meletius, without joining Paulinus, the rival of Meletius for the bishopric of Antioch, but after the death of Paulinus he was ordained a presbyter in 386 by Evagrius, the successor of Paulinus. He was destined to bring about reconciliation between Flavian I of Antioch and Rome, thus bringing those three sees into communion for the first time in nearly seventy years. In Antioch, over the course of twelve years, John gained popularity because of the eloquence of his public speaking at the Golden Church, Antioch's cathedral his insightful expositions of Bible passages and moral teaching.
The most valuable of his works from this period are his Homilies on various books of the Bible. He was concerned with the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor, he spoke against abuse of wealth and personal property:Do you wish to honour the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad, he who said: "This is my body" is the same who said: "You saw me hungry and you gave me no food", "Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did to me"... What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger? Start by satisfying his hunger and with what is left you may adorn the altar as well, his straightforward understanding of the Scriptures – in contrast to the Alexandrian tendency towards allegorical interpretation – meant that the themes of his talks were practical, explaining the Bible's application to everyday life. Such straightforward preaching helped Chrysostom to garner popular support.
He founded a series of hospitals in Constantinople to care for the poor. One incident that happened during his service in Antioch illustrates the influence of his homilies; when Chrysostom arrived in Antioch, the bishop of the city, had to intervene with Emperor Theodosius I on behalf of citizens who had gone on a rampage mutilating statues of the Emperor and his family. During the weeks of Lent in 387, John preached more than twenty homilies in which he entreated the people to see the error of their ways; these made a lasting impression on the general population of the city: many pagans converted to Christianity as a result of the homilies. As a result, Theodosius' vengeance was not as severe. In the autumn of 397, John was appointed Archbishop of Constantinople, after having been nominated without his knowledge by the eunuch Eutropius, he had to leave Antioch in secret due to fears that the departure of such a popular figure would cause civil unrest. During his time as Archbishop he
Sir Thomas Phillipps, 1st Baronet was an English antiquary and book collector who amassed the largest collection of manuscript material in the 19th century. He was an illegitimate son of a textile manufacturer and inherited a substantial estate, which he spent entirely on vellum manuscripts and, when out of funds, borrowed to buy manuscripts, thereby putting his family deep into debt. Phillipps recorded in an early catalogue that his collection was instigated by reading various accounts of the destruction of valuable manuscripts; such was his devotion that he acquired some 40,000 printed books and 60,000 manuscripts, arguably the largest collection a single individual has created, coined the term "vello-maniac" to describe his obsession, more termed bibliomania. In 1798, when Phillipps was 6 years old, he owned 110 books, is recorded to have said that he wanted to own one of every book in the world. Philipps began collecting in earnest while still at Rugby, he continued buying books when he went on to University College Oxford and graduated in 1815.
In 1820, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. A. N. L. Munby notes that, " spent between two hundred thousand and a quarter of a million pounds altogether four or five thousand pounds a year, while accessions came in at the rate of forty or fifty a week.". Phillipps would purchase the entire stock, his country seat, Middle Hill near Broadway, Worcestershire gave over sixteen of twenty rooms to books. In 1850 at a meeting of the Cambrian Archaeological society, Phillips announced that he was seeking to locate his large collection at a location in Wales, he employed a distant relative by marriage, Amelia Elizabeth Guppy, to photograph some of his collection in 1853 including artefacts from Babylon and Utrecht. In 1863, Phillipps began to move the collection as he was fearful that his son-in-law, James Orchard Halliwell, would gain ownership of it when Phillipps's estranged daughter inherited Middle Hill. Halliwell was a book thief and a destroyer of other valuable old books, cutting out pages to stick them in his scrapbook.
At least 105 wagon-loads, each drawn by two horses and accompanied by one or two men, were used to move the collection to Thirlestaine House in Cheltenham over a period of eight months, leaving Middle Hill to fall to ruin. The previous owner of Thirlestaine House was John Rushout, 2nd Baron Northwick, whose important art collection had been sold in 1859 after he died intestate. There are thus numerous MSS named "Codex Middlehillianus", "Cheltenham Codex" or "Codex Cheltenhamensis". On his death in 1872 the probate valuation of his manuscripts was £74,779 17s 0d, his success as a collector owed something to the dispersal of the monastic libraries following the French Revolution and the relative cheapness of a large amount of vellum material, in particular English legal documents, many of which owe their survival to Phillipps. He was an assiduous cataloguer who established the Middle Hill Press in 1822 not only to record his book holdings but to publish his findings in English topography and genealogy.
The press was housed in Broadway Tower, a folly completed on Broadway Hill, Worcestershire, in 1798. During his lifetime, Phillipps attempted to turn over his collection to the British nation and corresponded with the then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Disraeli in order that it should be acquired for the British Museum. Negotiations proved unsuccessful and the dispersal of his collection took over 100 years. Phillipps's will stipulated that his books should remain intact at Thirlestaine House, that no bookseller or stranger should rearrange them and that no Roman Catholic his son-in-law James Halliwell, should be permitted to view them. In 1885, the Court of Chancery declared this too restrictive and thus made possible the sale of the library which Phillipps's grandson Thomas FitzRoy Fenwick supervised for the next fifty years. Significant portions of the European material were sold to the national collections on the continent including the Royal Library, the Royal Library of Belgium, the Provincial Archives in Utrecht as well as the sale of outstanding individual items to the J. Pierpont Morgan and Henry E. Huntington libraries.
By 1946, what was known as the "residue" was sold to London booksellers Phillip and Lionel Robinson for £100,000, though this part of the collection was uncatalogued and unexamined. The Robinsons endeavoured to sell these books through their own published catalogues and a number of Sotheby's sales; the final portion of the collection was sold by Christie's on 7 June 2006, lots 18–38. A five-volume history of the collection and its dispersal, Phillipps Studies, by A. N. L. Munby was published between 1951 and 1960. Phillipps married Henrietta Elizabeth Molyneux, daughter of Major-General Thomas Molyneux, in 1819; this was after the death of his father. In 1821, he was made baronet of Middle Hill in the County of Worcester at the age of 29; the honour was the result of his father-in-law's connections with the Duke of Beaufort. He was appointed High Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1825. Phillipps' eldest daughter, married the Shakesperean scholar James Orchard Halliwell. While still an undergraduate at Cambridge, Halliwell had collaborated in r
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
The Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem or Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and titular church in rione Esquilino, Italy. It is one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. According to tradition, the basilica was consecrated circa 325 to house the relics of the Passion of Jesus Christ brought to Rome from the Holy Land by Empress St. Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I. At that time, the Basilica's floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem, thus acquiring the title in Hierusalem; the most recent Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Crucis in Hierusalem was Juan José Omella, since 28 June 2017. At one time the site of the temple of El Gabal, or Sol Invictus, the god of Emperor Elagabalus, the Basilica was built around a room in Empress St. Helena's imperial palace, the Palazzo Sessoriano, which she converted into a chapel circa AD 320. Relics were once in the ancient St. Helena's Chapel, subterranean. Here the founder of the Basilica had some soil from Calvary dispersed.
Some decades the chapel was converted into a basilica, called the Heleniana or Sessoriana. In the eighth century, the basilica was restored by Pope Gregory II. After falling into neglect, the Pope Lucius II restored the Basilica, it assumed a Romanesque appearance, with a nave, two aisles and porch. The Cosmatesque pavement dates from this period. In the vault is a mosaic designed by Melozzo da Forlì before 1485 depicting Jesus Blessing, Histories of the Cross, various saints; the altar has a huge statue of St. Helena, obtained from an ancient statue of the pagan goddess Juno discovered at Ostia; the Basilica was modified in the 16th century, but it assumed its current Baroque appearance under Pope Benedict XIV, its titular prior to his elevation to the Papacy. In 1601, during his first stay in Rome, Peter Paul Rubens completed his first altarpiece commission, St. Helena with the True Cross for the Chapel of St. Helena. Rubens was commissioned by Archduke Albert of Austria to paint an altarpiece with three panels for the Chapel.
Two of these paintings, St. Helena with the True Cross and The Mocking of Christ, are now in Grasse, France; the third, The Elevation of the Cross, was lost. New streets were opened to connect the Basilica to two other Roman major basilicas, San Giovanni in Laterano and Santa Maria Maggiore; the façade of the Basilica, designed by Pietro Passalacqua and Domenico Gregorini, shares the typical late Roman Baroque style of these other basilicas. In May 2011, the Cistercian abbey linked to the Basilica was suppressed by a decree of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, following the results of an apostolic visitation prompted by years of serious problems, including significant liturgical disputes. According to a Vatican spokesman, "an inquiry found evidence of liturgical and financial irregularities as well as lifestyles that were not in keeping with that of a monk." According to Il Messaggero, Simone Fioraso, an abbot described as a "flamboyant former Milan fashion designer", "transformed the church, renovating its crumbling interior and opening a hotel, holding regular concerts, a televised bible-reading marathon and attracting celebrity visitors with an unconventional approach."
Several famous relics of disputed authenticity are housed in the Cappella delle Reliquie, built in 1930 by architect Florestano Di Fausto, including part of the Elogium or Titulus Crucis, i.e. the panel, hung on Christ's Cross. A much larger piece of the True Cross was taken from the Basilica on the instructions of Pope Urban VIII in 1629 to St. Peter's Basilica, where it is kept near the colossal statue of St. Empress Helena sculpted by Andrea Bolgi in 1639; the apse of the Basilica includes frescoes telling the Legends of the True Cross, attributed to Melozzo, Antoniazzo Romano, Marco Palmezzano. The Museum of the Basilica houses a mosaic icon which, according to the legend, Pope Gregory I had made after a vision of Christ; the icon, however, is believed to have been given to the Basilica around 1385 by Raimondo Del Balzo Orsini. Notable is the tomb of Cardinal Francisco de los Ángeles Quiñones sculpted by Jacopo Sansovino in 1536. Raimondo Besozzi, La storia della Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.
Marie-Théodore de Busierre, Les sept basiliques de Rome Tome second, pp. 157-178. Paolo Coen, Le Sette Chiese. Claudio Rendina, La Grande Enciclopedia di Roma Belkin, Kristin Lohse. Rubens. Oxford Oxfordshire: Phaidon. Pp. 63–6. ISBN 0-7148-3412-2. Official Site Description in the site of the "Soprintendenza Speciale per il Colosseo, il MNR e l'Area archeologica di Roma" High-resolution 360° Panoramas and Images of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme | Art Atlas
Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book of codex format from an ordered stack of paper sheets that are folded together into sections or sometimes left as a stack of individual sheets. The stack is bound together along one edge by either sewing with thread through the folds or by a layer of flexible adhesive. Alternative methods of binding that are cheaper but less permanent include loose-leaf rings, individual screw posts or binding posts, twin loop spine coils, plastic spiral coils, plastic spine combs. For protection, the bound stack is either attached to stiff boards. An attractive cover is adhered to the boards, including identifying information and decoration. Book artists or specialists in book decoration can greatly enhance a book's content by creating book-like objects with artistic merit of exceptional quality. Before the computer age, the bookbinding trade involved two divisions. First, there was Stationery binding that deals with books intended for handwritten entries such as accounting ledgers, business journals, blank books, guest log books, along with other general office stationery such as note books, manifold books, day books, portfolios, etc.
Computers have now replaced the pen and paper based accounting that constituted most of the stationery binding industry. Second was Letterpress binding which deals with making books intended for reading, including library binding, fine binding, edition binding, publisher's bindings. A third division deals with the repair and conservation of old used bindings. Today, modern bookbinding is divided between hand binding by individual craftsmen working in a shop and commercial bindings mass-produced by high-speed machines in a factory. There is a broad grey area between the two divisions; the size and complexity of a bindery shop varies with job types, for example, from one-of-a-kind custom jobs, to repair/restoration work, to library rebinding, to preservation binding, to small edition binding, to extra binding, to large-run publisher's binding. There are cases where binding jobs are combined in one shop. For the largest numbers of copies, commercial binding is effected by production runs of ten thousand copies or more in a factory.
Bookbinding is a specialized trade that relies on basic operations of measuring and gluing. A finished book might need dozens of operations to complete, according to the specific style and materials. Bookbinding combines skills from other trades such as paper and fabric crafts, leather work, model making, graphic arts, it requires knowledge about numerous varieties of book structures along with all the internal and external details of assembly. A working knowledge of the materials involved is required. A book craftsman needs a minimum set of hand tools but with experience will find an extensive collection of secondary hand tools and items of heavy equipment that are valuable for greater speed and efficiency. Bookbinding is an artistic craft of great antiquity, at the same time, a mechanized industry; the division between craft and industry is not so wide. It is interesting to observe that the main problems faced by the mass-production bookbinder are the same as those that confronted the medieval craftsman or the modern hand binder.
The first problem is still. The craft of bookbinding originated in India, where religious sutras were copied on to palm leaves with a metal stylus; the leaf was dried and rubbed with ink, which would form a stain in the wound. The finished leaves were given numbers, two long twines were threaded through each end through wooden boards, making a palm-leaf book; when the book was closed, the excess twine would be wrapped around the boards to protect the manuscript leaves. Buddhist monks took the idea through Afghanistan to China in the first century BC. Similar techniques can be found in ancient Egypt where priestly texts were compiled on scrolls and books of papyrus. Another version of bookmaking can be seen through the ancient Mayan codex. Writers in the Hellenistic-Roman culture wrote longer texts as scrolls. Court records and notes were written on wax tablets, while important documents were written on papyrus or parchment; the modern English word book comes from the Proto-Germanic *bokiz, referring to the beechwood on which early written works were recorded.
The book was not needed in ancient times, as many early Greek texts—scrolls—were 30 pages long, which were customarily folded accordion-fashion to fit into the hand. Roman works were longer, running to hundreds of pages; the Greeks used to call their books tome, meaning "to cut". The Egyptian Book of the Dead was a massive 200 pages long and was used in funerary services for the deceased. Torah scrolls, editions of the Jewish holy book, were—and still are—also held in special holders when read. Scrolls can be rolled in one of two ways; the first method is to wrap the scroll around a single core, similar to a modern roll of paper towels. While simple to construct, a single core scroll has a major disadvantage: in order to read text at the end of the scroll, the entire scroll must be unwound; this is overcome in the second method, to wrap the scroll around two cores, as in a Torah. With a double scroll, the text can be accessed from both beginning and end, th