In this module of the Book: Part 1. Reading the Late Medieval Marseille Archive, you will understand handwriting’s role in the later Middle Ages as Europe was in the midst of the “paper revolution” and the quantity of documents was exploding.
About this course
Medieval Europe has preserved enormous quantities of books and documents many millions of pages, in fact written in Latin and other languages. However, only a tiny percentage of these texts have been edited and published. To gain access to the rest, you need to learn the art and science of reading medieval handwriting.
This module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space introduces students to the world of medieval paleography, the science of reading old handwriting. This particular module focuses on notarial handwriting from the city of Marseille in the 14th and 15th centuries. The module features household inventories, which identify some of the fascinating objects found in people’s houses. Assessments and quizzes will allow you to track your progress as you move from letter-group to letter-group. In addition to learning the handwriting, we will take special care to explore some of the many abbreviations and other elements of the secular registers of the later Middle Ages.
Some knowledge of Latin or another Romance Language will be very helpful for understanding the texts you will read, but students without these language skills will still enjoy this chance to explore medieval handiwork.
What you will learn from Reading the Late Medieval Marseille Archive?
- A style of handwriting known as notarial cursive, which was used for such documents across most of Europe in the later Middle Ages
- The basic form of each letter, including variations and false positives
- Standard abbreviations
- Editing and navigation marks
1. Welcome to The Book: Histories Across Time and Space
2. Medieval Marseille Archive: Introduction to Pragmatic Paleography
3. Introduction to the Medieval Marseille Archive
5. The Ascenders
6. The Descenders
7. Minding your P’s and Q’s
9. The Muddle in the Middle
10. Tic Tac Toe
12. Paleography Writ Large
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- Harvard University
- Online Course
- 1-4 Weeks
- Free Course (Affordable Certificate)
- Ancient languages Books and Manuscripts Culture European History History