Anathema medieval scribes and the history of book curses

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anathema medieval scribes and the history of book curses

Anathema: Medieval Scribes and the History of Book Curses by Drogin, Marc -

A book curse was a widely employed method of discouraging the thievery of manuscripts during the medieval period. The use of book curses dates back much further, to pre-Christian times, when the wrath of gods was invoked to protect books and scrolls. Usually invoking threat of excommunication, or anathema , the more creative and dramatic detail the better. Generally located in the first or last page of a volume as part of the colophon , these curses were often considered the only defense in protection of highly coveted books and manuscripts. This was notably a time in which people believed in curses, which was critical to its effect, thus believing that, if a person stole or ripped out a page, they were destined to die an agonizing death. The earliest known book curse can be traced to Ashurbanipal , King of Assyria from to BCE, who had the following curse written on many or all of the tablets collected at the library at Ninevah , considered to be the earliest example of a systematically collected library: [2]. I have transcribed upon tablets the noble products of the work of the scribe which none of the kings who have gone before me had learned, together with the wisdom of Nabu insofar as it existeth [in writing].
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Published 17.12.2018

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Medieval Scribes and the History of Book Curses

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4 thoughts on “YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED: Book Curses (And Cursed Books) – The American Bookbinders Museum

  1. Until relatively recently in human history, books and documents were valued both for their contents and for the prodigious effort involved in their creation.

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  3. Anathema!: Medieval scribes and the history of book curses [Marc Drogin] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. First edition. Well illustrated.

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