Form and Function in the Late Medieval Bible


Editors: Eyal Poleg and Laura Light
Thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Latin Bibles survive in hundreds of manuscripts, one of the most popular books of the Middle Ages. Their innovative layout and organization established the norm for Bibles for centuries to come. This volume is the first study of these Bibles as a cohesive group. Multi- and inter-disciplinary analyses in art history, liturgy, exegesis, preaching and manuscript studies, reveal the nature and evolution of layout and addenda. They follow these Bibles as they were used by monks and friars, preachers and merchants. By addressing Latin Bibles alongside their French, Italian and English counterparts, this book challenges the Latin-vernacular dichotomy to show links, as well as discrepancies, between lay and clerical audiences and their books.

Contributors include Peter Stallybrass, Diane Reilly, Paul Saenger, Richard Gameson, Chiara Ruzzier, Giovanna Murano, Cornelia Linde, Lucie Doležalová, Laura Light, Eyal Poleg, Sabina Magrini, Sabrina Corbellini, Margriet Hoogvliet, Guy Lobrichon, Elizabeth Solopova, and Matti Peikola.

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Eyal Poleg, Ph.D. (2008) in History, University of London, is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh. He is fascinated by the medieval (and early modern) Bible, and has recently published Understanding the Bible in Medieval England (Manchester 2013)

Laura Light, C.Phil. (1981) in History, UCLA, is a cataloguer for Les Enluminures (Paris, Chicago, New York). She has published extensively on the thirteenth-century Bible, and compiled the Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Houghton Library, Harvard University, Volume 1 (Binghamton 1995).
"a great contribution to the study of bibles from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries."– Pablo Alvarez, University of Michigan, in: Renaissance Quarterly 67/2 (Summer 2014), pp. 662-663
"A major contribution to recent advancements in medieval biblical studies […]. Form and Function has, in a very important way, raised as many questions as it has answered, and has suggested many fruitful areas of research for historians of material and religious culture, book and manuscript history, art history, liturgy, exegesis, preaching and monastic reform." – Jessalynn Bird, Naperville, IL., in: Sehepunkte 14/1 (15 January 2014)
"What Form and Function in the Late Medieval Bible shows us, is the diversity and scope of late medieval Bibles and how this is connected to readers and users in, but also outside monastic communities. […] A worthy addition to the impressive and rapidly expanding series Library of the Written Word." – Mart van Duijn, Leiden University Libraries, in: Quaerendo 44/3 (2014), pp. 216-218
List of Illustrations
Photographic Acknowledgements

Eyal Poleg and Laura Light, Introduction

Diane Reilly, The Bible as Bellwether: Manuscript Bibles in the Context of Spiritual, Liturgical and Educational Reform, 1000-1200

Paul Saenger, The Twelfth-Century Reception of Oriental Languages and the Graphic Mise en Page of Latin Vulgate Bibles Copied in England

Richard Gameson, Durham’s Paris Bible and the Use of Communal Bibles in a Benedictine Cathedral Priory in the Later Middle Ages

Chiara Ruzzier, The miniaturization of Bible manuscripts in the XIIIth century. A comparative study

Giovanna Murano, The Epistles of St. Paul of the Convent of San Domenico (Bologna, Biblioteca Universitaria, MS 1545)

Cornelia Linde, John Pecham on the Form of Lamentations

Lucie Doležalová, The Summarium Biblicum: A Biblical Tool both Popular and Obscure

Laura Light, The Thirteenth-Century Pandect and the Liturgy

Eyal Poleg, The Interpretations of Hebrew Names in Theory and Practice

Sabina Magrini, Vernacular Bibles, Biblical Quotations and the Paris Bible in Italy from the Thirteenth to the Fifteenth Century: a First Report

Sabrina Corbellini, Vernacular Bible Manuscripts in Late Medieval Italy: Cultural Appropriation and Textual Transformation

Margriet Hoogvliet, The Medieval Vernacular Bible in French as a Flexible Text: Selective and Discontinuous Reading Practices

Guy Lobrichon, The Story of a Success: The Bible historiale in French (1295-ca. 1500)

Elizabeth Solopova, Manuscript Evidence for the Patronage, Ownership and Use of the Wycliffite Bible

Matti Peikola, Table of Lections in Manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible

Peter Stallybrass, Epilogue


All those interested in medieval religion, manuscript culture and their intersection; advanced students and experts in history, exegesis, codicology, liturgy, preaching, art history; libraries and individuals who own biblical manuscripts