ViGOTHIC update: Making a medieval codex (III)

How was the process of copying the codex British Library Add. mss. 11695, the Beatus of Silos?

I started this small series by summarising the general steps needed to construct a codex to then delve into what I think was the process of making the Silos Apocalypse, the British Library Add. mss. 11695. In this second post, I asked myself many questions that, to me, were particularly important for they help understand not the codex per se, what is amazing, but its cultural context, which is better.

I asked about who were the scribes who copied the Silos Apocalypse, from where did they come from (training centre/school), who called them in, how did they interact with each other, who made the illuminations, how did he – or they – do it… and, what does the codex mean within the written production of the Benedictine monastery of Silos in the late 11th century, which books were already in the monastery’s library by that time, from where did they come from, what happened while the Silos Apocalypse was being copied (how was the scriptorium organised), did its scribes write something else, what happened after the codex was made, which other books were copied, why were they copied… So, plenty of questions for which, I am glad to say, after several months of work, I have been able to propose answers all based on graphic evidence and its historic contextualisation.

My intention when writing the first post was to share some of these answers here, at least the most relevant or curious. I did not know then how elaborate and dense will they be. Therefore, I made all my findings into an article that I hope will be published soon and to which I will refer updating the post in the future.

With this research on the scribes of the Silos Apocalypse, I close the first year of my Marie-Curie funded project ViGOTHIC. Next academic year started its digital counterpart, VisigothicPal!

by A. Castro

[edited 13/07/2018]

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