medievalfragments

By Irene O’Daly

On Monday evening (11.02.13) a full house was present at the University Library for an entertaining and fascinating lecture by Will Noel, director of the Schoenberg Institute  and formerly curator of manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.  Dr. Noel’s lecture, entitled ‚Eureka! The Archimedes Palimpsest’ was an account of the journey taken by a team of researchers, conservators and scientists to bring back to life a lost codex of works by Archimedes contained in an tenth-century volume that had been scraped and overwritten to accommodate a liturgical text in 1229.

From the point of view of manuscript preservation, palimpsests are a unique case.  An early case of recycling, a palimpsest is made when the original text is scraped from the parchment and a new text is written in its place.  In this image, dating from the fourteenth century, the process of preparing a…

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