Illuminated Manuscripts: The Kindles of the Past Essay

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Illuminated Manuscripts

Long before the time of kindle and nook, books were a unique object that were handcrafted for the purpose of easy transportation of important information across the empire. Most popularly, these manuscripts were used in churches, monasteries and other significant holy places during the spread of Christianity. This began in the second century with the development of monasteries and covenants. In addition to being hand bound and written these texts would also provide intricate imagery called illuminations. Passing information simply by word of mouth was not the most successful way of sharing. Imagine playing telephone across country. Although pilgrims who traveled from holy site to holy site were often wealthy and educated, remembering detailed stories was difficult to do. Traditional Roman scrolls were not the best for travel either. The paper would be weighted at either end allowing for possible tearing during travel. Also the exposed nature of the paper could be easily altered by the elements. So the innovations of manuscripts were needed. However this process wasn’t as easy as we have it today where our materials are readily available.
The idea of imagery in books can be traced back to the Egyptians around the 3rd century B.C. (New In fact their alphabet, or hieroglyphs, were individual images themselves. These markings didn’t just end up on pyramid walls but also on handcrafted paper called papyri (New This…