Beneventan Discoveries: Collected Manuscript Catalogues, 1978-2008 (Studies and Texts)

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9780888441799: Beneventan Discoveries: Collected Manuscript Catalogues, 1978-2008 (Studies and Texts)
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This book reprints Virginia Brown's five lists of recently discovered Beneventan manuscript items, which first appeared in the journal Mediaeval Studies. A preface and comprehensive indexes compiled by Roger E. Reynolds are also included.

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About the Author:

Virginia Brown (1940-2009), for many years Senior Fellow of the Institute and editor of its annual journal, Mediaeval Studies, as well as editor in chief of the Catalogus translationum et commentariorum, was the foremost scholar of Beneventan script.

Review:

"Virginia Brown was arguably the foremost scholar of Beneventan script. Her many publications from 1975 to 2009 served to revolutionize our knowledge of the production and dissemination of this minuscule script written in southern Italy. The volume consists of five catalogues originally published by Virginia in Mediaeval Studies between 1978 and 2008. As one would expect of a scholar of Virginia?s stature in the field, the scholarship of these five articles is exemplary. The catalogues first serve to bring to the attention of scholars hundreds of new manuscripts and manuscript fragments not known to Lowe in his original study of the Beneventan Script (1914). These rediscoveries are in themselves a singular achievement and pay tribute to Virginia?s skills as a detective. The fragments increase dramatically our knowledge of what texts were written in Beneventan, and a quick perusal reveals that while the majority of the manuscripts contain liturgical texts, many transmit new and important finds of classical and late antique authors (Apuleius, Boethius, Cicero, Claudius, Ovid). The descriptions of the manuscripts are noteworthy for their accuracy in dating (Virginia had a true "oculus palaeographicus," and she had seen so many manuscripts in Beneventan that she was able to date and localize script with great accuracy). A second important feature of these lists is the absolute accuracy in citing the current home of the manuscript. Virginia was a stickler for detail, and these catalogues certainly reflect her rigor as a scholar. - Frank Coulson, The Ohio State University

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