Article

Location, Location, Location: Geography, Knowledge, and the Creation of Medieval Latin Textual Communities

Ralph Hexter

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Latin Literature

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394016
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195394016.013.0010

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Location, Location, Location: Geography, Knowledge, and the Creation of Medieval Latin Textual Communities

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The work of paleographers and codicologists has helped us to appreciate the materiality of the books written in the Middle Ages. The collection and dissemination of information and the creation of such a complex text as Pliny's were enabled by the network of institutions, such as the book trade and schools, that the ancient elites patronized and which in turn reproduced them. Each book testifies to the state of knowledge out of which it was produced, even as it becomes an element of the “geography of knowledge” for subsequent generations. The milieux in which these and other individuals gained their knowledge of Greek exemplify the linkage of knowledge and location, whether the site be Constantinople, Antioch, Sicily, Rome, or the entire southern half of the Italian peninsula, where Greek monastic communities remained established. One might well describe Orléans as a “textual community” and set it alongside other textual communities or transmissional niches, each with its own particular sets of resources and interests. Textual communities can also be extended by visitors who pass through or students who move on to other regions.

Keywords: Paleographers; codicologists; Middle Ages; Pliny; Greek; Greek monastic communities; textual communities

Article.  11176 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Reception ; Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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