The Thirteenth Century Bible. An Essay, with an Original Leaf from a Latin Manuscript Bible.
[De Hamel, Christopher[

Akron, Ohio: Bruce Ferrini, 1994. The present copy is number 9 in an edition of probably fewer than 100, though the colophon describes an edition size of 1000. The text of the accompanying leaf is Deuteronomy 20: 19-20, “Thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an ax again With the manuscript leaf, ca. 1220, in a plastic sleeve at back. A fine copy of a rare leaf book. Bound by Pat Bruno in full faux medieval tan calf, covers blind tooled, with 5 brass bosses on each cover. Small quarto. 8 unnumbered pages. (Item ID: 16657)


Disbound and Dispersed notes Christopher de Hamel as the author of the present essay, which recounts the history of Bible production in the 13th century with a focus on the dramatic shifts in Biblical formatting and printing standards that occurred at that time. De Hamel describes that, at the beginning of the 13th century, “the whole Bible was completely rearranged” from an expensive, cumbersome multivolume format into the two-column chaptered format that persists to this day. The simplification of printing standards allowed the Bible to be reproduced and disseminated more easily: de Hamel remarks that “probably the text of the Bible has never been as well-known as it was in the late thirteenth century.” De Hamel notes that 13th century Bible passages, such as the excerpt contained in the present volume, remain understandable to contemporary Latin readers: he writes, “Dozens of medieval readers must have read the very same words off the very same page. It is an experience that takes us straight back to thirteenth-century Europe and more than a third of the way back in time to the period of the Evangelists themselves.”

OCLC lists only one copy. Disbound and Dispersed #206.

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