The Greek manuscript book : scripts, materials, history (9th International Congress of Greek palaeography

Mondrain Brigitte

The conference on The Greek manuscript Book: scripts, materials, history, which will be held in Paris from September 10th to September 15th 2018 will be the 9th International Congress of Greek paleography, an important meeting taking place every five years. This conference will be particularly meaningful as it’s returning to France after its first edition in 1974. The first congress was organized by Jean Irigoin, titular figure in the area who played a significant role in the advancement of the technical, historical and cultural study of the Greek Book in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In addition, Greek palaeography as a science was founded in France by the Benedictine monk Bernard de Montfaucon, who in the early 18th century invented the term and discipline and dedicated a volume, his famous, still referenced Palaeographia Graeca.

The conference will focus on different elements of the manuscript book in Greek: the book as an object, a result of techniques, knowledge, and professional skills involving different actors from preparing the paper ‘til the binding of the book. The conference will pay close attention to the copy, the characteristics of scripts and also study the book as a conveyer of a text that it reflects, with its specificities and eventual accidents, a phase in transmission that technical analysis can help bring  into light. The book is a witness of a history that we attempt to reconstruct by establishing in which context and by whom it was copied, and by placing it in the hands of readers who during centuries might have annotated it, and in the libraries that, since the Middle Ages, have placed it in their collections and conserved it, all the while changing some of its material features.

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