Cosmography, 1190 CE
Cosmography, 1190 CE
Author: Multiple Writers
History: Created in England, in the late-12th century, this manuscript was intended to be a scientific textbook for monks. The manuscript is brief, just nine folios, and was designed as a compendium of cosmographical knowledge, drawn from early Christian writers such as Bede, and Isidore, as well as the later Abbo of Fleury. In turn, those writers drew on classical sources, such as Pliny the Elder, for their knowledge. But they adapted it to be understood through the filter of Christianity. The 20 complex diagrams accompany, and help to illustrate, the texts in the pamphlet; they include visualizations of the heavens and earth, seasons, winds, tides, and the zodiac, as well as demonstrations of how these things relate to man. Most of the diagrams are rotae (wheel-shaped schemata), favored throughout the Middle Ages for the presentation of scientific, and cosmological ideas. This was because they organized complex information in a clear, orderly fashion, making this material easier to comprehend, learn, and remember. Moreover, the circle, considered the most perfect shape and a symbol of God, was seen as conveying the cyclical nature of time, and the Creation, as well as the logic, order, and harmony, of the created universe.
Reproduction Details: The hardcover books are made with two pieces of real wood on the inside. The leather is a 4 oz cowhide, from a small supplier in New York state. The Glue we use to attach the leather to the wood is made at our facility, and is a period correct wheat glue. Along the spine, we use a modern perfect binding, with modern glue, to make the binding last longer. We also add three layers of mull cloth to the outside of the perfect binding, drying in between each layer, a traditional way to make the binding stiff, strong, and resilient. The end result is a binding that will last generations to come.
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