Course Convenor: Dr Marigold Norbye
Maximum: 15 students
Venue: Senate House
The course is an intensive survey of the origins of, and the changes in, textual culture that took place between c. 2500 BC and 400 AD. It will set these changes into their related historical contexts and place close emphasis on the material nature of writing and book construction. This will involve extensive use of materials from the Museum of Writing Research Collection (Honorary Consultant: Alan Cole) currently housed in Senate House Library. In addition to handling and using original artefacts, students will have the opportunity to experiment with writing on clay tablets, on papyrus, and on wax tablets using modern reconstructions. The course will end by looking at the ways in which the modern book form (the codex) emerged at the end of the period, and how some of the ancient texts studied in the course survived through the post-classical manuscript periods to the age of printing.