Description of project :

In an old paper (1925), Eva Sanford listed and studied how classical Latin poets were included in what she calledLibri manuales. Although the name Libri manuales is no longer in use among scholars for this type of book, there is no doubt about the existence in the early Middle Ages of collections of poetic texts, containing either full texts or significant parts of the poems (excluding anthologies and florilegia). With this project we intend to produce an inventory of the manuscripts which contain late Latin poets (either only poets, or poets and other material) and to approach the meaning and the use of such books in the intellectual context in which they were produced.

This project aims to

  • produce in a database the most possible comprehensive catalogue of these manuscripts in order to initiate a comparison between them and analyse their contents.
  • produce from a selected group of examples an analyse of these groups in the context of medieval scholarship, with a special attention on date of production, intellectual and social context, and circulation networks.
  • produce a synthetic view of diffusion and circulation of late Latin poets in Carolingian period, including a comparison of the various types of libri, and the links between poets and other types of texts (theology, exegesis, grammar, law etc.)

How will we work

We plan to organize our work in four parts :

1) identify the manuscripts and fill our first open database. Everyone who knows about such a manuscript, can add an entry to our database. The database entries are very easy to fill and it takes only few minutes. This database will allow us to have a precise idea of the number of libri, their date, location, origin etc. Every contributor may add a small or long description of the liber and give us an email address for further contact.

To fill the manuscript database, please follow this link.

2) identify quotations of late Latin poets in non poetic texts, and fill our second open database. This database is also very easy to fill and gives us information about what is quoted, in which work, by which author, and the type of the text in which quotations are found.

To fill the quotation database, please follow this link.

3) create an open bibliographic database about these manuscripts and the context of their writing. By becoming a member of our shared library, each member can add bibliographic items, and help the redactors’ team to improve his knowledge of each particular manuscript, or give them further elements of context. Every member can also use the common library for his own works.

4) use the data in an interdisciplinary reflection to initiate a work including philologists and historians about these libri and their use, trying to answer the following issue : what was the importance of late Latin poetry in the cultural context of the 8th-9th and 10th centuries ?


How to participate

-feed the database : if you know such manuscripts, you can feed our databases. You will so contribute to enlarging our knowledge of these Libri. As said above, filling a file will take only few minutes.

-take a part in our workshops : we plan to organize two workshops each year (in situ and through videoconference) ; each workshop will be dedicated to a special topic and include papers by specialists about examples of libri or related topics and open discussion. We will use these workshops as a basis for the final book and website.

-join the redactors’ team : you can either write a paper about one liber and/or one aspect of our research (for example : late Latin poets in English grammar books in Carolingian period) or join the redactors’ committee.

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