This video focuses on handwriting and the art of illumination in the Middle Ages. It has an informative introduction and voiceover by Bernard J Muir, and includes a demonstration and description of the various stages involved in illuminating a large initial and in making a pen from a quill. The film includes fine close-ups of the illuminator at work and of scribes writing a variety of medieval scripts. There is also a segment showing a scribe incising text onto a wax tablet. As with the Scriptorium 1 DVD, a bonus computer disc of supplementary resources is included: it contains film sequences demonstrating the making of inks and paints, an illustrated glossary of technical terms, a gallery of dozens of original images by award-winning photographer David Paul, and a number of brief illustrated essays on aspects of codicology and paleography. There is also a recipe book derived from medieval manuscript sources illustrating the different ways in which different colours were produced, and a PowerPoint™ presentation on the development of Western European handwriting. The medieval and Renaissance background music is performed by Ruth Wilkinson on a variety of instruments.
Bernard Muir is Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Melbourne. His publications include The Exeter Anthology of Old English Poetry (Exeter); A Pre-Conquest English Prayerbook (Boydell).
[on the 'Inside the Scriptorium Series']:
I'm really impressed with the professional quality of the whole package -- the production, the resources, the presentation. It's a fantastic piece of work and should be extraordinarily useful to lots of people, teachers and students alike.
187 x 137 mm
January 1, 2009