Medieval Manuscripts: Visual Layout and Cognitive Content in Cross-cultural Perspective

Academic & Research
Open to the Public
Please see program description for details
Friday, March 30, 2012 - 10:00am
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Friday, March 30, 2012 - 10:00am to Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 6:00pm

The workshop asks the question of what way characteristics of language, techniques of script and the physical production of manuscripts on the one hand and cognitive aspects of design and use on the other relate to and impact on each other. The range includes Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian and Armenian manuscripts. The workshop looks at various genres and though focusing on the Middle Ages, it allows for chronological flexibility when it is called for. The main aim of the workshop is to bring together for a comparative study scholars with an expertise in the physical and intellectual aspects of manuscript production of different book cultures.

The workshop is open to the public by prior registration (please send an email to Anna Somfai).


Workshop participants

Chiara Aimi (University of Bologna)

Sabine Arndt (University of Oxford)

Ferenc Csirkés (University of Chicago)

Ivana Dobcheva (Central European University, Budapest)

Györgyi Fajcsák (Director of the Hopp Ferenc East Asian Art Museum, Budapest)

Gergely Hidas (Dept. of Indo-European Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)

Benedek Láng (Budapest University of Technology and Economics)

Beatrix Mecsi (Institute of East Asian Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)

András Németh (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)

Anna Somfai (Central European University, Budapest)

Iván Szántó (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Iranian Studies, Vienna)

Alasdair Watson (Curator of Islamic Manuscripts, Bodleian Library, Oxford)



Day 1
Time: 30 Mach 2012, Friday, 10:00am-18:00pm
Place: CEU, Faculty Tower 809

10-10:15: Welcome and introduction

Session 1: Latin manuscripts (10:15-12:15)

10:15-11:15: Anna Somfai: Visual thinking: medieval diagrams and manuscript layouts in cognitive context

11:15-12:15: Benedek Láng: What only the images can tell us about the attitudes, fears, and intentions of the scribes of magic texts


12:15-13:30: Lunch break


Session 2: Latin, Greek and Indian manuscripts (13:30-15:30)

13:30-14:30: András Németh: Framing thoughts through visual display

14:30-15:30: Gergely Hidas: South Asian manuscript cultures


15:30-16:00: Coffee break


Session 3: Chienese, Japanese, Korean manuscripts (16:00-18:00)

16:00-17:00: Györgyi Fajcsák: Chinese manuscripts in cross-cultural perspectives

17:00-18:00: Beatrix Mecsi: Chinese Buddhist texts as read in Korean and Japanese



Day 2Time: 31 Mach 2012, Saturday, 10:00am-17:30pm
Place: CEU, Gellner Room

Session 4: Arabic manuscripts (10:00-12:00)

10:00-11:00: Alasdair Watson: The chimeric idea of the geometric construction of page layout in Arabic manuscripts

11:00-12:00: Iván Szántó: Persian manuscripts before and after the Muslim Conquest


12:00-13:15: Lunch break


Session 5: Hebrew and Armenian manuscripts (13:15-15:15)

13:15-14:15: Ferenc Csirkés: ‘Turk’ and ‘Tajik’ in the Divan: the relative place of Persian and Turkish in poetic book collections in 16th-17th-century Iran

14:15-15:15: Chiara Aimi: Title, incipit and explicit: scripts and colours in Armenian manuscripts between functionality and aesthetics


15:15-15:45: Coffee break


Session 6: Latin manuscripts and roundtable (15:45-18:00)

15:45-16:45: Sabine Arndt: The oldest Hebrew encyclopaedia of science and its (missing) diagrams

16:45-17:30: Ivana Dobcheva: Fighting for authority in medieval manuscript layouts

17:30-18:00 Roundtable