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Our knowledge of Latin texts from Antiquity and Late Antiquity is primarily based on manuscripts from the early Middle Ages. The margins of these manuscripts, moreover, often contain annotations which enrich the treasured texts with new layers of interpretation. These marginal and interlinear annotations have long been neglected, since they were considered to be the product of unimportant, anonymous monks. In this project, which ran from May 2011 to May 2016, they were the central focus: they tell the story of the transformation of knowledge on all kinds of subjects, ranging from natural phenomena of the cosmos to orthodox teachings on predestination. They highlighted the methods and interests of the scholarly world in this period, and reflect the discussions and debates that accompanied the pursuit of knowledge.

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These practices of annotation, previously mostly neglected, were explored and analysed in this project. They offered a new perspective on early medieval intellectual life and open up exciting new research questions.

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Three complementary research questions were explored:

  • The phenomenon of annotating texts with the help of a-textual symbols (Steinova);
  • The role of marginal annotations in the early medieval world of debate and controverse, of intellectual freedom and censorship (Van Renswoude);
  • A description, analysis and synthesis of annotating practices in the period of the Carolingian renaissance, the centres of production of commentaries and characteristic types of annotation used by individual scholars or scholarly communities (Teeuwen).

The project delivered a series of publications, a dissertation (Evina Steinova, defended in March 2017, cum laude), a Database with observations about annotations in ca 350 Carolingian manuscripts, and an international edited volume with 26 contributions on the theme.

Contact

About the project

https://www.huygens.knaw.nl/marginal-scholarship-vidi/

Database, project results, blog

https://www.marginalscholarship.nl/

Voicesfromtheedge.huygens.knaw.nl

Publications

Books

Teeuwen, M.J. and I. van Renswoude (eds.) (2017), The Annotated Book in the Early Middle Ages: Practices of Reading and Writing, Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy 38 (Turnhout: Brepols). Proceedings of a conference held in June 2015, 26 contributions, XII+783 p., 41 b/w ill., ISBN: 978-2-503-56948-2.

Steinová, E. (2016), Notam superponere studui: the use of technical signs in the early Middle Ages. PhD dissertation, Utrecht University (2016).

Articles and Chapters

Renswoude, I. van and E. Steinová (forthcoming, May 2018), ‘The Annotated Gottschalk: Critical signs and control of heterodoxy in the Carolingian age, in: P. Chambert-Protat, W. Pezé e.a. (eds.), La controverse carolingienne sur la prédestination: histoire, textes, manuscrits, Haut Moyen Âge 32.

Renswoude, I. van (2017), ‘The Censor’s Rod: Textual Criticism, Judgment and Canon Formation in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages’, in: M. J. Teeuwen, I. van Renswoude (eds.), The Annotated Book. Early Medieval Practices of Reading and Writing, Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy 38 (Turnhout: Brepols), 555-596.

Renswoude, I. van (2017), ‘The art of disputation: dialogue, dialectic and debate’, in: Early Medieval Europe 35.1, Special Issue Dialogue and debate in late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, M.B. de Jong and I. van Renswoude (eds.), 38-53.

Renswoude, I. van and J. Raaijmakers (2016), ‘The ruler as referee in theological debates. Reccared and Charlemagne’, in: R. Meens, D. van Espelo, B. van den Hoven van Genderen, J. Raaijmakers, I. van Renswoude, C. van Rhijn (eds.), Religious Franks. Religion and Power in the Frankish Kingdoms. Studies in Honour of Mayke de Jong (Manchester University Press), 50-70.

Renswoude, I. van, with C. Baumgartner (2015), ‘Heresy’, in: Robert Segal, Kocku von Stuckrad (eds.) The Vocabulary for the Study of Religion (Leiden: Brill), 156-159.

Renswoude, I. van and M.J. Teeuwen (2014), ‘Voorpublicatie, censuur en zelfcensuur in Oudheid en Middeleeuwen. Of: hoe een auteur zich kan wapenen tegen openbare kritiek en straf’, in: J. Gabriëls, I. Huysman, T. van Kalmthout, R. Sluijter (eds.), In Vriendschap en Vertrouwen. Cultuurhistorische essays over confidentialiteit (Hilversum: Verloren), 241-256.

Renswoude, I. van and R. Kramer (2014), ‘Dissens, Debatte und Diskurs. Kirche und Imperium im Karolingerreich’, Historicum (Spring/Summer issue 2014), 22-27.

Renswoude, I. van, with C. Baumgartner (2014), ‘Censorship, Free Speech and Religion’, in: P. Hedges (ed.), Controversies in Contemporary Religions, vol.2: Public and Ethical Controversies, Praeger Multi-Volume series (Oxford), 123-151.

Renswoude, I.van (2013), ‘Licence to Speak. The Rhetoric of Free speech in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages’, in: The Cultural Significance of the Natural Sciences (Praemium Erasmianum Yearbook 2012, Amsterdam).

Steinová, E. (2017), ‘Technical signs in Early Medieval Manuscripts Copied in Irish Minuscule’, in: The Annotated Book in the Early Middle Ages. Practices of Reading and Writing, Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy 38 (Turnhout: Brepols), 37-86.

Steinová, E. (2016), ‘The List De notis sententiarum in the Liber Glossarum’, Journal of Medieval Latin 26, 315-362.

Steinová, E. (2015), ‘Psalmos, notas, cantus: the meanings of nota in the Carolingian period’. Speculum 90:2 (2015), 424-457.

Steinová, E. (2014), ‘Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, MS Clm 6298: A new witness of the biblical commentaries from the Canterbury school’. Anglo-Saxon England 43 (2014): 45-55.

Teeuwen, M.J. (forthcoming, 2018), ‘Practices of Appropriation: Writing in the Margin in Twelfth-Century Manuscripts’, in: E. Kwakkel and R. Thompson (eds.), The European Book in the Twelfth Century, (Cambridge University Press).

Teeuwen, M.J. (forthcoming), ‘Die Ränder der Handschrift als Spiegel des mittelalterlichten Geistes: Die karolingische Zeit’, Wolfenbütteler Hefte 36 (Wolfenbüttel: Herzog August Bibliothek).

Teeuwen, M.J. (forthcoming), ‘The ars musica in Glosses and Commentaries in Early Medieval Manuscripts’, chapter in the edited volume Music in the Carolingian World: Studies in honour of Charles Atkinson (Columbus, Ohio).

Teeuwen, M.J. (2017), ‘Voices from the Edge: Annotating Books in the Carolingian period’, in: M. J. Teeuwen, I. van Renswoude (eds.), The Annotated Book in the Early Middle Ages. Practices of Reading and Writing, Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy 38 (Turnhout: Brepols), 13-36

Teeuwen, M.J. (2016), ‘Writing in the Blank Space of Manuscripts: Evidence from the Ninth Century’, in: B. Crostini, G. Iversen and B.M. Jensen,  Ars Edendi Lecture Series Volume IV (Stockholm: Stockholm University Press), 1-25.

Teeuwen, M.J. and S. O’Sullivan (2016), ‘The Harvest of Ancient Learning: Healthy Fruits or Rotten Apples’, in: R. Bremmer Jr. and C. Dekker (eds.), Fruits of Learning.The Transfer of Encyclopaedic Knowledge in the Early Middle Ages (Leuven: Peeters), 303-320.

Teeuwen, M.J. (2016), ‘Three annotated letter manuscripts: scholarly practices of religious Franks in the margins unveiled’, in: R. Meens et alii, Religious Franks. Religion and Power in the Frankish Kingdoms: Studies in Honour of Mayke de Jong (Manchester University Press), 221-239.

Teeuwen, M.J. (2015), ‘Carolingian Scholarship on Classical Authors: Practices of Reading and Writing’, in: E. Kwakkel (ed.), Manuscripts of the Latin Classics, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Book Culture ( Leiden University Press), 23-50.

Teeuwen, M.J. (2014), ‘The master has it wrong. Dissenting voices in commentary texts’, in: E. D’Angelo and J. Ziolkowski (eds.), Auctor et auctoritas in latinis medii aevi litteris. Author and Authorship in Medieval Latin Literature, Volume of Proceedings of the International Medieval Latin Congress (SISMEL: Edizione del Galluzzo), 1097-1108.

Teeuwen, M.J. (2013), Inaugural lecture Stemmen van de zijlijn: de organisatie van kennis in middeleeuwse handschriften, 11 January 2013, published online at http://dspace.library.uu.nl/handle/1874/276509

Teeuwen, M.J. (2013), ‘Seduced by Pagan Poets and Philosophers: Suspicious Learning in the Early Middle Ages’, in: C. Giliberto and L. Teresi (eds.), Limits to Learning. The Transfer of Encyclopaedic Knowledge in the Early Middle Ages (Leuven, Paris, Walpole, MA: Peeters), 63-80.

Teeuwen, M.J. (2011), ‘Marginal Scholarship: Rethinking the Function of Latin Glosses in Early Medieval Manuscripts’, in: P. Lendinara, L. Lazzari, C. Di Sciacca (eds.), Rethinking and Recontextualizing Glosses. New Perspectives in the Study of Late Anglo-Saxon Glossography, Textes et Études du Moyen Âge 54 (Porto: FIDEM), 19-37.