biblonia

A great deal of medieval architecture was inspired by manuscript art. And a lot of medieval manuscript art began in building design.

One of the earliest elements of Western medieval book design was the Roman column, which served to frame text and help the reader navigate the written page. In early-medieval Latin bible manuscripts, the lists of concordances between the four Gospels are usually arranged using decorated round arches, the typical and most fundamental elements of ancient Roman architecture.

The columns of concordances identified similar passages between the four gospels. The ornamentation is decidedly Romanesque, Genève, Bibliothèque de Genève, Ms. lat. 6 (9th century)  

It is a fitting metaphor that the architectural page should provide support to the resident text. The codex itself being an architectural edifice, with its stacked-up quires bound together at the spine, ensconced in covering plates, a monumentum of solidity and permanence. If words are made…

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