Religious Studies 735: Ancient Book Technology: Early History of the Christian Book
Robert A. Kraft, University of Pennsylvania, Spring 2008 [page under ongoing construction]

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Weekly Assignments & Class Projects

Individual Research Topics & Books to Review

In Process, R&S Manuscript

On Jewish Codices

The technological development of the codex as a vehicle for the transmission of literary texts and its gradual replacement of the older scroll format continues to receive a great deal of attention both in studies of "material culture" in the ancient worlds and with reference to the effect this development may have had on the conceptualization of "text" and "book," among other matters. The influence of Christian practices in this development has been noted and noteworthy.  In this seminar we will review the evidence and the available contemporary literature, especially the compilation of information in C.H.Roberts and T.C.Skeat, Birth of the Codex (1983, reissued 1987), and will contribute to the creation of an accessible online site dealing with the subject in a comprehensive manner. Knowledge of Greek and Latin will be helpful, although not absolutely necessary.

Survey of Some Early Formats for Written Materials:

Questions of "Genre" -- what is written in what format, by and for whom?

Evidence for the Use of Pliable Paged Codices

Assignments and Projects

Some Books for Reviewing:


//updated to 24ap2008//