Skip to content
BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2020

Beyond Eusebius: Prefatory Images and the Early Book

From the book Canones: The Art of Harmony

  • Jaś Elsner


This paper explores the genesis and functions of visually-conceived prefatory matter in the creation of the book in late antiquity. Beyond pragmatic use of prefaces to help guide readers through the new structure of the composite or collected set of texts, which is what a codex constitutes, the chapter examines the multiple interpretive impacts of various kinds of prefatory images as they resonate in the structure and reception of the early book. From the start, prefatory structures for the written codex included visual ornamentation: the kinds of framing needed to help readers find their way through this new kind of artefact intrinsically sought pictorial as well as textual cues.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
Downloaded on 4.10.2023 from
Scroll to top button