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Manuscripts provide rich documentary evidence for understanding the history of cultural life across the breadth of Europe and Asia down through the Middle Ages. Many illustrate engagement between and across languages, in both similar and contrasting ways from east to west. The demarcation of manuscript studies into single-language academic disciplines has often obscured this reality, privileging one constituent part or contributing language from each manuscript rather than exploring the combination as a nuanced and complex whole. This volume seeks to examine manuscripts as integrally united artefacts, respecting the diversity of their constituent elements.
Case studies are presented of twelve manuscripts with evidence for various levels of inter-language exchange and collision, from horizons as diverse as the Atlantic West, Carolingian Europe, the Byzantine world, the Silk Road cultures, and east Asia. The essays function individually as discrete contributions, but together they highlight a range of overlapping themes, illustrating language interaction in global religions, pedagogical exchange, and secular society-building.The analogies as well as the concrete points of connection between them underline the value of a cross-disciplinary approach.
Michael Clarke, NUI, Galway, Republic of Ireland; Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, Univers. of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
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