The Book: Monasteries, Schools, and Notaries, Part 1: Reading the Late Medieval Marseille Archive - Harvard University



Wichtige informationen

  • Kurs
  • Online
  • Wann:
    Freie Auswahl

Understand handwriting’s role in the later Middle Ages as Europe was in the midst of the "paper revolution” and the quantity of documents was exploding. With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

Wichtige informationen

Wo und wann

Beginn Lage
Freie Auswahl

Was lernen Sie in diesem Kurs?

Middle Ages


Medieval Europe has preserved enormous quantities of books and documents—many millions of pages, in fact—written in Latin and other languages. However, only a tiny percentage of these texts have been edited and published. To gain access to the rest, you need to learn the art and science of reading medieval handwriting,

This module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space introduces students to the world of medieval paleography, the science of reading old handwriting. This particular module focuses on notarial handwriting from the city of Marseille in the 14th and 15th centuries. The module features household inventories, which identify some of the fascinating objects found in people’s houses. Assessments and quizzes will allow you to track your progress as you move from letter-group to letter-group. In addition to learning the handwriting, we will take special care to explore some of the many abbreviations and other elements of the secular registers of the later Middle Ages.

Some knowledge of Latin or another Romance Language will be very helpful for understanding the texts you will read, but students without these language skills will still enjoy this chance to explore medieval handiwork.

What you'll learn

  • A style of handwriting known as notarial cursive, which was used for such documents across most of Europe in the later Middle Ages
  • The basic form of each letter, including variations and false positives
  • Standard abbreviations
  • Editing and navigation marks

Zusätzliche Informationen

Daniel Lord Smail Daniel Lord Smail is professor of History at Harvard University, where he works on the history and anthropology of Mediterranean societies between 1100 and 1600 and on deep human history. In medieval European history, his work has explored the social and cultural history of the cities of Mediterranean Europe, with a focus on Marseille in the later Middle Ages. He has covered subjects ranging from women and Jews to legal history and spatial imagination. His current research approaches transformations in the material culture of the later Middle Ages using household inventories and inventories of debt recovery from Lucca and Marseille.