Report: Medieval Margins in Leiden (17 March)

On 17 March, John Contreni, Evina Steinova and Mariken Teeuwen presented three papers on their research in the Vossius Room of Leiden University Library, followed by a small display of manuscripts from the Leiden collection. John Contreni kicked off with a lecture titled “What were they thinking? Decoding technical symbols in four ninth-century manuscripts.” He showed a group of 4 exegetical manuscripts from Laon (Berlin, Phill. 1731, Laon 37, Laon 38 and Laon 80), in which the technical signs that are the subject of Evina’s research, attention signs, require signs, quotation signs, signs signalling structure or interpunction, frequently occur. So far, Contreni had not been able to fully understand them, but with the analysis of the signs by Evina in hand, he started to see how these signs made sense, and how they can be used to reconstruct a working process of the annotators: what were they thinking and what were they achieving to do with their texts?

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