quote for the day

“Schoolchildren who are asked to trace early overseas voyages on identical outline maps are likely to become absentminded about the fact that there were no uniform world maps in the era when the voyages were made. A similar absentmindedness on a more sophisticated level is encouraged by increasingly refined techniques for collating manuscripts and producing authoritative editions of them. Each successive edition tells us more than was previously known about how a given manuscript was composed and copied. By the same token, each makes it more difficult to envisage how a given manuscript appeared to a scribal scholar who had only one hand-copied version to consult and no certain guidance as to its place or date of composition, its title or author. Historians are trained to discriminate between manuscript sources and printed texts; but they are not trained to think with equal care about how manuscripts appeared when this sort of discrimination was inconceivable.” –Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *