The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at Penn brings manuscript culture, modern technology and people together.


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 12, LJS 459

On October 8, 2018, Dr. Brandon Hawk and curator Dot Porter met to talk about these ancient books, and to compare them with manuscripts from the collection of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. This series is a record of those discussions.

LJS 459: popular treatise in Arabic

In this video we look at LJS 459, a 12th century treatise presented as a letter from Aristotle to Alexander the Great on statecraft, astronomy, astrology, magic, and medicine, called the Secretum secretorum in Latin. It was a popular work in the Middle East and the West throughout the middle ages, although it was most certainly not written by Aristotle. We compare some of the textual elements in this manuscript – the layout on a page where the names of planets are written, along with some colorful illuminated headings – to textual decoration and layout in the Jedi manuscripts.

Online record and digital images of LJS 459: http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/medren/9958033443503681

Phil Szostak, The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (https://www.amazon.com/Art-Star-Wars-Last-Jedi/dp/1419727052/)

Images of the “Tree Library” by Seth Engstrom & Rodolfo Damaggio

Mock-ups for six pages from the Jedi books by Chris Kitisakkul

Screenshots from the film and images from The Art of Star Wars are used under the Fair Use doctrine described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107)


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 11, W.836 binding

On October 8, 2018, Dr. Brandon Hawk and curator Dot Porter met to talk about these ancient books, and to compare them with manuscripts from the collection of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. This series is a record of those discussions.

Walters Art Museum W.836: A broken binding

In this video we compare the bindings of the Jedi texts with that of Walters Art Museum W.836. W.836 is an early 14th century Ethiopian Gospel book from Tǝgray, Northern Ethiopia. The covers of this book are simple wooden boards, but at some point the front cover broke into two pieces, and someone fixed it by sewing the pieces together. Composite bindings – covers made from multiple pieces of hard material attached together – are a notable aspect of the Jedi texts, although it is a very unusual practice on earth.

Online record and digital images of W.836: http://manuscripts.thewalters.org/viewer.php?id=W.836#page/1/mode/2up

Phil Szostak, The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (https://www.amazon.com/Art-Star-Wars-Last-Jedi/dp/1419727052/)

Images of the “Tree Library” by Seth Engstrom & Rodolfo Damaggio

Mock-ups for six pages from the Jedi books by Chris Kitisakkul

Screenshots from the film and images from The Art of Star Wars are used under the Fair Use doctrine described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107)


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 400 – Commentary on the Zīj Gūrgānī

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 400, Commentary on the Zīj Gūrgānī, also known as the Zīj-i jadīd-i Sultānī, by ʻAlī ibn Muḥammad Qūshjī. This manuscript was written in Iran, A.H. 899, in Persian, and it is comprised of tables of calendar calculations, trigonometry, planets, and stars compiled from observations made at the observatory in Samarqand.

You can see the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand and you can download all of the images and metadata from OPenn. You can also download a copy of this video from ScholarlyCommons, the University of Pennsylvania’s open access institutional repository.

 


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 10, LJS 102 binding

On October 8, 2018, Dr. Brandon Hawk and curator Dot Porter met to talk about these ancient books, and to compare them with manuscripts from the collection of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. This series is a record of those discussions.

LJS 102: Focus on the binding

This video begins the part of our series where we focus on the bindings of the Jedi texts. Our conversation in this video focuses on binding of LJS 102, the early 20th century Ethiopian prayer book which we looked at in Episode 3. We’ll compare this binding to the Jedi texts, and talk about how they are similar, and how they’re quite different.

Online record and digital images of LJS 102: http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/medren/9948521743503681

Phil Szostak, The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (https://www.amazon.com/Art-Star-Wars-Last-Jedi/dp/1419727052/)
Images of the “Tree Library” by Seth Engstrom & Rodolfo Damaggio
Mock-ups for six pages from the Jedi books by Chris Kitisakkul

Screenshots from the film and images from The Art of Star Wars are used under the Fair Use doctrine described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107)


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 472 – Ḥeshbon mahalkhot ha-kokhavim

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 472, Ḥeshbon mahalkhot ha-kokhavim, by Abraham bar Hiyya Savasorda. This manuscript was written in Spain during the 15th century, in Hebrew, and it is a copy of the second part of a 12th-century two-part treatise. This second part, on astronomy, includes computations for solar and lunar eclipses between 1135 and 1136.

See the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand and you can download all of the images and metadata at OPenn. You can also download a copy of this video from ScholarlyCommons, the University of Pennsylvania’s open access institutional repository.

 


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 9, Astronomical anthology

On October 8, 2018, Dr. Brandon Hawk and curator Dot Porter met to talk about these ancient books, and to compare them with manuscripts from the collection of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. This series is a record of those discussions.

LJS 57

In this video we discuss a 14th century astronomical anthology from Catalonia, which is full of charts and diagrams and illustrations. We discuss how medieval people presented information in different ways – both for scientific and religious purposes – and how it relates to what we can see in the Jedi manuscripts.

Online record and digital images of LJS 57: http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/medren/9948521743503681

Phil Szostak, The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (https://www.amazon.com/Art-Star-Wars-Last-Jedi/dp/1419727052/)
Images of the “Tree Library” by Seth Engstrom & Rodolfo Damaggio
Mock-ups for six pages from the Jedi books by Chris Kitisakkul

Screenshots from the film and images from The Art of Star Wars are used under the Fair Use doctrine described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107)


Leave a comment

Manuscript Monday: LJS 267 – De ludo scacchorum…

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 267, De ludo scacchorum seu de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium … [etc.]. This manuscript was written in Italy in 1409, in Latin, with a few poems in Italian. It is a compilation, mostly in Latin, of religious, literary, historical, and natural-historical works, including classical and contemporary selections, as well as letters by humanist writers Francesco Petrarca and Donatus Albanzani. Over a quarter of the manuscript is devoted to the De ludo scachorum of Jacobus de Cessolis, a collection of sermons about the proper relationships between a king and various classes of subjects, compared to the rules of chess.

You can see the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand and you can download all of the images and metadata at OPenn. You can also download a copy of this video from ScholarlyCommons, the University of Pennsylvania’s open access institutional repository.