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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 14, Ms. Codex 1065

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.

Ms. Codex 1065

Since we’ve been looking at bindings, we thought we would take a look at a manuscript that has no binding. MS Codex 1065 is a mid-13th century Latin Vulgate Bible written in England. When the manuscript came to Penn it was in a binding from the early 19th century – it was very common for book collectors to rebind their collections in the 19th century – but it was is such poor condition that it was eventually removed. The book hasn’t been rebound, which makes it difficult to use, but makes it easier to see the quire structure.

Online record and digital images of LJS 459: http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/medren/9931765253503681

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 13, Ms. Codex 828

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.

Ms. Codex 828

In this video we talk about the binding of Ms Codex 828, a 15th century Italian philosophical manuscript. The leather that originally covered the spine has been lost, so we can see the binding structure very well. We compare it with the binding practices illustrated by LJS 102 – the Ethopian manuscript we looked at in Episode 3 and Episode 10 – and by those of the Jedi manuscripts.

Online record and digital images of LJS 459: http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/medren/9931765253503681

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 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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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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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 3, LJS 102

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 –Zena nagaromu and hymns

The very first manuscript we discussed is LJS 102, which isn’t medieval at all. Rather it’s an early 20th century manuscript from Ethiopia that represents a very long and established manuscript culture – similar in some ways, we think, to the manuscript culture being shown in The Last Jedi.

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)