As one who has spent many hours transcribing and editing mediaeval manuscript texts I share Sig’s shoes, and the mix of exhilaration and frustration, privilege and plod is so true
Reading and transcribing medieval manuscripts is a task that is humbling and exhilarating in equal measure. It is a very immediate way in which to bring the past back to life; a direct link to the physical presence of the great thinkers and writers we study. They bear witness to profound achievements attained without the use of the modern technologies we take for granted, and to the creative and intellectual capabilities of humankind regardless of time or place.
Through my role in the Ordered Universe project I have the privilege to carry out this sort of work on a regular basis: my task is to compare the medieval copies of Grosseteste’s works to find the most trustworthy version of the individual texts, and then render that text in an English translation. In some way this is as close to Robert Grosseteste the thinker as we are able to get so…
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