nyu-cf2-2017-kornafel-p1.docx - Abigail Kornafel Karbiener Cultural Foundations II March 3 2017 The Pages of History An Analysis of Manuscript 81(a

nyu-cf2-2017-kornafel-p1.docx - Abigail Kornafel Karbiener...

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Abigail Kornafel Karbiener Cultural Foundations II March 3, 2017 The Pages of History: An Analysis of Manuscript 81 (a solid title, though this paper deserves something more specific and colorful) The young man hovered anxiously over the hunched shoulder of the scribe. If his own writing skills had been pleasing to the eye, he would have taken up a quill to hasten this phase of the project. The past three years kept playing over as he waited. At twenty, Marcus was one of the youngest apprentice curators for the modern equivalent of the Curator Aquarum, the government office responsible for the many aqueducts (interesting! And a hint about where you’re going) . His part was small but he had entirely devoted himself to the review of any scrolls or codices related to the aged though still functional structures. In addition to the private libraries of wealthy, prominent Roman citizens, he had travelled to Constantinople to study accounts of the aqueducts. He shivered as he recalled his fear that his trembling hands would tear the copy of De Aquaeductu by Sextus Julius Frontinus (hmmm!) . Now his small section of information would join the works of other curators in an update, A Treatise of Ancient and Modern Aqueducts . Well, possibly if it was approved. (wow—a mysterious and attention-grabbing way to begin. Well done!) The exact historical background of this codex has been lost in time like the presumably hundreds of other pages that belong to the same work. What is left, as far as it is known, is a single page labeled Manuscript 81 housed on a shelf in NYU’s Fales 1
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Library and Special Collections for students and scholars to uncover. (neat reveal of the manuscript’s name and location—but I think this short paragraph might have been attached to the next, and perhaps addressed more directly what you uncovered) After an initial review of the page, it was clear that Manuscript 81 would not easily reveal its origin or function to the non-Latin speaker without a systematic examination. The physical condition of the page revealed borders at the bottom and half of the left side were straight across with very little wear. The right side as well as the top seems to have been cut across with a sharp instrument. The upper left margin was haphazardly torn, probably from bindings. Based on the three relatively smooth edges and one frayed side, this manuscript belonged in a codex. The page seemed to have been cut at least twice, first time when it was commissioned and freshly made and the second after the text had been written. The evidence that pointed to this
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  • Spring '16
  • Yurchak
  • English, The Bible, Codex, Illuminated manuscript, Aqueduct, Roman Aqueduct, Sextus Julius Frontinus

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