See #18 #118
Johannes Balbus (d. 1298) 9 1/2 x 14 1/4"
Catholicon - entries for the letter V.
MSS on vellum in Latin - recovered from a binding.
England: 15th Century.
Written in 2 columns, each 60 lines, in brown ink
in anglicana script. The alphabetically arranged i line
(capital V) initials alternate in red + blue.
recto → vellum darkened + worn c much loss of ink pigment,
some clear, most illegible.
verso → stained in parts, but generally quite clear + legible.
a medieval book that survived intact in England when
it was "dumped" + taken to pieces (single leaves)
for use by a binder → pastedowns, wrappers, fly leaves,
reinforcing strips + other binding waset.
The Catholicon written by the Dominican J. Balbus
of Genoa consists of 2 parts, the 1st is a text book of
grammar + rhetoric + the 2nd is an encyclopedia-
dictionary covering all fields of knowledge. The name
of the work Catholicon indicates that its scope was intended
to be universal. The second part being alphabetically
arranged, the initials constitute an almost complete alphabet.
The Catholicon was the earliest secular book printed.
→ Mainz, 1460, Johann Gutenberg ?
Anglicana (to indicate Gothic Letters Bastarda) was
written specifically by English scribes from the middle
of the 13th C. According to Malcolm Parkes, who coined
the term 'anglicana' the scribe practicing this new
bookhand replaces straight strokes c curved ones which
are more easily controlled when writing quickly. The
specific characteristics include a d with a looped
ascender, an f and long s with the foot of the
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