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Leaf on vellum from a 13th century manuscript Bible
Selling price: $435
Sold in 2020
The Bible has, of course, always been the center of Christianity from the beginning: but as a book it was always in parts : to be read at certain times. The priests and monks studied the Psalms, or the Gospels, or the Minor Prophets, for instance. In Paris the birth of the Bible as one book took place, around 1200. There the Bible was put in a single volume, the order and names of the biblical books were standardized, and the text was checked for accuracy. For the first time the text was divided up into numbered chapters. The name that is attached to this is Stephen Langton, he of the Magna Carta!
More important for us : the physical appearance of the book changed! The pages became very small, the scribes employed headings at the top of the page and used blue and red initials to mark the beginning of each chapter. ( There was not yet a division into verses, this happened in the 15th century.)
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