The project ‘Romans, Christians, and their Books, 300-486 CE’, explores how readers and writers in the late Latin west were affected by the change in book format from scroll to codex. Literary scrolls were the norm until the third or fourth century CE, but by the fifth century the codex had become the default format for books. This project explores the extent to which this change in format affected how people in late antiquity thought about literature. It addresses three interrelated questions:
- What impact does the codex form have on how people consume and think about literature?
- Is there a demonstrable difference in the ways in which Christian and non-Christian texts are recorded and read in codices?
- What is the relationship between the codex and the formation of a (religious or literary) canon?
Findings from the project will be presented at academic conferences, published as journal articles, and disseminated to the public here on our project blog. A great deal of the preliminary work to be done over the first two years of the project is the development of two databases:
- A codicological database of all pre-600 Latin codices, providing details of specific features such as column width & length; margin sizes; collation; surviving evidence for binding; etc.
- A database of all extant references to book format in pre-600 Latin and Greek literature.
Cillian O’Hogan, Principal Investigator
Alexandra Ore, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Summer 2017. Funded by a UBC Faculty of Arts International Work Learn Award.
Ches Walton, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Summer 2017. Funded by a UBC Faculty of Arts International Work Learn Award.
Justin Dwyer, Graduate Research Assistant. Funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant.
Amber Leenders, Graduate Research Assistant. Funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant.