Public Engagement

Manuscripts Schools Day
Special Collections, University of Glasgow Library

On Wednesday 31st October 2018, the research team of the AHRC research project “The Reception of Aristotle in Byzantium”, in collaboration with Special Collections of the University of Glasgow Library, hosted an event for schools on medieval manuscripts and the transmission of ancient texts. The event was attended by 14 pupils aged 15-18 years from local schools, accompanied by their teachers, Ms. Ioanna Tsimikou from St George’s School in Edinburgh, Ms. Caroline Bell from the High School of Glasgow and Ms. Heather Cochrane from Hutcheson’s Grammar School in Glasgow.

The event was designed to encourage pupils to explore the media and methods involved in the production and transmission of texts. The pupils heard two lectures – the first was on the history of the book and book-culture in the ancient and medieval worlds and examined different types of writing materials and the introduction of the codex in the Roman world of late antiquity. The second lecture introduced pupils to medieval philosophical and scientific manuscripts, the nature of medieval commentaries, and teaching and learning in the Middle Ages. The pupils also participated in a workshop which involved creating their own commentaries, marginalia and illuminations on an extract from Virgil’s Aeneid Book 4.

The highlight of the event was a showcase of a range of selected Greek manuscripts which are held in Special Collections, including scientific, philosophical and literary works from antiquity and the medieval period. The range of manuscripts selected was designed to showcase the full range of features associated with medieval manuscripts, including marginalia, illuminations, commentaries and the various sizes of codex or folio utilised.

The event was a great success, with all pupils who attended rating the event “excellent”, “very good” or “good” overall. “The Reception of Aristotle in Byzantium” project team would like to thank Special Collections for their collaboration and assistance with the event.