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One page, covering the pairs AL through AT, from a book of monograms entitled Schul der Pallas (The School of Pallas), engraved by Johann Baptista Homann.  This copy is owned by the Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst (Austrian Museum of Applied Arts), more commonly referred to as the MAK.

die monogramme.jpg


De Bellis Macedonicis is one of those manuscript fragments more important for what it heralds than what it is.  As a text it's just a bit of a history on a war between Rome and Macedonia, possibly written by one Lucius Arruntius, found with a vast number of papyrus fragments at Oxyrhynchus in the 19th century.  It is, however, currently the oldest known representitive of the most important western manuscript form, the parchment codex. 

Despite it being referenced and reproduced quite often in Paleography textbooks, the British Library had not, until this past week, publically digitized it.  Despite the clarity of the letters, the text isn't all that easy read.  The letters are a mix of Rustic (A, M, U), Old Roman Cursive (q and p) and Uncial (D,F,R).  The Old Roman Cursive is particularly strange to modern eyes, see the word "Imperi..." at the end of the first line. 

The fragment was dated to the 3rd Century by Lowe, but has more recently been dated to the end of the 1st C CE by Michelle Brown (A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600. London: British Museum, 1990; repr. 1993. [52 plates])


The head of the Buccellati(see previous) jewelry family, Gianmaria Buccellati has died after a period of sickness.  It wasn't until reading the notice that I realized that his brother is is Georgio, who has published one of the best modern Akkadian grammars, A Structural Grammar of Babylonian.



40 days of cutting

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RAAAF and Atelier de Lyon spent 40 days slicing through a left-over WWII bunker, reconnecting the inside to the surroundings.  


Although I'd have liked a bit more information on the machinery, the video is quite interesting.

High Above a Dark NYC

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More from the indominable Vincent Laforet, these were taken at night, dangling from a helocopter at 7,500 feet above the city.  There are many more pictures as well as the complete story, somehow involving a Men's Health article!?





From a collection of Steve Winter's photographs of big cats, posted on National Geographic's photography blog.


The Linda Hall Library, a unaffiliated archive of historical science and engineering documents in Kansas City, MO has been working on digitizing their remarkable collection.  One of the nice things they've done is have pre-defined searches, for example the history of the parachute, or their archive of documents related to the building of the panama canal.  The most interesting, however, is their collection of books on timekeeping.  They haven't put up complete books yet, but have illustrations many of the 16th and 17th century sources of note, including Ferdinand Berthoud, Alexander Cumming and some of the engravings from Diderot and de l'Ambert's Encyclopedia.

Go take a look!


Cardano, Girolamo, 1557. De rerum varietate libri XVII. Woodcut on p. 365


American Qu'ran

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I'm a bit late to the party, but a sample of the American Qu'ran created by Sandow Birk.  It's a complete manuscript of the translated text with illustrations of contemporary American life.




One of the 26 illustrations from Chet Phillips' Childhood


I've taught this class, I'm sure of it


Fernand Léger (1881 - 1955) La Danse

Leadpoint on tracing paper.



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