Sonderforschungsbereich 950

Manuscript Cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe

04/2015manuscript of the month

Celestial and Terrestrial
A Notebook from the Centre of Power

Paris, BnF, Ms. lat. 2718, fol. 72r

Housed in the archives of the National Library of France in Paris (BN), MS Lat. 2718 presents itself as plain and unadorned. With a relatively unappealing design and seemingly unsystematic sequence of texts, the codex initially appears to be nothing spectacular. Although it may not make nearly such a grand impression as some other copies from the same period, however, this work is in fact one of the most noteworthy manuscripts of the ninth century. This is already apparent in the unusual exterior appearance of the manuscript, not to mention the heterogeneous content of the work, which makes it difficult to identify a common theme. Yet the manuscript contains the only written versions of a number of pivotal texts from the reign of Emperor Louis the Pious (814–840), the son and successor of Charlemagne. So what is the background to this remarkable codex?


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Petra-Kappert-Fellow in May 2015:
Prof Dr Malachi Beit-Arié

The CSMC welcomes Prof Dr Malachi Beit-Arié of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as our new Petra-Kappert-Fellow.

Prof Dr Beit-Arié is Ludwig Jesselson Professor Emeritus of Codicology & Palaeography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1979 to 1990 he was also the Director of the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem. He has published numerous standard works on Medieval Hebrew codicology and palaeography as well as on the Medieval transmission of Hebrew texts. The foundation of the Hebrew Palaeography Project in 1965 by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities was a result of his foresight and initiative.

As part of this project the database SfarData has been created. SfarData is a freely accessible online database of Hebrew manuscripts that are explicitly dated or containing the scribe’s name with their codicological and palaeographical characteristics.

Together with his wife, Dr Nurit Pasternik who works for the Hebrew Palaeography Project and whose research focus is on the Hebrew Palaeography and the censorship of Hebrew manuscripts, Prof Dr Beit-Arié will conduct his research until 30 May 2015 at the CSMC.

Malachi Beit-Arié
Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures
Universität Hamburg
Warburgstraße 26, room 2003
20354 Hamburg
Tel.: +49 40 42838 9399

Presidential Award for Dr. Eva Wilden

Dr. Eva Wilden, member of CSMC, has been presented with the prestigious Kural Peetam Award. It is the highest presidential award for a foreign scholar in Classical Tamil.
Announcement in the 'Gazette of India' and a report about the award ceremony.


27 May 2015 | Workshop
Prof Dr Malachi Beit-Arié,Petra-Kappert-Fellow
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Selected Typological and Codicological Practices on Hebrew Manuscripts Demonstrated on Items of the State and University Library Hamburg
The Hamburg State and University Library
Carl von Ossietzky
Von-Melle-Park 3, conference room, 2nd floor.
Registration is mandatory
please contact

3 June 2015 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Stefan Reichmuth
University of Bochum
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

4 June 2015 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Nalini Balbir
Sorbonne Nouvelle (University of Paris-3)
An Exemplary Manuscript Culture in India: the Case of the Jains - Ideas and Objects
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

5 June 2015, 2-6pm | Open Day
The Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC) opens its doors to the public.
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

11 June 2015 6pm | Lecture
Prof Dr Anna A. Gorbushina
FU Berlin & BAM
“…a forted residence 'gainst the tooth of time…” in spite of chemical, physical and microbiological interactions
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001