Fragments in Beneventan Minuscule

F-tmy5: Frosinone, Archivio di Stato di Frosinone, inv. 138(55)

Partner Project

Partner Institutions: Università degli studi di Cassino e del Lazio meridionale, in collaboration with the State Library / Archive of the Montecassino National Monument  

Project Leaders: Prof. Marilena Maniaci and Prof. Nicola Tangari, Università degli studi di Cassino e del Lazio meridionale

Project Collaborators: Roberta Casavecchia, Antonia Cerullo, Alessandra Corbo, Chiara De Angelis, Michela Ventriglia

The project aims at the systematic identification, photographic documentation, and scientific description of manuscript fragments in Beneventan Minuscule (the script type specific to medieval Central-Southern Italy), with particular reference to those conserved in libraries and archives in Central-Southern Italy.

With the exception of a few specific contributions (among which in particular should be mentioned those of Virginia Brown, Giacomo Baroffio, and Thomas F. Kelly) and a few isolated cataloguing projects, Beneventan fragments have never been the object of a systematic census. A first survey, undertaken uses the database BMB online – Bibliografia dei manoscritti in beneventana (containing a census of citations of Beneventan manuscripts made in publications since 1990), has produced around a thousand shelfmarks of books containing fragments in Beneventan script that belonged to manuscripts dating from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries and reused in bindings of manuscript or print books from the second half of the fifteenth to the first half of the seventeenth century. It is expected that, over the course of the research, there will emerge new fragments that have never been mentioned in the literature.

The description of fragments constitutes an indispensable prerequisite for knowing the causes, the purposes, and the manner of the reuse of Beneventan manuscripts. In particular, the research project aims at:

  • examining the contents of those fragments that permit the identification of the texts,
  • defining the period and the contexts in which the original manuscripts ceased to exist as such and assumed a new form and a new function, and
  • studying the ways of reusing and dismembering manuscripts and the reasons for reuse, with the goal of reconstructing, in the case of Montecassino, the phenomenon of manuscript reuse in a specific place.
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