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The Book: Monasteries, Schools, and Notaries, Part 1: Reading the Late Medieval Marseille Archive

Harvard University via edX

students interested

Medieval Europe has preserved enormous quantities of books and documentsmany millions of pages, in factwritten in Latin and other languages. However, only a tiny percentage of these texts have been edited and published. To gain access to the rest, you need to learn the art and science of reading medieval handwriting,

This module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space introduces students to the world of medieval paleography, the science of reading old handwriting. This particular module focuses on notarial handwriting from the city of Marseille in the 14th and 15th centuries. The module features household inventories, which identify some of the fascinating objects found in people’s houses. Assessments and quizzes will allow you to track your progress as you move from letter-group to letter-group. In addition to learning the handwriting, we will take special care to explore some of the many abbreviations and other elements of the secular registers of the later Middle Ages.

Some knowledge of Latin or another Romance Language will be very helpful for understanding the texts you will read, but students without these language skills will still enjoy this chance to explore medieval handiwork.

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Taught by

Daniel Lord Smail


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Reviews for edX's The Book: Monasteries, Schools, and Notaries, Part 1: Reading the Late Medieval Marseille Archive
4.0 Based on 3 reviews

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4.0 2 years ago
Cyn Gar completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Informative, but I doubt anyone who does not have a scholarly interest in calligraphy or a need to decipher Latin texts will stick with it.

That said, if you do genealogy work reading pre-18th c. church records, this is useful.
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5.0 a year ago
by Patrick Huang completed this course.
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3.0 2 years ago
Erik Schwind audited this course.
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