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Ships and Shipping in Medieval Manuscripts

The word “manuscript” can be literally translated as written by hand.  Books which were written or transcribed by hand were produced between the 5th and 15th centuries, dates determined by the limits of bibliographic technology.  The earliest manuscripts developed with the transition from the scroll to the rectangular book form, around the 5th century CE.  The decline of handwritten books occurred with the development of printing, around the 1440s, which coincided historically with the end of the medieval period.

Maritime subjects and images existed throughout the span of manuscript production, though the specific topics were dependent upon the nature of the illuminated work in which the images were found.   During the first centuries of manuscript production, books were created by and for religious groups: monasteries, churches, etc.   …

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