(2340 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Codicology is the study of the physical structure of manuscript books, or codices, from the Middle Ages. It includes the manufacture of the material to be written on (papyrus, parchment, paper, and so on), the preparation of that material after manufacture, and arrangement of the material after writing into its final form, such as a book or roll. The discussion here focuses on the most commonly surviving form from the medieval West, namely parchment or paper bound in a book or “codex”, but many other materials and arrangements are found throughout Europe and the rest of the world.


The origin of parchment is associated with Eumenes II of Pergamum (197-159 BC), who is said to have developed the …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Stokes, Peter Anthony. "Codicology". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 October 2006
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]