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Bindings and Covers: Fragments of Books and Notebooks from the Angelica Library (Biblioteca Angelica, Rome)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes a selection of Hebrew manuscript fragments that were reused as bindings and covers for 16th-century books preserved in the Angelica Library (Biblioteca Angelica) in Rome. It focuses on fragments from three medieval Hebrew manuscripts that were recycled as covers of modern printed editions: Sefer Mitzwot Gadol the authoritative halakhic compendium by Moses ben Jacob of Coucy (13th century), passages of Deuteronomy from a Torah scroll, and a narrow strip of parchment from a Hebrew prayerbook, probably a Mahzor. The chapter also describes a 17th-century dossier with paper flyleaves that had been separated and inserted in the old wrapper from a 16th century Hebrew manuscript. Throughout the 16th and the 17th centuries, manuscript texts were often sold by Jewish or Christian owners who planned to replace them with printed editions.

Keywords: Angelica Library; Biblioteca Angelica; Deuteronomy; Hebrew manuscripts; Rome; Torah scroll



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