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'Depingo ut ostendam, depictum ita est expositio': Diagrams as an Indispensable Complement to the Cosmological Teaching of the 'Liber Nemroth de astronomia'

Abstract : The Liber Nemroth de astronomia is a treatise on comput and astronomical science written or rather translated into Latin probably in the early Middle Ages as a dialogue between Master Nemroth and his disciple Ioanton. The meaning of the work, which has no Christian reference, is highlighted here by examining selected excerpts. In this didactic dialogue, the eighty-two chapters are accompanied, in the four complete manuscripts, by more than fifty diagrams or tables which constitute an indissociable and indispensable paratext for the understanding of the treatise, which they complete at several points. Later testimonies show that the Liber Nemroth was known as a work with illustrations even by its later users such as Guido de Grana, Michel Scot or Pietro d'Abano. These illustrations with internal text, several of which are studied here in relation to the chapter they illuminate, also provide clues on which to base hypotheses about the cultural origin of the dialogue and the understanding of its cosmological contents, such as the theory of cosmic forces or winds and the theory of the dragon of eclipses. Although adapted by Western illustrators, these illustrations also draw parallels with Syriac works such as the Cave of Treasure. By the way, the state of the manuscript tradition is updated in relation to the author's latest research.
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Contributor : Isabelle Draelants Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Saturday, January 16, 2021 - 12:53:01 PM
Last modification on : Monday, January 18, 2021 - 8:19:59 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, April 17, 2021 - 6:01:13 PM


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Isabelle Draelants. 'Depingo ut ostendam, depictum ita est expositio': Diagrams as an Indispensable Complement to the Cosmological Teaching of the 'Liber Nemroth de astronomia'. Rosalind Brown-Grant; Patrizia Carmassi; Gisela Drossbach; Anne D. Hedeman; Victoria Turner; Iolanda Ventura. Power and the Paratext: Inscribing Knowledge in the Medieval Book, Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Culture (66), Medieval Institute Publications; De Gruyter, p. 57-92, 2019, Inscribing Knowledge in the Medieval Book: The Power of Paratexts, 978-1-5015-1332-9. ⟨10.1515/9781501513329-004⟩. ⟨halshs-01832095⟩



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