1. cartomancer says

    It is a funny sketch, but the classicist/medievalist in me rebels at the fact it’s set in a monastery in Northern Europe that’s clearly no earlier than Carolingian in date.

    In reality the codex replaced the scroll as the standard book format between the first and fifth centuries AD, in the Mediterranean world of the Roman Empire. The Roman poet Martial makes several references to how much more convenient the codex book is than traditional scrolls and seems to have insisted that his poems be circulated in this format. When literate culture reached Northern Europe it was very much in the standard codex format that books were circulated (though legal documents often were preserved in cartularies as scrolls). It used to be thought that Christianity popularised the format, so as to distinguish its learning from both the Jews (who still use traditional scrolls for their religious texts) and pagans, but there is very little evidence that this was so.

    So, swap out the monks for a couple of first-century Roman librarians and it would work!

  2. says

    So, swap out the monks for a couple of first-century Roman librarians and it would work!

    (eyes you suspiciously) … It seems like we’ve got one Roman librarian. Now we just need to find another.


  3. chigau (้•ใ†) says

    Once, while viewing a WW II movie with an aficionado of WW II, I was forced, forced, to explain that, like that person who’s image you see on the screen is an actor playing a Nazi, that 1959 Jeep is an actor playing a 1942 German jeep-like vehicle.
    Aficionado continued with the analysis, but quieter.
    (I do the SIWITM only for archaeology and anthropology)
    (and since I don’t go to the cinema, I yell at the screen only in my own livingroom)

  4. cartomancer says

    Chigau, #3

    This line of thinking ends inevitably in the intractable Columbo Problem -- was Lieutenant Columbo, from TV’s Columbo, blind in one eye? Peter Falk, who played Columbo, was blind in one eye, but the TV show never references this. Are we thus to assume that the character retains the actor’s minor vision impairment, or is Peter Falk’s non-functional eye actually playing a fully-functional eye on screen?

  5. Jenora Feuer says

    My guess:
    Someone Is Wrong In The Movie/Media?

    (As opposed to the more common SIWOTI: Someone Is Wrong On The Internet)

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