May 15, 2007 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on May 15, 2007.
Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe -- as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe for 12 months by postal mailing a check for US $45, payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. And you can pay via PayPal, on the FYI France homepage:
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The excellent équipes at the BnF have done it again: [tr. JK]
*Trésors Carolingiens / Carolingian Treasures*
"The Carolingian book, a political tool put to work in the unification of an empire, was at the heart of a vast intellectual and artistic movement...
"Charlemagne used religious reform to seal the unity of his empire. Glorified and sanctified, the book became one of the foundations of medieval culture. At the same time, the emperor unified education throughout the empire, and he spread a new form of writing, one more easily read, the Carolingian Miniscule..."
This outstanding online digital library exhibition, at,
-- provides significant portions of famous Carolingian Era treasures of the Bibliothèque nationale de France -- Flash animations presented as readable books, pages of which may be "turned" by clicking the page-corners -- and holding the mouse over most pages brings up that page's own note, and a click on a page center provides good magnification --
** l'exposition en images / initial exhibition section, providing a stunning overview...
Images: (click for magnification and notes)
** livres à feuilleter / substantial portions of Carolingian books, to be read online!
"...created in the diocese of Meaux or that of Cambrai, around 790, and used in the Midi of France, at Gellone in 804... 275 leaves... The sacramentary, assembling the prayers to be said at Mass, enabled the liturgical unification of the Frankish empire. As part of his policy of reconciling with Rome, Charlemagne adopted the sacramentary of Pope Gregory the Great, in place of that of his father King Pepin..."
"Carolingian copy of an ancient manuscript... the works of Prudentius (348-c.415 AD)... the Psychomachie, an allegorical epic of combat between the vices and the virtues described as antique heroes.
"A Christian poet of Late Antiquity, Prudentius composed this poem of 1100 verses in a style imitating that of the Aeneid, thus creating a strong link between Antique Literature and that of Christianity... one of the favorite authors of the Carolingian Era...
"...the Psychomachie is illustrated with numerous images integrated into the text. The lively colors, red-orange, yellow, blue, green, retain their original intensities. The page design, the architectural and other spatial elements, the silhouettes and clothing and armaments of the figures, are true to their ancient models. Passing into the later era's ideas of decoration, these figures greatly influenced Medieval Art."
"Masterpiece of illumination done at Metz, the manuscript is illustrated with 38 stories of the Life of Christ, both liturgical and hagiographical scenes, which are unparalleled for its era... The ivories sculpted on the binding reflect the subjects painted in the text. The manuscript contains 130 leaves..."
-- and a section of the exhibition presents 29 pages and reliure covers, each image in 6 levels of magnification -- so, Carolingian carving and filagree and several other arts, all in close detail --
** pages à la loupe / magnified pages
-- and not only are these materials accessible enough here to "read", but they also are presented in-context, so that the historical period involved really may be appreciated as well --
** gros plan / General Plan of the Exhibit
** pistes pédagogiques
Two well-illustrated handouts for students, 6 pages each, in .pdf format for easy downloading and printing:
Congratulations, then, to the conservateurs and to all at the BnF who must have worked very hard on all of this...
-- and the "Trésors Carolingiens" site is a work-in-progress -- they plan to add, "chronologie, glossaire, anthologie, bibliographie".
A magnificent effort, one eminently successful in explaining and illustrating that in European history the Dark Ages were not so "dark", after all.
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071-5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic | journal published since 1992 as a small-scale, | personal experiment, in the creation of large- | scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. / \ Any material written by me which appears in ----- FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for // \\ any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me --------- credit and show my email address, and, b) it // \\ isn't going to make them money: if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives may be found at http://firstname.lastname@example.org/ (BIBLIO-FR archive), or http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L archive), or http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections/FYIFrance/ or http://www.fyifrance.com . Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at email@example.com . Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as indicated above.
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