Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Disappearing Paleography

In case anybody is wondering what the enigmatic comments on the last posting are about, they refer to the intention to close the School of Paleography at King's College London and eliminate the prestigious professorship there. If any readers out there who are struggling along learning their paleography from the internet wish to find out what this is about, and perhaps contribute to the discussion about it, then click here. We all know that paleography doesn't really suck, just that it is a difficult subject that needs to be taught well and researched creatively. This becomes a bit difficult when there is nowhere to do it.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Why Paleography Sucks

The most recent addition to the Medieval Writing website is an essay called Why Paleography Sucks. I have been wanting to write this for some time, but was afraid of being tarred and feathered by the paleographical establishment. However, now that I have passed my 60th birthday, I figure there is nothing anyone can do to me. I'll even paint a target spot on my head.
Actually, anyone who has looked at the website knows that I don't think paleography sucks at all, and that I am quite fascinated by it. I do know that students have hated it, and even postgraduates who had to get into it to approach their manuscript evidence found the muddle and density of the terminology of the subject totally daunting. It is not paleography that sucks, it is the battle to get your head around the subject and the confusing, even conflicting, approaches to it that have appeared over the years.
Please regard this as a little counselling session for all those suffering from Paleographicus terminalis.