The universal practice of selecting and excerpting, summarizing and canonizing, arranging and organizing texts and visual signs, either in carefully dedicated types of manuscripts or not, is common to all manuscript cultures. Determined by intellectual or practical needs, this process is never neutral in itself. The resulting proximity and juxtaposition of previously distant contents, challenge previous knowledge and trigger further developments.
With a vast selection of highly representative case studies — from India, Islamic Asia and Spain to Ethiopian cultures, from Ancient Christian to Coptic, and Medieval European domains — this volume deals with manuscripts planned or growing and resulting in time to comprise ‘more than one’. Whatever their contents — the natural world and related recipes, astronomical tables or personal notes, documentary, religious and even highly revered holy texts — codicological and textual features of these manuscripts reveal how similar needs received different answers in varying contexts and times.