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Old Pious Vernacular Successes: best-selling vernacular religious literature in medieval Europe (1230-1450)

Old Pious Vernacular Successes: best-selling vernacular religious literature in medieval Europe (1230-1450)

Objective

The OPVS project challenges previous studies by resorting to the medieval readers perspective in order to rank medieval Europe s bestselling vernacular religious texts: we shall focus on successful texts with voluminous manuscript traditions, taking into account the most popular ones, extant in over 60 copies. All were written (or translated) in French, English or German: texts composed in other vernacular languages were not so widely disseminated.
These manuscripts will bear testimony as to how, when and where they were produced. Because they have traces of their owners and have been annotated by medieval readers, they can also yield new data on medieval pious practices and religious reading.
Previous studies have generally eschewed this documentary evidence, except in the case of deluxe copies. This neglect is due both to a greater interest for Latin treatises with lofty ambitions, and to the impossible challenge, for a single researcher, of dealing with multiple manuscripts, kept in libraries worldwide hence the need for new investigating methods and teamwork.
Our project s novel perspective consists in studying these manuscripts both individually and comparatively, combining a traditional erudite approach and new serial methods (quantitative codicology). Relying on an innovative database, our aim is a) to develop a sophisticated typology of medieval religious manuscripts in vernacular languages, b) to determine when, where and in which milieus the selected texts were copied and circulated, giving new insights into all the agents involved in the European book trade of religious literature in vernacular languages especially workshops and book owners, and finally c) to produce comparative studies of medieval literacy and readership in France, England and Germany.

Principal Investigator

Géraldine Veysseyre (Dr.)

Host institution

UNIVERSITE DE PARIS-SORBONNE (PARIS IV)

Address

Rue Victor Cousin 1
75230 Paris

France

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 61 200

Principal Investigator

Géraldine Veysseyre (Dr.)

Administrative Contact

Dominique Kreikenmayer (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (3)

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UNIVERSITE DE PARIS-SORBONNE (PARIS IV)

France

EU Contribution

€ 61 200

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 1 123 778,82

UNIVERSITE DE GENEVE

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 49 093,18

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 263274

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 November 2010

  • End date

    30 April 2016

Funded under:

FP7-IDEAS-ERC

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 234 072

  • EU contribution

    € 1 234 072

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITE DE PARIS-SORBONNE (PARIS IV)

France