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A Scribe is a person who contributes to the creation of the scrolls (and other similar items) that are given out as Awards.

Scribes can be Calligraphers, Illuminators, Wordsmiths, or even crafters such as leatherworkers or stonecarvers.

Scribes in History

In the Middle Ages, every book was made by hand. Specially trained monks, or scribes, had to carefully cut sheets of parchment, make the ink, write the script, bind the pages, and create a cover to protect the script. This was all accomplished in a monastic writing room called a scriptorium which was kept very quiet so scribes could maintain concentration. Scribes woke to morning bells before dawn and worked until the evening bells, with a lunch break in between, working every day except for the Sabbath.

The primary purpose of these scribes was to promote the ideas of the Christian Church, so they mostly copied classical and religious works. The scribes were required to copy works in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew whether or not they understood the language. These re-creations were often written in calligraphy and featured rich illustrations, making the process incredibly time-consuming. Scribes had to be familiar with the writing technology as well. They had to make sure that the lines were straight and the letters were the same size in each book that they copied. Such books were written on parchment or vellum made from treated hides of sheep, goats, or calves. These hides were often from the monastery's own animals as monasteries were self-sufficient in raising animals, growing crops, and brewing beer. The overall process was too extensive and costly for books to become widespread during this period.

Women also played a role as scribes in Anglo-Saxon England, as religious women in convents and schools were literate. Excavations at medieval convents have uncovered styli, indicating that writing and copying were done at those locations. Also, female pronouns are used in prayers in manuscripts from the late 8th century, suggesting that the manuscripts were originally written by and for female scribes.

As towns grew in size and importance - and thus in complexity - the scribe became a common job in medieval European towns during the 10th and 11th centuries. These scribes worked under deadlines to complete commissioned works such as historic chronicles or poetry. Due to parchment being costly, scribes often created a draft of their work first on a wax or chalk tablet.

See Also

activities/service/offices/scribe.txt · Last modified: 2020/04/20 13:52 by Dietrich von Sachsen