Inside the Codex Rotundus lays a 266 page book of hours in Latin and French.
The manuscript is unique in form and size: the pages are cut approximately circular in shape and measure a little over 9cm in diameter. The book binding feat here is enormous: since the layers are bound together on a mere 3cm book spine, the body of the book must be held together by 3 clasps.
The original clasps were re-used when the book was rebound in the 17th century; each clasp an artful monogram shaped in the form of different gothic alphabetic letters.
Gessoed boards were used for writing notes or school exercises. Like the slate writing tablets of yesteryear, they could be used repeatedly, with old texts being whitewashed to provide a “clean slate” for another. This board still bears traces of earlier writing (at left). The main text is a wordy model letter that the student copied—and surely also was expected to memorize. His many spelling mistakes have been corrected in red ink by the teacher.
(Source: The Met Museum)
I didn’t realize that marking papers with red ink went back that far.
One outraged speaker in a property dispute [recounted in Xenophon’s Memorabilia] felt moved to come up with an alarming infinitive to describe the economic effect of homosexual liaisons. Katapepaiderastēkenai means ‘to have wasted an estate in affairs with boys.’
James Davidson, Courtesans & Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Ancient Athens, p. 195