Nicholas Bion - Géographie Mathématique, “Traité de la construction et des principaux usages des instrumens de mathématique” (The Construction and Principal Uses of Mathematical Instruments), 1709.

If you every get frustrated at how you can’t perfect the calligraphy script you are practicing, I’d recommend writing something in Elvish. It’s ever so much harder to be wrong when lettering in an invented language. I tried #uncial style, #manuscript style, and even tried inventing a #pointedpen style. :) #lotr #elvish #calligraphy #pippinssong #sindarin #hobbity #therapuetic

the hand writing on the wall

Book of Daniel 5:25-28
‘And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.’

Pamplona Bible, Navarre 1197

Amiens, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 108, fol. 138r


Books as hardware

These odd-looking medieval books share one peculiarity: they were all made into interactive objects because actual turning discs were attached to the page, usually more than one. The makers of these manuscripts added them to calculate the position of sun and moon (Pic 1), the date of Easter (not shown), or make other calculations (Pic 3). Particularly intriguing is the set of cogwheels embedded in the bookbinding (Pic 2), which picked a random number used for a method of divination. More about these unusual books and their function in this post on my other blog,

Pics: British Library, Egerton 848 (top); Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 46 (middle); Maastricht, Regionaal Historisch Centrum (bottom, pic my own).