Le XVIIIe Colloque international de paléographie latine

The eighteenth International Colloquium of Latin Palaeography has just come to an end. Held at St Gall, it was a fascinating set of discussions on a wide range of topics relating to Latin palaeography. The schedule, including detailed abstracts for all papers, is available online and makes for very interesting reading. I was able to present the DigiPal project as part of a 'works in progress' session, and that has lead to some very helpful discussion afterwards. Many thanks once again to the many people in or associated with the Comité international de paléographie latine (CIPL) and/or the Association paléographique international – culture – écriture – société (APICES) who contributed to the project, whether through discussion, suggestions, or material; these people include Tessa Webber, Marc Smith, Stephano Zamponi, David Ganz, Helmut Gneuss and Dominique Stutzmann.

There were many other discussions, of course, and the post-conference trip to Schaffhausen, Stein am Rhein and a boat up to the edge of the Bodensee was extremely enjoyable. The highlight for me was certainly the visit to the Schaffhausen Stadtbibliothek (the manuscripts of which are available on eCodices), and above all to see the 'Schaffhausen Adomnán' (Schaffhausen Stadtbibliothek MS Gen. 1), a Life of St Columba written at Iona and datable 608x704. Quoting from eCodices, it is 'the oldest codex containing a single biography in Latin, and is among the few datable manuscripts written in the Insular script during the 7th and 8th centuries'.

Of course, being in St Gall for the conference itself, we were lucky enough to have special visits to the Stiftsarchiv and Stiftsbibliothek (also featured on eCodices here and here). The Stiftsbibliothek was the most spectacular, of course (see for example a Google Image Search for many different photos), but the Archive also had some very interesting material including some very early charters. Overall it was an extremely interesting and rewarding week, and I look forward to the next meeting in Berlin in 2015.


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