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Polosin Val. “All is Numbers”? An Unknown Numerical Component in the Design of Medieval Arabic Manuscripts // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 5, No 1, March 1999. P. 7-11.


Despite their production costs, the number of manuscript catalogues with reproductions appended is steadily growing, each time increasing the number of objects accessible to study far from their place of storage. A recently released catalogue of this type includes the title page of an Arabic manuscript from 978/1571. The catalogue describes it as a “richly illuminated title page” (“reich illuminierte Titelseite”). The reproduction is, however, presented in black and white, and one must judge the richness of the illumination more on the basis of the detailed list of its elements in the description of the manuscript. Although the monochromatic reproduction rather fails to live up to the multicoloured original, it in no way prevents the scholar from enjoying another characteristic of the title illumination — the beauty of special proportions of its construction. Elsewhere, I wrote about several types of geometric harmony found in the design of Arabic manuscripts. They turned to have been unexpected and surprising, but here we seem to encounter an unprecedented situation…

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Keywords


Arabic manuscripts
Manuscripta Orientalia, selected papers

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