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Polosin V. Unknown Numerical Aesthetics in the Design of Turkish Manuscripts // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 7, No 4, December 2001. P. 30-36.


Geometric harmony in Arabic manuscript design has been examined on several occasions by this author in Manuscripta Orientalia. Today, this phenomenon is demonstrated using non-Arab material. In presenting to readers of Manuscripta Orientalia the Turkish illuminated manuscript С 133 from the collection of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, I. Ye. Petrosyan published a series of reproductions from it. One of them provides us with a fine object for qualitative analysis, a specific approach demonstrated below. One should first note the complex arrangement of the text on this page of the manuscript. Researchers rarely pay attention to such matters, but exhibitions of manuscripts, appendices of photographs to manuscript catalogues, and art albums provide us with rich material in this regard. In fact, the accumulated material may soon be large enough to permit the independent study of this aspect of the medieval manuscript tradition. The arrangement of text on the page is usually set in general form by the mistara, although there are surely exceptions. Our Turkish manuscript shows no signs of stencil ruling (mistara). In its place we find a unique pattern of 18 rectangles, 9 of which are filled with text. The entire construction, which encloses the nine text fractions in gold lines, underscores by its very existence that nothing on this page is accidental and that it warrants our attention…

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Keywords


Manuscripta Orientalia, selected papers
Turkish manuscripts

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