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Anathema!: Medieval scribes and the history…
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Anathema!: Medieval scribes and the history of book curses

by Marc Drogin

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A delightful history of the importance of books in the Middle Ages, and a collection of the curses applied in order to keep them safe. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Mar 27, 2018 |
Anathema is excommunication.

This book belongs to none but me
For there’s my name inside to see
To steal this book, if you should try
It’s by the throat that you’ll hang high.
And ravens then will gather ‘bout
To find your eyes and pull them out.
And when you’re screaming, "oh, oh, oh!"
Remember you deserve this woe.
-- Page 78

Whoe’er this book
To make his own doth plot,
The fires of Hell
And brimstone be his lot.
-- Page 82

Who folds a leafe downe
ye divel toaste browne,
Who makes marke or blotte
ye divel roaste hot,
Who stealeth thisse boke,
ye divel shall cook
-- Page 110 ( )
  MaowangVater | May 25, 2007 |
Curses from a time when books were precious, and written words held power as much because so few could read them as anything else. ( )
  EowynA | May 7, 2007 |
The making of a book in the medieval monastery was a lengthy and laborious process. Books were few and precious, and often lived chained to the library's shelf. Thus, it is no surprise that curses were called down upon those who would steal or damage a book.

Drogin has collected many of these book curses, as well as describing the history and importance of the medieval book.

For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand & rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, & all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying aloud for mercy, & let there be no surcease to his agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, & when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him for ever.

You have been warned!
  lilithcat | Oct 20, 2005 |
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