The Book of the early Christian time


The replacement of the book in place of the roll was a radical alteration in the shape of the publication. Instead of having leaves glued together to form an extended strip the codex was made from fold leaves. Joined on one side, either the left or right according to the direction in which writing was done. The codex offer many advantages over rolls. Yuri

Manage book

A small pile of books could read in a flash to any part of the text. Thus avoiding the lengthy process of unrolling and rolling, and making it easier to manage it to bound more leaves into a single book. Additionally, it made it possible to do using the same leaf on each side, although it was not practical to write on both sides of the roll.

Due to its compactness, its simplicity of opening. And its ability to use each side of the leaf the codex was able to easily contain more lengthy texts. It illustrate by using duplicates that are part of the Bible. Although the Gospel of Matthew exceeded the limit that the Roll could handle, the typical codex had the four Gospels, as well as Acts, joined together. Complete Bibles were not unheard of.

The notepads that were folded and that were used by the Greeks and Romans could have influenced the form of the codex, but its evolution into supremacy was due to developments in the world of education as well as in the tools used to create books. The shift in the way scholars view the world came due to the development of Christianity and the new medium was parchment or vellum.

Vellum and parchment

Both parchment and vellum are materials that are made from the flesh of the animal. It is a more refine form of parchment made from calf skins however, the terms were use interchangeably from the beginning in Middle Ages. The first parchment to use as a writing medium used for writing was that of leather. Egyptian sources mention documents made of leather from as early as 2450 BC. And a small fragment of an Egyptian leather roll from around the year 24th century BC exists. However, it was seldom used since papyrus was abundant.

The Hebrews also made use of leather for books. The awe-inspiring finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the 1940s led to the remains of leather as well as papyrus rolls kept in earthen jars within caves located along the Dead Sea for centuries. The liturgical and biblical texts were create by an ascetic Jewish Ascetic sect and written between the middle of the 2nd century BC until AD 68.

Parchment is an extremely refine type of leather. The skins of different animals–cattle, sheep, and goats being the most popular–are cleaned and stripped of wool or hair. The skin is then pull tight over frames, scrape down to remove any remaining remnants of flesh and hair, and then whiten using chalk and then smooth using pumice.
The story goes that parchment was develop due to a books-collecting rivalry among Ptolemy IV from Egypt as well as Eumenes II of Pergamum around 190 BC. Believing that the library of Pergamum could outstrip the collection in Alexandria, Ptolemy place imprisonment on papyrus to block his adversaries from creating additional books. Eventually, Eumenes create parchment. Interestingly, Greek, as well as the Latin phrases for “parchment”, refer to “stuff from Pergamum” offers some proof for the tradition.

The use of parchment for book rolls and while many codices of the early days were construct from papyrus, the new material for writing make it easier to achieve the popularity of the codices. The parchment paper could cut into the same size as papyrus, and it was durable and flexible and was able to better absorb written writing from both sides. These attributes were essential. When creating a parchment or Vellum Codex, a huge sheet was fold into a folio with 2 leaves or a quadroon that was four or an octave of 8.


Gatherings were construct from several of these fold sheets that were stitch to make an album. Since papyrus was more fragile and could not cut insufficient sheets. So the folio made up of quires was not the best way to demonstrate its use. In addition, due to it being vertically align with fibers on the one side. it did not work well to write on both sides of the horizontal script.

For more than 400 years, both the codex and the roll were in use side by side. There are sources for the book, dating back to around the first century BC Actual survivals date to around the second century AD. At the time of the 4th century AD parchment or vellum as a medium and the codices in their form took over, but there are examples from later papyrus and rolls. It was sometimes use as a document for official purposes until the 10th century. There are similarities between the two forms. One example of the influence of rolling roll in the codices could observe in the usage of several columns in pages of the early codices like the columnar writing of the rolls.

Christianity and the book

In books dating to the first four centuries AD codices often comprise Christian writings. While pagan works were generally print on rolls. Many factors in the Christian use of books led to the preference for vellum. The first is that Christianity was heavily root in Judaism that for centuries was a cult of sacred writings. The Christians kept their faith in the Jewish Scriptures. And added some writings of their own that were collect into the New Testament. There was a strong reason for the preservation of these words that did not change on the most robust materials.

Vellum was more robust than papyrus. While referring to the scare writings of the Christians conduct comparative studies of sources. Writings were link and the students would use the same source from one to another. This meant having an enormous number of writings accessible. It made this more attractive to the ease of turning pages that can make possible by codex. For that it is worth noting that Roman legal scholarship. Which required the comparison of sources also show a preference for the codex. Another reason was the state intent that was express by the early Christians. It was to shun pagan writing through a different style of the book.

In contrast, the sticking of the pagan writers to an obsolete format could attribute in part to a traditional opposition to Christian beliefs.

The literary potential of books was demonstrate by the Christian importance of their circulation. Christianity focused on universality, produced a plethora of books. However, those of the pagan faiths’ literary remains are rare. The introduction of universal religion across the Roman Empire was spread over three centuries. That took thousands of miles and include people of different backgrounds. As well as people with the largest differing in status.


This global outlook resulted in a higher dependence on literature. Biblical texts and translations, commentaries, pamphlets, polemical tracts were crucial in these circumstances. Not just to document the beliefs of the time but in addition to communicate and justify the truth. Yuri

In the 4th century, at the same time as the vellum codex had supplant papyrus rolls. And the Christian book was replacing it as a pagan book in every way. There was not much significant writing in the classical tradition following the year 100 AD. The most important writers of the next three millennia were Christian scholars like Origen, Pamphilus of Caesarea, Tertullian, St. Augustine along St. Jerome. Of all Christian publications, however, the most rediscovered include New Testament codices and Apocryphal New Testament writings.


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