Why were manuscripts so expensive in the early fifteenth century? The manuscript was one of the most expensive products in the fifteenth-century market. It was a physical object which had to be copied by hand from an original, probably parchment. This meant that not many copies could be made at once and only one copy would be written by a copyist for each manuscript.
This article will explore the reasons why manuscripts were so expensive in the fifteenth century and how society viewed them. Depending on your source for this information, you may get background about how Europe saw manuscripts as objects that should only be used for important occasions such as books of hours. You will also learn about some of the writer’s attitudes toward writing and reading during this period.
One of the most common arguments for why manuscripts were expensive is because they were objects that should be used only on special occasions. This belief is based on the idea that the physical act of writing and reading alters the person taking part in it. Therefore, a person’s character changes while they are writing or while they read by editing their thoughts and changing their opinion. The writer or reader in this argument believes that there is much more to a book than just words on paper. It is also important to note that other people would not want to miss out on this special event.
As a result, manuscripts were extremely expensive. The cost of making a book would be the cost of writing it, the cost to purchase the materials to write on (usually parchment), and the cost of paying for someone to write down what is said. This also included any money that went into caring for or housing a book before its use. Some writers even used specific colors of ink or traced gold symbols to make sure that when it was finally used, it would be an event that everyone would never forget. There are many ways that this belief could be applied in other societies.
The idea of not reading from books out loud is something that most societies don’t agree within modern times. This belief is based on the idea that reading and writing is an act of speaking, not listening. When a person reads, they are just copying what they would say if they were to speak. When they read to someone else, it is the same as speaking. The listener passively hears the words spoken to them and doesn’t have a choice in what words go into their head or not. This idea came about because of the production time for one manuscript to be made and written down on parchment or paper. It was also ungodly to speak the word of God, so reading aloud was a big no-no. Therefore, it is important to note that this belief had nothing to do with the actual cost of a book but what it symbolized and what people thought about books and reading.
To some people, writing was an act of magic. Because one’s character could change throughout the writing process, people would fear the power of words over their lives. However, these same people believed that if someone were to write something down by hand or out loud and say that a spell or prayer was being written in the book, then whatever is being said will come true even without saying it out loud. This belief followed the idea that writing is ungodly and against nature. Many people did not want to be involved in writing things down that would come true, so they feared it and avoided reading aloud or writing.
If a person wanted to write a book for some type of message for their friends or family, they would have to have it copied out by hand by someone else. This was very expensive because most people used expensive materials such as gold ink (which required capital investments to purchase the materials) and parchment (which could only be found in the Middle East). In addition, the cost of having a book copied included any money that went into caring for or housing a book before its use. When a book was written, there was a chance that some of the words could be erased and re-written. This would mean that someone had to spend money for it to be copied more than once. Considering how expensive books were and how easily they could be lost or destroyed, this was not something that many people wanted to do.
Another way that people viewed books as different from other items such as clothes or tables is by the cost associated with having books copied out by hand. If a person wanted to purchase a book or any item for a specific purpose, they had to find someone who could make them the item at an inexpensive cost. For example, the cost of having a coat made would be the cost of having someone make it and the cost of materials needed to make it. This is because clothing is not something that people wanted to keep for a long time and use in many different settings. They would need to have it for only one occasion or one time. The idea of re-using clothing was unheard of at this time. Because books were viewed as objects that would be used for special occasions, this belief about them being expensive does not differ from their actual price in the fifteenth century.