Kyle Pitt's Portfolio
Graphics and Design | Chattahoochee High School

The Codex and the Illuminated Manuscript 4th Century AD

The image above is of a scroll.

The image above is of a codex.

The image above is of an illuminated manuscript.

The word codex is derived from the Latin meaning, “block of wood,” because a codex is compact and sturdy like a block of wood.  The codex evolved from the scroll.  Random access is feature of a codex that a scroll does not have.  Random access is when a certain section of a document can be located without having to reach it sequentially.  Sequential access is when a section of a document can only be reached by going in sequence.  The difference between the codex and the illuminated manuscript is that the illuminated manuscript is the ornamentation that is on each page of text, and the codex is that actual book that contains all of those pages of text.  Craftsmanship is skillful and creative performance of an art or talent.  It is important because it is what contributes to some of the greatest works of art.  The format of the book gain so much popularity that we still use it today.  This is because it was sturdy, it provided easy reference, it was random access, it was more portable than scrolls, and it was easily organized in libraries.  Current technologies that utilize the codex format include iPad reading applications that mimic the turning of pages, and Adobe InDesign, which allows you to format a design so that it has pages facing one another like a codex.

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