codex


codex
/koh"deks/, n., pl. codices /koh"deuh seez', kod"euh-/.
1. a quire of manuscript pages held together by stitching: the earliest form of book, replacing the scrolls and wax tablets of earlier times.
2. a manuscript volume, usually of an ancient classic or the Scriptures.
3. Archaic. a code; book of statutes.
[1575-85; < L codex, caudex tree-trunk, book (formed orig. from wooden tablets); cf. CODE]

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I
Manuscript book, especially of Scripture, early literature, or ancient mythological or historical annals.

The earliest type of manuscript in the form of a modern book (i.e., a collection of pages stitched together along one side), the codex replaced earlier rolls of papyrus and wax tablets. Among its advantages, it could be opened at once to any point in the text, it permitted writing on both sides of the leaf, and it could contain long texts. The oldest extant Greek codex is the Codex Sinaiticus (4th century AD), a biblical manuscript. Codices were developed separately by pre-Columbian Mesoamericans after с AD 1000.
II
(as used in expressions)
Codex Dresdensis

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      manuscript book, especially of Scripture, early literature, or ancient mythological or historical annals.

      The earliest type of manuscript in the form of a modern book (i.e., a collection of written pages stitched together along one side), the codex replaced the earlier rolls of papyrus and wax tablets. The codex had several advantages over the roll, or scroll. It could be opened at once to any point in the text, it enabled one to write on both sides of the leaf, and it could contain long texts. The difference can be illustrated with copies of the Bible. While the Gospel According to Matthew nearly reached the practical limit of a roll, a common codex included the four Gospels and the Book of Acts bound together, and complete Bibles were not uncommon.

 Though the folded note tablets used by the Greeks and Romans may have suggested the codex form, its development to eventual supremacy was related to cultural and technological changes—i.e., the rise of Christianity, with its demand for more and larger books, and the availability of first parchment and then paper. The oldest extant Greek codex, said to date from the 4th century, is the Codex Sinaiticus, a biblical manuscript written in Greek (see photograph—>). Also important is the Codex Alexandrinus, a Greek text of the Bible that probably was produced in the 5th century and is now preserved in the British Library, London. The term codex aureus describes a volume with gold letters written on sheets that have been stained with a purple dye called murex. Existing examples of the codex aureus date from the 8th and 9th centuries.

      In a completely separate development, codices also were made by the pre-Columbian (pre-Columbian civilizations) peoples of Mesoamerica after about AD 1000. These books contained pictographs and ideograms rather than written script. They dealt with the ritual calendar, divination, ceremonies, and speculations on the gods and the universe. Among these codices are the Vienna Codex, the Codex Colombino, and the Codex Fejérváry-Mayer, all believed to have been produced before the Spanish conquest of the region. Certain collections of formulas or standards are also referred to as codices; for example, the Codex Alimentarius and the British Pharmaceutical Codex.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • codex — codex …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • Codex — Codex …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • CODEX — Tablettes de bois reliées entre elles, sur lesquelles les Romains écrivaient un texte; au Moyen Âge, ce terme désigne tous les manuscrits à folios brochés. Le codex est généralement protégé par une reliure qui peut être simplement de cuir ou bien …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Codex — • The name given to a manuscript in leaf form, distinguishing it from a roll Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Codex     Codex     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • codex — CÓDEX s.n. v. codice. Trimis de hai, 22.06.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  códex s. n., pl. códexuri Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  CÓDEX codexuri n. înv …   Dicționar Român

  • Codex — (röm. Ant.), 1) Baumstamm; 2) Klotz, welchen Sklaven, daran geschmiedet, nach sich schleppten, um am Fliehen gehindert zu werden; 3) aus einem Stamm ausgehöhlter Kahn; 4) Handschrift, Buch, Gesetzbuch; daher 5) ein Buch, namentlich ein aus… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • codex — manuscript volume (especially an ancient one), 1845, from L. codex (see CODE (Cf. code)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Codex — Co dex, n.; pl. {Codices}. [L. See {Code}.] 1. A book; a manuscript. [1913 Webster] 2. A collection or digest of laws; a code. Burrill. [1913 Webster] 3. An ancient manuscript of the Sacred Scriptures, or any part of them, particularly the New… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Codex — (lat.), s. Kodex …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Codex — (lat., Mehrzahl Codĭces), die zu einem Buch verbundenen Schreibwachstafeln der Römer; nach der Erfindung der Buchdruckerkunst s.v.w. alte Handschrift (C. manuscriptus), z.B. C. argentĕus, die mit silbernen Buchstaben geschriebene, zu Upsala… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Codex [1] — Codex, lat., Baumstamm, ferner hölzerne Tafel, auf welche eine Schrift eingegraben wurde, sodann hölzerne Tafel mit Wachs überzogen zum Beschreiben mittelst des Griffels; endlich Buch, besonders großes …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon


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