[1]. This paper was written for delivery at a conference on "The Future of the Book" organized by the International Center for Semiotic and Cognitive Studies in the Republic of San Marino. I am grateful to Geoffrey Nunberg of Xerox-PARC for the invitation to speak, and to my hosts in San Marino for their hospitality.

[2]. This utilitarian information comes from the network itself, from the useful service called Edupage, dated 26 May 1994.

[3]. 'Fragment Laurentien' in L. Duchesne, Le Liber Pontificalis (Paris 1886), tome premier, p. 44.

[4]. The manuscript is Verona XXII (20) (see E.A. Lowe, Codices Latini Antiquiores 4.490 [Oxford 1947], and the discussion at Duchesne, op. cit. xxx-xxxi); the same manuscript contains two other patristic collections of lives of worthies (those of Jerome and Gennadius) and then a miscellany of documents relating to ecclesiastical controversies of the early sixth century germane to those in which Symmachus found himself entangled.

[5]. See the path-breaking work of M. Vessey, "Jerome's Origen: The Making of a Christian Literary Persona", Studia Patristica XXVIII (Leuven 1993), 135-45; "Conference and Confession: Literary Pragmatics in Augustine's 'Apologia contra Hieronymum'", Journal of Early Christian Studies 1 (1993), 175-213; "Patristics and Literary History", Journal of Literature and Theology 5 (1991), 341-54; and his "Ideas of Christian Writing in Late Roman Gaul", unpubl. Oxford D.Phil. thesis, 1988; and J. O'Donnell, "The Virtual Library: An Idea Whose Time Has Passed," in Okerson/Mogge, edd., Gateways, Gatekeepers ... and Roles in the Information Omniverse (Washington, D.C., 1994), 19-31.

[6]. See J. Richards, The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages, 476-752 (London 1979) 69-99. The documents in question have still not had editions more recent than the eighteenth century and would repay closer study. (At the time this article was written [early 1994], I had not yet seen E. Wirbelauer, Zwei Päpste in Rom: Der Konflikt zwischen Laurentius und Symmachus (498-514). Studien und Texte (München 1993), which includes editions of these texts, as well as a thorough discussion of the whole controversy.)

[7]. Even scripture itself was gaining new textual status as a written artifact in this period. Leaving aside the important contribution of Jerome, self- constructing as the Christian Origen (see Vessey, "Jerome's Origen" [n. 5 supra]), in fixing scripture in Latin and surrounding it with commentary, a recent study by G. Hahneman, The Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon (Oxford, 1992), argues strongly that even the so-called Muratorian Canon is no older than the late fourth century, and with that downward redating all the earliest catalogues of the Christian scriptural canon date to no earlier than the fourth century, and only two of those (Eusebius and the Codex Claromontanus) come from earlier than 350. In a Latin world in which there was no such thing as a "Bible" (that is a complete collection of scriptural books in one set of covers -- this was apparently first seen in Latin at Cassiodorus' monastery in the mid-sixth century and the oldest surviving example is the Codex Amiatinus that was in some way modelled on Cassiodorus' own work -- see my Cassiodorus [Berkeley 1979] 206-7), a good handlist of canonical books was a vital tool for acquiring accurate knowledge, but it only became vital when the written text and not the written-text-as-mediated-by-authorized- interpreter began to take on a central position of its own.

[8]. See O'Donnell, `St. Augustine to NREN: The Tree of Knowledge and How It Grows', The Serials Librarian 23.3/4 (1993), 21-41.

[9]. The phrase of course is that of Brian Stock, The Implications of Literacy (Princeton 1982).

[10]. That sixth-century Verona fragment is part of a small, famous collection rediscovered in that city in the early eighteenth century by Scipio Maffei, but it is reasonable to assume that the oldest continually managed collection of books in the Latin world is that of the Vatican Library.

[11]. On the shaping of medieval libraries, see R. McKitterick, The Carolingians and the Written Word (Cambridge 1989) 165-210.

[12]. The roots of our ideologies of knowledge, especially in their educational application, in late antique neo- Platonism, deserve to be better understood; the seminal work is I. Hadot, Arts libéraux et philosophie dans la pensée antique (Paris 1984).

[13]. The classic modern studies are L. Febvre and H.-J. Martin, L'apparition du livre (Paris 1958); M. McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy (Toronto 1962); E. Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change (Cambridge 1979; 2 volumes) and The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge 1983); and now again H.-J. Martin takes a broader view with pride of place for printing in Histoire et pouvoirs de l'écrit (Paris 1988); see also next note.

[14]. The important exception is Michael Giesecke, Der Buchdruck in der frühen Neuzeit: Eine historische Fallstudie. Darmstadt 1991; of great interest also is the less-focused but rich collection of studies edited by Wolfgang Milde and Werner Schuder, De captu lectoris: Wirkungen des Buches im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 1988).

[15]. Giesecke 705n3 quotes Walter Ong, Oralität und Literalität -- Die Technologisierung des Wortes (Opladen 1987), 82: 'Es wird die meisten Menschen sehr verwundern daß die gleichen Einwände, die heute gewöhnlich gegen Computer vorgebracht werden, von Plato in "Phaidros" und im "Siebten Brief" gegen das Schreiben angeführt wurden.'

[16]. S.H. Steinberg, Five Hundred Years of Printing (Harmondsworth 1955) 44.

[17]. There is an irony here that should not be missed. In early 1993, a small and select collection of precious books from the Vatican Library traveled to the United States for an exhibit at the Library of Congress. I was among the few fortunate thousands who saw the books while they were there, and vividly recall the display of the first page of the book of the Apocalypse in the Urbino Bible just as you came into the exhibit hall. But that is now for me only a memory, and even from San Marino the book itself is many miles away and access is restricted. It is accordingly of great value that the Library of Congress undertook to make digitized images of the book pages on display in their exhibit and to make them available on the Internet. That very page of the Urbino Bible may now be consulted from any suitably connected place on any of the seven continents (follow the trail then to "Vatican Library", then "The City Recovers", and finally "Urbino Bible"). On a properly equipped machine, the image can be enlarged, cropped, enlarged again, with remarkable accuracy of detail: I have seen it enlarged on a projection screen to several times its original lifesize with brilliant representation of the fine details of manuscript painting. Even, I think, Duke Federigo would be impressed; though I grant that both the esthetic and the devotional effect are somewhat swamped by the technological wizardry.

[18]. Thus Vat. Urb. lat. 353 contains 7 works, of which at least four are copied from editions published in 1474 and 1475, and the same could be true of the other three works the MS contains; it was written for the Duke of Urbino between 1474 and 1482 (details apud Reeve [see next note]).

[19]. M.D. Reeve, 'Manuscripts Copied from Printed Books', in Manuscripts in the Fifty Years After the Invention of Printing, ed. J.B. Trapp (London 1983) 12-20. See also Curt F. Bühler, The Fifteenth-Century Book (Philadelphia 1960), 34-39, still praised by Reeve -- but Bühler's generalization (p. 16: "experience has taught me that every manuscript to the second half of the fifteenth century is potentially (and often without question) a copy of some incunable") is tantalizing but still unsupported; H. Lülfing, 'Die Fortdauer der handschriftlichen Buchherstellung nach der Erfindung des Buchdrucks - ein buchgeschichtliches Problem', Buch und Text im 15. Jahrhundert, ed. L. Hellinga and H. Härtel (Hamburg 1981) 17-26; and Cora E. Lutz, 'Manuscripts Copied from Printed Books', in her Essays on Manuscripts and Rare Books (Hamden CT 1975), 129-38 (describing miscellaneous such copies in the Beinecke Library at Yale).

[20]. Albert Derolez, The library of Raphael de Marcatellis, abbot of St. Bavon's, Ghent, 1437-1508 (Ghent 1979), and especially 'The copying of printed books for humanistic bibliophiles in the fifteenth century,' in From Script to Book: A Symposium (Odense 1986), 140-60.

[21]. A. Hartmann, ed., Die Amerbachkorrespondenz (Basel, 1942-74, eight volumes).

[22]. See John Monfasani, "The first call for press censorship: Niccolo Perotti, Giovanni Andrea Bussi, Antonio Moreto, and the editing of Pliny's Natural history," Renaissance Quarterly 41 (1988) 1-31; I owe this reference to Brian Ogilvie of the University of Chicago.

[23]. Giesecke 169-75.

[25]. The most meticulous study I have found on evidence for this practice is Neil R. Ker, Pastedowns in Oxford Bindings with a Survey of Oxford Binding c. 1515-1620 (Oxford 1954); I have profited as well from discussing the subject with learned friends who handle incunables all the time, especially G.N. Knauer and Barbara Halporn (the latter points out that the Amerbach letters 'indicate that he and Koberger had a lot of copies made for their use in preparing text for the press. In the publication of the Bible with commentary of Hugo of St. Cher they ran into a lot of heavy weather with the lending monasteries because they worried about not getting their MSS back or getting them back damaged' [personal communication, 9/93] -- which suggests that care for the old was common as long as the old had value in itself).

Nicholson Baker, in the New Yorker (4 April 1994, pp. 68ff), attacks the destruction of the old card catalogues in contemporary libraries in just the terms that students of the Renaissance use for the destruction of old manuscripts in the sixteenth century. In both cases, the critic values the old cultural artifact as a thing in itself, full of information that neither producer nor owner ever meant to be there. What was a transparent guide, in the case of the manuscript of Aristotle, to the wisdom of the ancients, and in the case of the card catalogue, to the contents of a building's collection, becomes for the humanist scholar an opaque and fascinating cultural phenomenon in its own right. One may accept the validity of the humanist approach while refraining from condemning others for not cramming their attics with every cultural artifact ever produced.

[24]. Quoted from A. Minnis and A.B. Scott, Medieval Literary Theory and Criticism c.1100 - c. 1375 (Oxford 1988) 269; Minnis instances the work of Mary and Richard Rouse, now conveniently available in Mary A. and Richard H. Rouse, Authentic witnesses: approaches to medieval texts and manuscripts (Notre Dame, Ind., 1991), who have shown at length how the distinctive applications of print to the organization of knowledge were often anticipated by indices and concordances in medieval manuscripts, devices that needed print for full realization of their potential.

[26]. ed. K. Arnold, with introduction and German translation, Würzburg 1973. For a more cautious reading of this text than that ventured here, see N.L. Brann, The Abbot Trithemius (1462-1516): The Renaissance of Monastic Humanism (Leiden 1982), 144-74.

[27]. de laude scriptorum 7; cf. also chapter 1.

[28]. Ibid.

[29]. Ibid. 5-6; so a thousand years earlier: Cassiodorus, Institutiones 1.30, 'tot enim vulnera Satanas accipit, quot antiquarius Domini verba describit.'

[30]. Giesecke 182 and 229.

[31]. To name only a few favorites by which I have been influenced, see R. Chartier, The Cultural Uses of Print in Early Modern France (Princeton 1987); L. Hunt, ed., The Invention of Pornography (New York 1993); L. Jardine, Erasmus, Man of Letters (Princeton 1993); R. Darnton, The Literary Underground of the Old Regime (Cambridge, Mass., 1982).

[32]. The Gutenberg Galaxy (Toronto 1962) contained all in nuce, while Understanding Media (New York 1964) was the explicit summa and The Medium is the Message (New York 1967) was as it were the summa pauperum of this cult.

[33]. G. Steiner, "On Reading Marshall McLuhan", published 1963, reprinted in his Language and Silence (New York 1970).

[34]. Here is the point to acknowledge that I have had much profit in reading and rereading Richard Lanham, The Electronic Word (Chicago 1993), which I have reviewed in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 94.6.13; Lanham is a theoretician of the new who has learned much from McLuhan's example, and from the deeper springs of the rhetorical tradition that originates in ancient Athens as well.

[35]. The last generation or so of patristic scholars has worked very hard indeed to figure out what a "miracle" is, and the results have been, candidly, massive failure. Gregory the Great has scandalized the moderns with especial effectiveness here; the best study, a glorious failure past which successors make no real advance, is P. Boglioni, "Miracle et nature chez Grégroire le Grand", Cahiers d'études médiévales (Montréal 1974) 1.11-102; Peter Brown's The Cult of the Saints (Chicago 1981) esp. 17-22 on what he calls the "two-tiered model" that has distorted modern appreciation, puts the difficulties well; best is A. Rousselle, Croire et Guérir: la foi en Gaule dans l'Antiquité tardive (Paris 1990), who succeeds by refusing to address the question of miracle in its familiar form and observing instead strucures of practice.

[36]. Cassiodorus (Berkeley 1979).

[37]. In its extreme form, the view appears in J. Hammer, "Cassiodorus, the Saviour of Western Civilization", Bulletin of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America 3(1944-45), 369-84; but the expectation that C. would be some such figure implicitly underlies the magisterial review of my book by Av. Cameron, "Cassiodorus Deflated", Journal of Roman Studies 71(1981) 183-86, and indeed a decade later, in her textbook The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity AD 395-600 (London 1993) 42, in a sentence footnoted with reference to my book, Cameron reverts to the old orthodoxy and says exactly what she knows to be untrue. I have also had the experience of hearing the book praised publicly by an eminent scholar who went on to say that it was a very "depressing" book. Clearly, the traditional Cassiodorus fills a need in our mental furniture of his time of transition, a need that persists beyond all reasonable refutation.

[38]. Cassiodorus is himself apparently the first figure we know of to have used that scheme, in a treatise on calculating the date of Easter, but it was Bede who put it into general circulation a century and a half later.

[39]. David W. Johnson, "Purging the Poison: The Revision of Pelagius' Pauline Commentaries by Cassiodorus and His Students," Ph.D. thesis, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1989.

[40]. So Benedict Biscop found copies of some books (including the Bible that in some way inspired the Codex Amiatinus) in Rome to take back to Northumbria, while at the Carolingian monastery of Murbach, Cassiodorus' Institutes provided a basis for the library catalogue: see my Cassiodorus 238-55.

[41]. One may debate the self-consciousness of reformers like Charlemagne and Alcuin, but best to see now Roger Wright, Later Latin and Early Romance (Liverpool 1982) for implicit sober critique of the latter and the destructive power of his vision of "Latin".

[42]. The word is apposite; Cassiodorus is the first figure we know of to use the word modernus in a way approximating our modern sense: see W. Freund, Modernus und andere Zeitbegriffe des Mittelalters (Köln and Graz 1957).

[43]. Two examples may be given: the way marginal notae are used to tag passages in his Psalm commentary for their relevance to the study of various aspects of the seven liberal arts (these may be seen, in a grossly inadequate edition, in the Corpus Christianorum edition of that commentary); and in the way the mnemonic illustration are used in the Institutes to organize material on the page (see F. Troncarelli, "'Con la mano del curore.' L'arte della memoria nei codici di Cassiodoro", Quaderni medievali 22 (December 1986), 22-58.

[44]. Ennodius, opusc. 6, paraenesis didascalica (MGH ed. pp. 310-15).

[45]. Take, for example, the Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters, and Academic Discussion Lists, ed. A.L. Okerson (Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, 4th edition, 1994): the map is not the territory, but creation of a good map (and this directory is an excellent map) often has the effect of giving the territory a self-conscious identity and opening it up to exploration by many others.

[46]. For the portrait, click here.

[47]. P.H. Jolly, "Antonello da Messina's 'St. Jerome in His Study': a disguised portrait?" Burlington Magazine 124(1982) 27-29, arguing from details of the cardinalatial costume in which Jerome is portrayed.

[48]. S. de Grazia, Machiavelli in Hell (New York 1989), has the great merit of dis-iconification and hence (paradoxically) perilously enriches our sense of the possibilities of self-identification with the Florentine.

z [49]. Such iconic representation of the scholar has its uses. Can we imagine a future in which the professor becomes a variety of software, an icon you click on in order to get access to the network of information he surveys? That future is close at hand: for description and demonstration of such a pedagogy as it is now possible and practiced, see http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/teachdemo.