Before the age of printing, scribes copied texts by hand. Take a look at some of the incredible images of scribes:
If you Google 'scribes', most of the resulting images will be medieval European. But many other cultures around the world had scribes too.
The man in the upper right hand corner is writing on palm leaves, and he gets his own tablet later.
Just look at these images! One carved into ivory, and the other a complete whacko! with jingle bells! Why do people spend time looking at cat videos when there are so many amazing historical rabbit holes they could dive into?? Yes, Diane, this is why you're sitting alone pecking at the keyboard. Long ago, a college sculpture professor told me that being an artist means that while all your friends are out at the beach, you'd r-e-a-l-l-y rather be in here, chipping away at this damn piece of stone. Yep.
Upper left corner: St Hildegard of Bingen...I think. It's an illustration of "Hildegard receiving a vision and dictating to her scribe" so I'm not quite sure which figure is Hildegard. In the upper right corner is Hugo Pictor (the red letters above his head translate as: "the image of the painter and illuminator of this work.”)While he was illuminating medieval manuscripts, he decided he didn't want to be totally anonymous, and drew this wonderful self-portrait along the edges. Here's a few place to go if you'd like to read more about Hugo and another medieval illustrator:
Maybe this would be the right time to discuss copyrights. I copy many, many images from the internet and use them in my art. It is my understanding that using these images is covered by 17 USC §107, which allows use for purposes of education, satire or parody. Also, I consulted a lawyer, long ago, who assured me that using highly Photoshopped versions of small images as part of a larger composition was allowed. God, I hope she's right. I'm certainly not using any of them to make a profit!
Next post will show how these scribes came into a tablet.