St. Petersburg: Herm, 2012. Sewn cl. This is the catalogue of an extensive Hermitage exhibition that aims to show the main stages of writing and written culture on the basis of works originally collected over many years and in many places by the eminent scholar Nikolai Likhachev. Likhachev was a pioneer in Old Russian and Byzantine sphragistics, an expert in paleography, numismatics, and Russian and Byzantine icon painting. Likhachev’s research was inseparable from his collecting activities which were chiefly targeted on recreating the history of writing, from the Near East to the Far East and later in Europe. Taking Likhachev’s special interest as a springboard curators have written introductions to each section that are detailed and informative: the catalogue is thus an illustrated history of the ways in which civilizations developed through words. Works come from different collections in Russia including the Hermitage and the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts (Institut Vostochnykh rukopisei) of the Academy of Sciences. 600 pp., 9 ½ x 11 ½ ins., 603 color illus., sewn cl., Rus., with title page and summary in ENGLISH. Item #1097
The range of illustrative material is broad: for example, Bronze tablet with Arabian script of the first century from Yemen; a nineteenth century Ethiopian scroll; ninth-century grave monument in Arabic from Egypt; a seventeenth-century scroll from Syria with citations from the Koran serving as an amulet; a manuscript of the Koran in Arabic and coming from the Eastern Ottoman Empire; an eighth-century homily on parchment in Syrian; a nineteenth-century letter in Persian from merchants' group thanking the ruler for his condescension; a diplomatic document in Persian from the shah to Nicholas I; s sixteenth-century land grant in Old Ottoman from the sultan to a vizier.