"How Science Survived" -- Medieval Manuscripts as Fossils.

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    • Abstract:
      This article focuses on ancient texts which survived from Antiquity through the Middle Ages as manuscript copies produced by monks and professional scribes until the invention of the printing press in the 15th century A.D. Many of these texts are still in existence today, having battled an astonishing array of hazards including fire, war theft, and neglect. The precipitous decline in Greek literacy among the Latinate population in the Western Empire by the 3rd century created a crisis in the transmission of scientific literature that was only corrected in the 12th century, after the many disruptions of the early Middle Ages had subsided and the secular school had been reborn.