Robert Grosseteste's Indexing Symbols, In A Volume Of Works By St. Augustine, St. John Of Damascus, And Others
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
This manuscript was apparently made towards the end of the 13th century for a member of the Grey family, whose heraldic arms are incorporated into the decoration of the first page; but within a generation or so it had found its way to Ramsey abbey, as it has the ownership inscription of the abbot, Simon.
One of the key features of interest is that the manuscript has been annotated with the indexing symbols devised by Robert Grosseteste (c.1175-1253), bishop of Lincoln, one of the greatest minds of the 13th century ('Grosseteste' is a nickname, and is French for 'big head'). The third text in the volume is the first to have the Grosseteste indexing symbols: they appear between the two columns of text, and are made up of curved and straight lines, circles, 'E'-shapes, and so on. Different symbols represents a different subjects.