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Speculation in "reuse" section[edit]

This isn't backed up with any sources and looks like speculation on the part of an editor:

Cultural considerations also motivated the creation of palimpsests. The demand for new texts might outstrip the availability of parchment in some centers, yet the existence of cleaned parchment that was never overwritten suggests that there was also a spiritual motivation, to sanctify pagan text by overlaying it with the word of God, somewhat as pagan sites were overlaid with Christian churches to hallow pagan ground. Or the pagan texts may have merely appeared irrelevant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 9 August 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Related: I added a "Why?" template with the following reason: "Please clarify why an non-overwritten parchment suggests religious intent. Was there a stock of cleaned p. waiting to be overwritten?" (talk) 08:09, 5 August 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is this different from what is known as papyrus (pl. papyri) or just another name?

I don't know of any difference. I was going to create a page called "papyrus", but I happened to find this one first. --Pinkunicorn

The following text was erroneously associated with palimpsest:

An early form of paper made from leaves of papyrus, used in book scrolls in ancient civilizations before the codex or book was invented (starting 5000 years ago in Egypt (and probably in other places)).

Several layers of papyrus leaves were laid in different directions and pressed together while wet. The surface that was written on (only one was used) was treated with glue so that the ink wouldn't bleed.

Has anyone been talking about wikipedia itself as palimpsest?

This blog entry names wikis as palimpsests: (names wiki as palimpsest but does not pursue in greater detail(1)

-- 19:23, 20 September 2005 (UTC) --Amitorit 19:31, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(1) Thanks for the link, it represents my tiny contribution to the topic (fyi, as a matter of fact, as long as I'm concerned, this issue wasn't brought up at wikimania in the first place) --Martin Lessard 25 December 2005 (UTC)

--Well done! Crouchend (talk) 20:35, 21 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alternate meanings[edit]

I came here because of the archaeological/architectural sense of the word, when it is applied to a landscape that has had successive layers of construction applied, so that (in a well-preserved building) what can be seen today is the result of many different generations of construction (a good example is The Tower of London, where you can see structures built from the 11th century to the 20th century.

My main problem is that there seem to be too many (important) alternative meanings. I would suggest that this becomes a disambig page.

What do others think? --Dweller 11:56, 20 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree! There's a definition in astronomy too! Ancient craters that disappear leaving only a "ghost" of a crater are also known as palimpsests. - Serious Cat 21:32, 18 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But.. all the alternate definitions arise from the original,(describing something by likening it to a palimpsest.) so that should be mentioned in the other definitions. - Serious Cat 21:35, 18 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hey look, there's a section for it..

"Extended usages The word palimpsest also refers to a plaque which has been turned around and engraved on what was originally the back side.

In planetary astronomy, ancient lunar craters whose relief has disappeared from subsequent volcanic outpourings, leaving only a "ghost" of a rim are also known as palimpsests. Icy surfaces of natural satellites like Callisto and Ganymede preserve hints of their history in these rings, where the crater's relief has been effaced by creep of the icy surface ("viscous relaxation").

In medicine it is used to describe an episode of acute anterograde amnesia without loss of consciousness, brought on by the ingestion of alcohol or other substances: 'alcoholic palimpsest'."

You could add your definition there. - Serious Cat 21:40, 18 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This form of writing has also been used more recently; I have copies of letters sent in 1840 from India to England. JMTH-M email —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:52, 10 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sounds like you are thinking of cross writing —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:41, 10 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

maru (talk) contribs 05:05, 27 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just wanted to add a comment to this page about the use of the word in current fiction. I came to this page after I read the word in Guy Vanderhaeghe's book The Englishman's Boy. I had never seen the word palimpsest before.KarenAJ 15:42, 27 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

why still harking on about papyrus?[edit]

I can only gather that the presence of this statement 'The reed from which it was made did not grow in Italy' is left over from when this page was erroneously dedicated to describing papyrus - seems that the page has finally found what palimpsest is, but still hasn't quite disposed of some of its kindergarten language, It really should be gone - either that or add something to the effect that romans too weren't only found in Italy. (talk) 23:07, 27 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dead links[edit]

The OPIB link is dead - and might need better than holiday German to find its current location. Jackiespeel (talk) 10:35, 10 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English syllabification?[edit]

/ˈpælɪmpsɛst/ is somewhat unclear. Is it /ˈpæl-ɪmp-sɛst/ (which seems natural in English) or /ˈpæl-ɪm-psɛst/ (which more closely resembles the psi in the Greek root)?

Thanks, (talk) 15:42, 12 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Why are we comparing "folded" to "folio"?[edit]

For some reason, at the end of the "Development" section, the article has this text:

Medieval codices are constructed in "gathers" which are folded (compare "folio", "leaf, page" ablative case of Latin folium), then stacked together like a newspaper and sewn together at the fold.

I don't understand why the parenthetical is there. "Folded" isn't related to "folio". It's a Germanic root, meaning it would correspond to a Latin root beginning with [p]. (Wiktionary gives "fold" as coming from PIE *pel- and "folium" as coming from PIE *bhleh3-. I could check better sources, but I don't think I need to.) Even if it were, it's a bit of a tangent. It's also not as if the idea of a "leaf" implies either folding or gathering, except when it means "page", but that requires you to already know what a codex is, or I guess people often gather leaves. DubleH (talk) 23:33, 26 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]