Textus Inclusus [...]

A medieval approach to intertextuality, also called a “square bracket” text. The main text was laid in the middle, but with significant margins. The margins would then be filled with the annotations of scholars.

Textus Inclusus
Leiden, University Library, BPL MS 2888 (Italy, 13th century), Photo Julie Somers, Turning Over a New Leaf (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In the photo you can see this executed with a text of the Justinian code, with annotations forming the square brackets. In the middle margin a reader has scribbled some notes of their own.

Legal texts in particular demanded a high degree of annotation.


See also Aristotelian Notes
Tenures was the first English textbook on land use law, printed as a Textus Inclusus text.

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