February Fourier Talks 2010

William Noel


Infinite Possibilities: Reading between the lines of the Archimedes Palimpsest


A thirteenth-century parchment manuscript containing prayers, also contains obliterated and erased texts of estraordinary importance. These erased texts include two treatises by Archimedes that can be found nowhere else, The Method and Stomachion, and unqiue philosophical and political texts of the first importance from the ancient world. The manuscript sold at auction to a private collector on the 29th October 1998. The owner deposited the manuscript at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, a few months later. Since that date Dr. William Noel, Curator of manuscripts at The walters Art Museum has directed a project involving conservation, imaging scholarship, and publication concerning the manuscript. In this talk Dr. Noel will discuss the troubles and triumphs of the ten year project.