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What a Palimpsest Really Is

The Origin of the Palimpsest


A palimpsest originates as a manuscript that is effaced, so that the owner is no longer in possession of it. It is then given to another person or family, who writes what the original owner must expound in his or her best way something pertaining to the thought of the original manuscript, from a great distance. It was a way of spreading knowledge by the authority of a canon rule, and is bequeathed in successive generations, so knowledge spreads.