Last month, I found a very interesting piece in Smithsonian Magazine titled “How Much Medieval Literature Has Been Lost Over the Centuries,” which linked to six-minute video from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the journal Science about how much medieval literature has been lost over the past 500+ years. The video describes how group of European scholars has applied an ecological theory — the “unseen species model” — to try to determine the survival rate of medieval manuscripts. The estimate is about 9 percent overall; English literature is even lower. The topic sounds dry, but even non-bibliophiles will find it fascinating.
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