Got a spare 20,000-50,000 euros? Why not buy a manuscript? Listed in that price range are a renaissance copy of Vegetius, The art of war. Or you might fancy a handwritten copy of some works by St. Cyprian.
And what, after all, in these days of devaluation, is 50,000 euros? Not a lot, really; not when you consider that computer programmers working in the City of London can earn 700 euros a day, or around 168,000 euros in a year of 48 weeks. One of our Merchant Banking princes would probably consider it pocket change.
Well! I wish I earned anything like that. I’d find many uses for the money that would benefit us all. So beneficial, indeed, would I be that I wonder why a grateful government has not simply stepped forward and volunteered me the money. It seems inexplicable, really. But that’s one of life’s little mysteries.
Returning to seriousness, tho, it is really very interesting to see what a couple of common 15th century mss are worth on the market. It is far less, in truth, than I had thought. Of course it is quite beyond my means. I suspect that is a good thing. After all, while it is easy to buy such items, how easy is it to get them off the shelf when you are done with them? Never buy a book without knowing how you will get rid of it. Trust me on this.