From a symbolical perspective, the real value of the old books is also given by the fact that they were assimilated to religious objects and for their protection, there were used spiritual measures, such as the terrifying curses, inspired by the Christian hagiography. In an epoch when thinking was dominated by the Church, ban and anathema, directed to those who might have dared to physically damage the books, were really efficient. Imprecations were most terrific and concerned all those who could have changed one way or another, the destiny of the book.
Yet, dissociated from their mystical character, the notes containing curses found in the old books are valuable sources of historical data, as they are old deeds of gifts or purchase and sale contracts. Hence, they have an important function: they acknowledge how books circulated in time and space, the transactions and owners, contributing to a large extent to the recreation of cultural moments in the past. Last but not least, we should also point out that curses are also clues regarding the education of the person writing them, the most terrific bans being real evidence of theological culture, on one side, and of civil and canonical law knowledge on the other side.