Medieval Writing
Paleography Exercises
Ramsay Psalter (British Library, Harley 2904, f.181), late 10th century. All images by permission of the British Library. These images are made available by the British Library under a Creative Commons licence.
This is a leaf from a late 10th century psalter, probably written in Winchester for the use of Ramsay Abbey in Huntingdonshire. The script is a very clear and bold Caroline minuscule, in the style that old paleography books refer to as a "fine liturgical hand". The heading is in a form of rustic capitals, with a decorative initial B bearing acanthus leaf ornament. The Latin text is the end of Psalm 142 and the beginning of Psalm 143 in the Gallican translation, equivalent to Psalms 143 and 144 in a modern Bible. There are numerous abbreviations, indicating that the process of abbreviation in no way diminished an important text in a high class volume, nor did it decrease the legibility of a work designed for reading aloud in public.

| overview | text | alphabet | abbreviations | exercises | transcript | translation |

Click on each of the above to walk your way through a segment of the text. The transcript will appear in a separate window so that you can use it for reference at any time. These exercises are designed to guide you through the text, not test you, so you can cheat as much as you like.
Script sample for this example
Index of Exercises
Index of Scripts

If you are looking at this page without frames, there is more information about medieval writing to be found by going to the home page (framed) or the site map (no frames).
This site is created and maintained by Dr Dianne Tillotson, freelance researcher and compulsive multimedia and web author. Comments are welcome. Material on this web site is copyright, but some parts more so than others. Please check here for copyright status and usage before you start making free with it. This page last modified 18/5/2014.