Medieval Writing
Gothic Textura Prescissa

Script Type : minuscule

Alternative Name : textura prescissa sine pedibus, referring to the lack of feet at the bases of letters

Date : 12th to 15th centuries

Location : Spread from France and the Low Countries across western Europe. This example is from England.

Function : Book hand of very formal grade

This segment is from a very famous manuscript, the Luttrell Psalter of around 1340 (British Library, Add. ms 42130, f.149r). The page shown displays the end of Psalm 79 and beginning of Psalm 80 in the Vulgate, or Psalms 80 to 81 in a modern Bible. By permission of the British Library. These images are made available by the British Library under a Creative Commons licence.
This codex is perhaps more famed for its many captivating miniatures, historiated initials and marginal illustrations of rural life in England in the 14th century, but its script is also a very fine example of Gothic textura prescissa.
Pass cursor over letters to see enlarged examples taken from the page illustrated above.

Distinctive letters : This script is easy to read because the letters, although angular, are large, clear, well formed and well separated. This is perhaps the most painstakingly written of the Gothic scripts, with the distinguishing characteristic that the bottoms of the vertical strokes of many letters are finished off neat and square, without any kind of feet. This is hard work for the scribe. The highly decorative nature of the script is evidenced by the elaborate curls that appear on g, h, y and the low form of s. The letter i has a fine diagonal slash above it.

As with most formal Gothic scripts, there are two forms of r, one of which is the truncated form that appears after some vowels. There are also two forms of s, the tall and the short and curly types. The letters u and v are identical, as are i and j. There are no examples here of k, w or z.

The only abbreviation is a form of Tironian et.

Pass the cursor slowly down the lines of text for a transcript. To look at the page in more detail, proceed to the paleography exercises.

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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 5/7/2014.