Alternative name : capitalis quadrata
Script Type : majuscule
Date : Early Roman (1st century AD) in origin, used until around 6th century, revived in Carolingian era (9th century) as a heading script.
Location : Roman Empire
|This example is from a fragment of Virgil's Georgica, probably from the 4th century (Rome, Biblioteca Vaticana 3256, f.1). (From Steffens 1929)|
|Pass cursor over letters to see examples taken from the photograph above.|
Distinctive Letters : While it would be a big stretch of time to call this a medieval script, it has interest both for the development of medieval writing systems and the use of capitals in later scripts, as well as for the understanding of reading literacy.
The script is square capitals, but it is tending towards the less rigid forms of rustic capitals as the conventions of using the pen rather than a chisel, as used for monumental inscriptions, are becoming apparent. It is here being used for the body of a text, not as a heading. It is continuous script, with no word separation spaces and no punctuation.
The letter forms are essentially familiar to us from our modern conventions of Roman capitals, but it is interesting that the letters are not all exactly the same size, with F and L slightly taller than the others. There is no crossbar on A, while U and V have acquired a short tail below the baseline.
There is no distinction between I and J, nor between U and V, which both have the angular form. There are no examples of K, W or Z.
To get a quick fix on this, run the cursor slowly over the image. Word spacing has been inserted in the transcription for the preservation of sanity. Although this is not really medieval writing, there is a paleography exercise just so that you can try out the process of reading continuous script.
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|What is Paleography?|
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