Medieval Writing
The History of o

The history of the letter o is very uneventful. It appears as a circular, oval or angular closed loop, and that is pretty much that.

square capital O In the Old Roman square capitals, O is round.
rustic capital O In the rustic capital script, O shows thick and thin strokes as the pen moves around the circle.
uncial O The uncial O is similar.
New Roman cursive o In this example of New Roman cursive, the minuscule o is plain and round.
In the pre-Carolingian minuscule scripts or National Hands, o only develops any different features in a couple of the unusual scripts.
half uncial o In a 6th century half uncial script o is round.
Corbie ab o In the specialised book script Corbie ab the loop of o is crossed over rather than closed, producing a couple of extensions on the top.
old Italian o An old northern Italian book hand of the 8th century shows a simple sloping version of o.
Germanic o This sample from Merovingian minuscule or Germanic book hand is also simple and rounded.
Luxeuil minuscule o This o from the variant of Merovingian minuscule known as Luxeuil minuscule looks slightly squashed.
Visigothic o The Visigothic script has produced a simple round o.
insular half uncial o The letter o in the formal script known as known as insular half uncial is bold and round.
insular minuscule o This 10th century example of o from insular minuscule is also simple and round.
Beneventan o In this example from a developed form of Beneventan minuscule the letter o shows the characteristically marked differences between the thick and thin lines.
Merovingian chancery o In Merovingian chancery script the letter o has a very tiny loop with a long curl on top.
old curialis o In the old curialis of the papal chancery o is round.
In the Carolingian scripts o is round.
Caroline minuscule o In this version of Caroline minuscule, o is round.
Caroline minuscule o A sample from a forged 12th century monastic charter is the same.
later curialis o The later papal curialis of the 11th century produces a round o.
diplomatic minuscule o By the 12th century the diplomatic minuscule of the papal chancery produces a similar n.
imperial o The 12th century diplomatic minuscule of the Imperial German chancery has produced a round o.
In the formal Gothic book hands, the letter o can become angular, and laterally compressed, but remains a simple closed letter.
protogothic o This protogothic o from a 12th century French book hand is angular, with markedly thick and thin lines.
rotunda o The 14th century Gothic rotunda version of the letter o is round.
textura o This 13th century Gothic textura o of medium grade is relatively round.
prescissa o The very formal Gothic prescissa has a very narrow and angular o with markedly thick and thin lines.
textura o A relatively informally written late 15th or early 16th Gothic textura script shows a broader but angular o.
textura o A 15th century Dutch language formal Gothic textura o is upright and angular.
In document hands and later cursive scripts, not a great deal changes.
more about o
Histories of Individual Letters

History of Scripts
What is Paleography?

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