Medieval writing and scripts

Georgian Bolnisi inscriptionsAD. The origin of the Georgian script is poorly known, and no full agreement exists among Georgian and foreign scholars as to its date of creation, who designed the script, and the main influences on that process. The first version of the script attested is Asomtavruli which dates back at least to the 5th century; the other scripts were formed in the following centuries. Most scholars link the creation of the Georgian script to the process of Christianization of Iberia not to be confused with the Iberian Peninsulaa core Georgian kingdom of Kartli.

Medieval writing and scripts

Handwriting Styles The scripts favoured by English scribes evolved and changed over time. At the beginning of the medieval period, scribes used 'set' scripts, which were very formal and tidy. Well-separated letters were their principal characteristic. However, the most significant development in script in the English Middle Ages was the evolution of cursive hands which made the process of writing quicker and more efficient.

Cursive scripts contain letter forms made with as few strokes of the pen as possible. They were first developed for the speedy copying of official documents or records, but gradually became used for copying other types of text. Many hands are made up of a mixture of characteristics from different styles.

Making the medieval book

Textura Script Sometimes called Gothic Book Hand or Black Letter, this was the most enduring script of the Middle Ages and was in use from the twelfth to the sixteenth century. It is not a cursive hand, and is instead characterised by an upright appearance, and the use of separate strokes to form letters, which required the frequent raising or lifting of the nib from the writing surface.

Letter forms are kept separate from one another, and when well spaced give an appearance of formality and neatness. There are various different forms of Textura, usually characterised by the way in which scribes formed the bottom of their letters. Quadrata is the 'high-Gothic' variety of Textura, which is characterised by the consistent use of diamond-shaped feet on 'minim' letters made up of vertical strokes such as i, m, n, u.

The script is very regular and used for good quality books.

Medieval Calligraphy

Note the diamond shapes at the end of the lines and, less clearly, at the foot of letters. This was the least formal type of Textura. This is seen more frequently in 'Anglicana' hands. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries it became increasingly associated with liturgical or devotional manuscripts, or luxury books of a secular nature, as a display script.

An excellent example of the use of Textura as a display script in a high-quality book is provided by the Wollaton Antiphonal, which was probably written in the s.

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Detail from the Wollaton Antiphonal, MSf. They gradually became used for the speedier and more efficient copying of literary texts too.

medieval writing and scripts

The cursive form 'Anglicana' developed in England from Textura to become the most widely-used book hand of the later Middle Ages in Britain and northern France. It first appears in documents in aroundand is the script most often used in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries for the copying of English literary texts especially the manuscripts of works of Chaucer and Langland.We have 47 free medieval, calligraphy fonts to offer for direct downloading · Fonts is your favorite site for free fonts since The Georgian scripts are the three writing systems used to write the Georgian language: Asomtavruli, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli.

Although the systems differ in appearance, all three are unicase, their letters share the same names and alphabetical order, and are written horizontally from left to right.

We have free medieval fonts to offer for direct downloading · Fonts is your favorite site for free fonts since Read and learn for free about the following article: Words, words, words: medieval handwriting An introduction to Medieval scripts.

The work of the scribe. Words, words, words: medieval handwriting. Writing a medieval text with a quill is hard work.

Fun Facts:

The pen could only make a more or less downward movement because of how the nib was cut. Scriptorium is a Latin word that means "place for writing." It was a place where books were copied and illuminated (painted).

medieval writing and scripts

A scribe wrote the text for a book, and an artist, called an illuminator, painted the pictures and decoration. Index of Scripts: These examples of scripts are being progressively added to. The categorisation of scripts is a little tricky and I have used a very pragmatic approach rather than an attempt to be heavily scientific.

The Medieval Scriptorium (Getty Center Exhibitions)