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Encyclopedia > Palaeography

Palaeography (British) or paleography (American) (from the Greek παλαιός palaiós, "old" and γράφειν graphein, "to write") is the study of ancient handwriting, independent of the language (Koine Greek, Classical Latin, Medieval Latin, Old English, etc.). Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Koine redirects here. ... Classical Latin is the language used by the principal exponents of that language in what is usually regarded as classical Latin literature. ... Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Penis[1], Englisc by its speakers) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ...


Palaeography is in many ways a prerequisite for philology, and it tackles two main difficulties: first, since the style of a single alphabet has evolved constantly (Carolingian minuscule, Gothic, etc.), it is necessary to know how to decipher the individual characters. Second, scribes often used many abbreviations, usually so that they could write the text more quickly, and sometimes to save space, so the palaeographer must know how to interpret them. Knowledge about individual letter-forms, ligatures, punctuation, and abbreviations, enables the palaeographer to read the text as the scribe intended it to be read. Philology, etymologically, is the love of words. ... Example from 10th century manuscript Carolingian or Caroline minuscule is a script developed as a writing standard in Europe so that the Roman alphabet could be easily recognized by the small literate class from one region to another. ... Gothic script was a medieval script used throughout Western Europe from approximately 1150 to 1500. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


The first time the term "palaeography" was used was perhaps in 1703 by Bernard de Montfaucon, a Benedictine monk. During the 19th century palaeography fully separates from the science of diplomatics. Wilhelm Wattenbach and Leopold Delisle greatly contributed to this separation with their studies between the relationship to the human hand and writing. Their efforts were mainly the directed at Reconstiting "the ductus" i.e. the movement of the pen in forming letter, and to establish a genealogy of writing based on the historical developments of its forms[1]. Events February 2 - Earthquake in Aquila, Italy February 4 - In Japan, the 47 samurai commit seppuku (ritual suicide) February 14 - Earthquake in Norcia, Italy April 21 - Company of Quenching of Fire (ie. ... The longest lasting of the western Catholic monastic orders, the Benedictine Order traces its origins to the adoption of the monastic life by St. ... Diplomatics is forensic palaeography. ... Wilhelm Wattenbach (September 22, 1819 - September 21, 1897), was a German historian. ...


The palaeographer must know the language of the texts, the abbreviations used, and the various styles of handwriting. Knowledge of writing materials is essential to the ancient study of handwriting and the identification of the periods in which they are written.[2]. The fundamental work of the palaeographer is to decipher the writings of the past and to assign them a date and a place of origin. This is why the palaeographer must take into account the style and formation of the manuscript or text.[3]

Contents

History of the Latin alphabet

This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Ancient paleography

A replica of the Old Roman Cursive inspired by the Vindolanda tablets:[1] Hoc gracili currenteque / vix hodie patefactas / Romani tabulas ornarunt calamo (With this slender and running pen the Romans decorated writing tablets, which today scarcely have been brought to light. ...

Medieval palaeography

Prior to the time of Charlemagne several parts of Europe had their own handwriting style. His rule over a large part of the continent provided an opportunity to unify these writing styles in the hand called Carolingian minuscule. Simplistically speaking, the only scripts to escape this unification were the Visigothic (or Mozarabic), which survived into the 12th or 13th century, the Beneventan, which was still being written in the middle of the 16th, and the one that continues to be used in traditional Irish handwriting, which has been in severe decline since the early 20th century and is now almost extinct (the printed form was abolished by the Irish government in the 1950s). Charlemagne and Pippin the Hunchback. ... Example from 10th century manuscript Carolingian or Caroline minuscule is a script developed as a writing standard in Europe so that the Roman alphabet could be easily recognized by the small literate class from one region to another. ... Visigothic script was a type of medieval script, so called because it originated in the Visigothic kingdom in Spain. ... Rule of St. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... The Government (Irish: ) [ral̪ˠt̪ˠəs̪ˠ n̪ˠə heːɼən̪ˠ] is the cabinet that exercises executive authority in the Republic of Ireland. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ...


In the 12th century Carolingian minuscule underwent a change in its appearance to bold and broken Gothic letter-forms. This style remained predominant with some regional variants until the 15th century when the humanistic scripts revived a version of Carolingian minuscule and it spread from the Italian Renaissance all over Europe. Humanism is a system of thought that defines a socio-political doctrine (-ism) whose bounds exceed those of locally developed cultures, to include all of humanity and all issues common to human beings. ... The Renaissance (French for rebirth, or Rinascimento in Italian), was a cultural movement in Italy (and in Europe in general) that began in the late Middle Ages, and spanned roughly the 14th through the 17th century. ...


Modern palaeography

These humanistic scripts are the base for the antiqua and the handwriting forms in western and southern Europe. In Germany and Austria, the Kurrentschrift was rooted in the cursive handwriting of the later Middle Ages. With the name of the calligrapher Ludwig Sütterlin, this handwriting counterpart to the blackletter typefaces was abolished by Hitler in 1941. After World War II it was taught as alternative script in schools only in some areas until the 1970s; it is no longer being taught. A facsimile of Nicholas Jensons roman type used in Venice circa 1470. ... Sample of German kurrent handwriting Kurrent is an old form of German handwriting based on blackletter, specifically the Fraktur typeface. ... Cursive is any style of handwriting which is designed for writing down notes and letters by hand. ... Calligraphy (from Greek καλλι calli beauty + γραφος graphos writing) is the art of decorative writing. ... Sütterlin example in German The Sütterlinschrift, or Sütterlin for short, is a form of the old German blackletter handwriting (Spitzschrift) that was designed by and named after Ludwig Sütterlin, a German graphical designer and teacher who was commissioned to do so by the Prussian ministry for... Blackletter in a Latin Bible of AD 1407, on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. ... Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ...


See also

Rule of St. ... Blackletter in a Latin Bible of AD 1407, on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. ... Contemporary Calligraphy Calligraphy (from Greek kallos beauty + graphẽ writing) is the art of beautiful writing (Mediavilla 1996: 17). ... First page of the Codex Argenteus A codex (Latin for block of wood, book; plural codices) is a handwritten book, in general, one produced from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages. ... Codicology is the study of a codex, an older handwritten book. ... Diplomatics is forensic palaeography. ... A section of the Papyrus of Ani showing cursive hieroglyphs. ... The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum. ... The word Corcaigh in the Gaelic-script font of same name. ... For other uses, see Graffiti (disambiguation). ... Historical documents are document that contain important information about a person, place, or event. ... The beginning of the Gospel of Mark from the Book of Durrow. ... Isograph and Isogloss are technical terms for differentiating aspects of scripts and languages respectively. ... Jean Mabillon (November 23, 1632-December 27, 1707) was a Benedictine monk and scholar, considered the founder of palaeography and diplomatics. ... A New Testament papyrus is a copy of a portion of the New Testament made on papyrus. ... A New Testament uncial is a copy of a portion of the New Testament in Greek or Latin capital or uncial letters, written on parchment or vellum. ... Ludwig Traube Ludwig Traube (June 19, 1861 - May 19, 1907) was a paleographer and held the first chair of Medieval Latin in Germany (at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich). ... Merovingian script was a medieval script so called because it was developed in France during the Merovingian dynasty. ... Philology, etymologically, is the love of words. ... A replica of the Old Roman Cursive inspired by the Vindolanda tablets:[1] Hoc gracili currenteque / vix hodie patefactas / Romani tabulas ornarunt calamo (With this slender and running pen the Romans decorated writing tablets, which today scarcely have been brought to light. ... The Arch of Titus, with an inscription in Roman square capitals Roman square capitals, also called elegant capitals and quadrata, are an ancient Roman form of writing, and the basis for modern capital letters. ... shoe ... Scribal abbreviations were used by medieval scribes writing in Latin. ... 14th century BC diplomatic letter in Akkadian, found in Tell Amarna. ... The Ugaritic language is only known in the form of writings found in the lost city of Ugarit in Syria since its discovery by French archaeologists in 1928. ... The Book of Kells, c. ... Visigothic script was a type of medieval script, so called because it originated in the Visigothic kingdom in Spain. ...

External links

  • 'Palaeography'. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911.
  • Palaeography: reading old handwriting 1500 - 1800: A practical online tutorial, from the National Archives (UK)
  • A comprehensive survey of all the important aspects of medieval palæography.
  • A scholarly maintained web directory on paleography (in German).
  • Another scholarly maintained web directory on paleography (200 links with critical comments, in French).
  • Comprehensive bibliography (1,200 detailed references with critical comments in French).
  • Online Tuition in the Palaeography of Scottish Documents 1500-1750
  • An introduction to Greek and Latin palaeography by Thompson, Edward Maunde - Outdated (published 1912) but good and useful illustrated handbook, available as Faksimile.
  • A type foundry specialising in authentic reproductions of historical handwriting
  • Free paleographical fonts

The National Archives is a British Governmental organisation created in April 2003. ...

Further reading

  • Bernhard Bischoff, Latin Palaeography: Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
  • E. A. Lowe, Codices Latini Antiquiores: A Palaeographical Guide to Latin Manuscripts Prior to the Ninth Century, Clarendon Press, 1972.

References

  1. ^ R. Marichal, “Paleography” in New Encyclopaedia New York: Gale-Thomson, 2003 Vol.X, p. 773.
  2. ^ Robert P. Gwinn, "Paleography" in The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol. IX, 1986, p. 78.
  3. ^ Fernando De Lasala, Exercise of Latin Paleography (Gregorian University Rome, 2006) p. 7.
The ISO basic Latin alphabet
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historypalaeographyderivationsdiacriticspunctuationnumeralsUnicodelist of letters

  Results from FactBites:
 
Palaeography - LoveToKnow 1911 (16988 words)
The scope of this article is to trace the history of Greek and Latin palaeography from the earliest written documents in those languages which have survived.
The field of Latin palaeography is much wider, for the Roman alphabet has made its way into every country of western Europe, and the study of its various developments and changes is essential for a proper understanding of the character which we write.
Their survival is a particularly interesting fact in the history of Greek palaeography, for in them we have specimens of literary rolls which may be fairly assumed to differ very little in appearance from the manuscripts contemporary with the great classical authors of Greece.
An Essay on Paleography by Julian Brown (988 words)
Palaeography means, in the strict sense, the study of ancient handwriting, and its basic objects are these: first, to read ancient texts with accuracy; secondly, to date and localize their handwriting.
It is to the palaeography of Western Europe in the wider sense that this paper is intended as an introduction; but the handwriting of documents--a subject which the handbooks of diplomatic generally leave to palaeography--will be included in the account of Latin and vernacular handwriting on pp.
The textual critic uses palaeography for two main purposes: first, to read his manuscripts correctly; and secondly, during the process of recension and reconstruction, to date and localize them as a means of discovering which of them are likely to have been copied from others that survive.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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