1902 Encyclopedia > Palaeography


Palaeography is the study of ancient handwriting from surviving examples. While epigraphy (see INSCRIPTIONS) is the science which deals with inscriptions engraved on stone or metal or other enduring material as memorials for future ages, palaeography takes cognizance of writings of a literary, economical, or legal nature, written generally with stile, reed, or pen, on tablets, rolls, or books. The boundary, however, between the two sciences is not always to be exactly defined. The fact that an inscription occurs upon a hard material in a fixed position does not .necessarily bring it under the head of epigraphy. Such specimens of writing as the graffiti or wall-scribblings of Pompeii and ancient Rome belong as much to the one science as to the other ; for they neither occupy the position of inscriptions set up with special design as epigraphical monuments, nor are they the movable written documents with which we connect the idea of palaeography. But such exceptions only slightly affect the broad distinction just specified.

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. In Greek palaeography we have a subject which is self-contained. The Greek character, in its pure form, was used for one language only; but the universal study of that language throughout Europe, and the wide diffusion of its litera-ture, have been the cause of the accumulation of Greek MSS. in every centre of learning. 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.

Handwriting, like every other art, has its different phases of growth, perfection, and decay. A particular form of writing is gradually developed, then takes a finished or calligraphic style and becomes the hand of its period, then deteriorates, breaks up, and disappears, or only drags on an artificial existence, being meanwhile superseded by another style which, either developed from the older hand or introduced independently, runs the same course, and, in its turn, is displaced by a younger rival. Thus in the history of Greek writing we see the uncial hand passing from early forms into the calligraphic stage, and then driven out by the minuscule, which again goes through a series of important changes. In Latin, the capital and uncial hands give place to the smaller character; and this, after running its course, deteriorates and is superseded almost universally by the modern Italian hand dating from the Renaissance.

Bearing in mind these natural changes, it is evident that a style of writing, once developed, is best at the period when it is in general use, and that the oldest examples of that period are the simplest, in which vigour and naturalness of handwriting are predominant. On the other hand, the fine execution of a MS. after the best period of the style has passed cannot conceal deteriora-tion. The imitative nature of the calligraphy is detected both by the general impression on the eye and by uncertainty and inconsistencies in the forms of letters. It is from a failure to keep in mind the natural laws of development and change that early dates, to which they have no title, have been given to imitative MSS.; and on the other hand, even very ancient examples have been post-dated in an incredible manner.

Down to the time of the introduction of printing, writing ran in two lines—the set book-hand and the cursive. MSS. written in the set book-hand filled the place now occupied by printed books, the writing being regular, the lines kept even by ruling, and the pages provided with regular margins. Cursive writing, in which the letters employed were fundamentally the same as in the set hand, was necessary for the ordinary business of life. The set book-hand disappeared before the print-ing press; cursive writing necessarily remains.

Materials.—Before passing to the discussion of Greek and Latin handwriting, the materials employed and the forms which they took may be briefly noticed. The various works on palaeography enumerate the different substances which have been put in requisition to receive writing. Metals, such as gold, bronze, lead, tin, have, been used; leaden plates, for example, in addition to those which have been found buried with the dead and bearing inscriptions of various kinds, were also used in the Venetian states down to the 14th or 15th century as a material on which to inscribe historical and diplo-matic records. The ancient Assyrians recorded theh history on sun-dried or fire-burnt bricks; and inscribed potsherds or ostraka have been gathered in hundreds in the sands of Egypt. Such hard materials as these, however, would have no extensive use where more pliant and convenient substances, such as animal skin or vegetable growths, could be had. We have therefore practically to confine our attention to such materials as papyrus, vellum, and paper, the use of which became so universally estab-lished. But midway between the hard and soft substances, and partaking of the nature of both, stand the waxen tablets made of wood coated with wax, on which the writing was scratched with the point of the stilus or graphium. These tablets were called by the Greeks _____, _____ or ____, ____ or _____, _____, _____, &c, and in Latin talmlee or tabellx, or cerx; and two or more, put together and connected with rings or other fastenings which served as hinges, formed a caudex or codex. A codex of two leaves was called _____ or ______ , diptycha; of three, ______, triptycha; and so on. From the early specimens which have survived, and which will be examined below, the triptycha appear to have been most commonly used. The tablets served for the ordinary affairs of life, for accounts, letters, drafts, school exercises, &c. The various references to them by classical writers need not be here repeated; but their survival to a late time should be noted. St Augustine refers to his tablets, and St Hilary of Aries also mentions their use for the purpose of correspondence; and there remains the record of a letter written in tabella as late as 1148 A.D. (Wattenbach, Schriftwesen, 2d ed., p. 46). They were very commonly used through the Middle Ages in all the west of Europe.

Specimens inscribed with money accounts of the 13th and 14th centuries have survived in France; and similar documents of the 14th and 15th centuries are to to be found in several of the municipal archives of Germany. Reference to their use in England occurs in literature; and specimens of the 14th or 15th century have been dug up in Ireland. Similarly in Italy their use is both recorded and proved by actual examples of the 13th or 14th century. With the beginning of the 16th century their general employment seems to have come to an end; but a few survivals of this custom of writing on wax have lingered on to modern times. It is said that sales in the fish-market of Rouen are still noted down on this material.

Among the Romans ivory was sometimes substituted for wood in the waxen tablets, as appears from passages in classical authors. The large consular diptychs are examples of the custom. The rich carvings with which these were embellished have secured their preservation in several instances; and they were often kept in the churches in the Middle Ages and inscribed with lists of bishops or abbots and benefactors.

The employment of PAPYRUS (q.v.) as an ordinary writing material in ancient Egypt, and, exported from thence, in Greece and Italy, is well known. The most ancient examples of Greek writing which will have to engage our attention are those which are found in the papyrus rolls of Egypt of the 2d century B.C. Though superseded in course of time by vellum, this material continued to be used by Greek scribes down to the 9th century. The earliest Latin writing on papyrus is contained in some fragments recovered at Herculaneum. Dating from the 5th to the 10th century are the papyrus deeds of Ravenna; and papal documents on the same substance extend from the 8th to the 11th century. Papyrus was also used for documents in Prance under the Merovingian kings. It was also made up into books, for the reception of literary works, in which form it was sometimes strengthened by the addition of vellum leaves which encased the quires ; and, as far as can be ascertained from extant remains, it was used thus in Italy and France down to the 10th century.

Skins of animals have doubtless served as a writing material from the very earliest period of the use of letters. Instances of the use of leather in western Asia are recorded by ancient writers; and from Herodotus we learn that the Ionians applied to the later-imported papyrus the name SicpOtpai, by which they already desig-nated their writing material of leather. The Jews also have retained the ancient Eastern custom, and still in-scribe the law upon leathern rolls. The use of parch-ment (irepyoifjLrjvr/, charta pergamena) may be considered a revival of the ancient use of skins, now prepared by a new method attributed to Eumenes II., king of Pergamum (197-158 B.C.), who was opposed by the jealousy of the Ptolemies in his endeavours to establish a library in his capital. They forbade the export of papyrus, and so compelled him to revert to the ancient custom. The new material was prepared in such a way as to be fit to receive writing on both sides, and could thus be conveni-ently made up into book-form, the a-wp-ariov. The ancient name 8«j!>6cpat (Lat., membranx) was also transferred to the new invention. By common consent the name of parchment has in modern times given place to that of vellum, a term properly applicable only to calf-skin, but now generally used to describe a mediaeval skin-book of any kind. Parchment is a title now usually reserved for the hard sheep-skin or other skin material on which law-deeds are engrossed.

Purple-stained vellum was used by the Romans for wrappers for their papyrus rolls. In the 3d century it is recorded that entire volumes were made of this ornamen-tal substance and written in gold or silver; and it was against luxury of this kind that St Jerome directed his often-quoted words in his preface to the book of Job. Examples of such costly MSS. of the 6 th century have survived to the preseut day, as the Codex Argenteus of the Gothic Gospels at Upsala, the fragments of the illustrated Genesis at Vienna, the leaves of the purple Gospels in the Cottonian Library and elsewhere, the Codex Rossanensis, lately discovered, and some others. Some richly stained leaves of the 8th century remain in the Canterbury Gospels (Royal MS., 1 E. vi.) in the British Museum. On the Continent the great impetus given to the production of splendid MSS. under the rule of Charlemagne revived the art of staining; and several fine examples of it exist in MSS. of the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries. At a later period, when the art was forgotten, the surface only of the vellum was painted in imitation of the older staining which soaked into the substance of the skin. Other colours besides purple were sometimes employed, particularly in the period of the Renaissance, to paint or stain vellum; but MSS. so treated are rather to be regarded as curiosities produced by the caprice of the moment.

Cotton paper (charta bombycina) is said to have been known to the Chinese at a remote period, and to have passed into use among the Arabs early in the 8th century. It was imported into Constantinople, and was used for Greek MSS. in the 13th century. In Italy and the West it never made much way. Rag paper came into general use in Europe in the 14th century, and gradually displaced vellum. In the 15th century MSS. of vellum and paper mixed were common. See PAPER.

With regard to the forms in which writing material was made up, the waxen tablets have already been referred to, and will be more minutely described below. Ancient papyri usually appear in the form of rolls; vellum was made up into books. The roll (_____, volmnen; later, _____, elX-_____, rotulus) was the ordinary form of written documents known to the ancients. When a work was contained in several rolls, a single roll was called _____, _____, volumen, charta; later, _____. From the circumstance of the Bible filling many rolls it acquired such titles as pandectes and bibliotheca, the latter of which remained in use down to the 14th century. The title of the work was written at the end of the roll; and at the same place was recorded the number of columns and lines, cmyoi, which it contained—probably for the purpose of estimating the price. To roll and unroll was _____ and _____, plicare and explicare ; the work unrolled and read to the end was the liber explicitus. Hence comes the com-mon explicit written at the end of a work ; and, from the analogy of incipit liber in titles, the word was afterwards taken for a verb, and appears in such phrases as explicit liber, explicit, expliceat, &c.

The book-form was adopted from the waxen tablets, and the name caudex or codex was also taken over. It has been inferred, from the terms in which Martial speaks of vellum books, that they were articles of luxury at Rome; and, although no examples have survived from classical times, and none were found in the ruins of Herculaneum, the sumptuousness of the earliest extant volumes supports this view. The shape in which they are made up during the early centuries of the Middle Ages is the broad quarto.
The quires or gatherings of which the book was formed generally consisted, in the earliest examples, of four sheets folded to make eight leaves (____ or ______, quaternio), although occasionally quinterns, or quires of five sheets (ten leaves), were adopted. Sexterns, or quires of six sheets (twelve leaves), came into use at a later period. The quire-mark, or " signature," was usually written at the foot of the last page, but in some early instances (e.g., the Codex Alexandrinus) it appears at the head of the first page. The numbering of the separate leaves in a quire, in the fashion followed by early printers, came in in the 14th century. Catch-words to connect the quires date back to the 12 th century.

No exact system was followed in ruling the lines and in arranging the sheets when ruled. In the case of papyri it was enough to mark with the pencil the vertical marginal lines to bound the text; the grain of the papyrus was a sufficient guide for the lines of writing. With the firmer material of vellum it became necessary to rule lines to keep the writing even. These lines were at first drawn with'a hard point, almost invariably on the hair (or outer) side of the skin, and strongly enough to be in relief on the flesh (or inner) side. Marginal lines were drawn to bound the text laterally; but the ruled lines which guided the writing were not infrequently drawn right across the sheet. Each sheet should be ruled separately; but two or more sheets were often laid and ruled together, the lines being drawn with so much force that the lower sheets also received the impressions. In rare instances lines are found ruled on both sides of the leaf, as in some parts of the Codex Alexandrinus. In this same MS. and in other early codices the ruling was not always drawn for every line of writing, but was occasionally spaced so that the writing ran between the ruled lines as well as on them. In making up the quires, care was generally taken to lay the sheets in such a way that hair-side faced hair-side, and flesh-side faced flesh-side; so that, when the book was opened, the two pages before the reader had the same appearance, either the yellow tinge of the hair-side, or the fresh whiteness of the flesh-side. In Greek MSS. the arrangement of the sheets was afterwards reduced to a system : the first sheet was laid with the flesh-side down-wards, so that that side -began the quire ; yet in so early an example as the Codex Alexandrinus the first page of a quire is the hair-side. In Latin MSS. also the hair-side appears generally to have formed the first page. Ruling with the plummet or lead-point came into ordinary use in the 12th century; red and violet inks were used for orna-mental ruling in the 15th century. The lines were evenly spaced by means of prickings in the margins ; in some early MSS. these prickings run down the middle of the page.

Inks of various colours were employed from early times. Red is found in initial lines, titles, and colophons in the earliest vellum MSS. For purposes of contrast it was also used in glosses, as in the Lindisfarne Gospels and in the Durham Ritual. In the Carlovingian period entire volumes were occasionally written with this ink. Other coloured inks—green, violet, and yellow—are also found at an early date. Writing in gold and silver was inscribed on purple vellum in ancient MSS., as has been noted above; under Charlemagne it again came into fashion. Gold was then applied to the writing of ordinary vellum MSS. It was also introduced into English MSS. in the 10th century.

With regard to writing implements, it will be here enough to note that for writing on waxen tablets the pointed stilus or graphium was used; that the reed (______, calamus or canna) was adapted for both papyrus and vellum, and that in Italy at least it appears to have been used as late as the 15th century; and that the quill pen can be traced back to the 6th century of our era.


The period which has to be traversed in following the history of Greek palaeography begins with the 2d century B.C. and ends at the close of the 15th century. For all this long period the subject is illustrated by a fair amount of material, more or less connected in chronological sequence. Greek writing in MSS., as far as we know it from extant remains, passed through two courses,—that of the uncial or large letter, and that of the minuscule or small letter. The period of the uncial runs from the date of the earliest specimens on papyrus to the 9th century, that of the minuscule from the 9th century to the inven-tion of printing. An established form of writing, however, cannot, any more than any other human habit, be suddenly abandoned for a new one; and we are therefore prepared to find the uncial character continue to be used after the first introduction of the smaller hand. It did in fact sur-vive for special purposes for some three centuries after it had ceased to be the common form of book-writing. Inversely, no fully developed handwriting suddenly springs into existence ; and we therefore look for the first beginnings of the minuscule hand in documents of far higher antiquity than those of the 9th century.

Uncial.—The term uncial has been borrowed from the nomenclature of Latin palaeography1 and applied to Greek writing of the larger type to distinguish it from the minus-cule or smaller character. In Latin majuscule writing there exist both capitals and uncials, each class distinct. In Greek MSS. pure capital letter-writing was never employed (except occasionally for ornamental titles at a late time). As distinguished from the square capitals of inscriptions, the uncial writing has certain rounded letters, as e, c, CO, modifications in others, and some extending above or below the line.

Uncial Greek writing in early times is found in two forms,—the set and the cursive. In examining the set or, as it may be termed, the literary hand, we find that regard must be had to the material on which it was written. For the material has always had more or less influence on the character of the writing. To the substitution of a soft surface for a hard one, of the pen for the graving tool, we undoubtedly owe the rounded forms of the uncial letters. The square-formed capitals were more easily cut on stone or metal; the round letters more readily traced on skin or wax or papyrus with stile, reed, or pen. Again, the earliest specimens of Greek uncials are found on papyrus; and this delicate and brittle material naturally required a light style of penmanship. When the firmer material of vellum came into use, there followed a change in the style of writing, which assumed the calligraphic form, which will be considered in its place.

The earliest examples of Greek uncial writing are on papyrus, and have been discovered in Egypt and in the ruins of Herculaneum. When we turn to the literary remains with the view of following the course of the set hand, a difficulty arises at the outset; for in some of the most ancient specimens (and notably the _____ _____ referred to below) there is a fluctuation between set and cursive writing which makes it no easy matter to decide how they should be classed. In the same way, when we come to consider the first examples of cursive hand, we shall find much in them which might be termed a set cast of writing. In fact, in the period when these ancient examples were produced, the formal and cursive styles were not so distinctive as they afterwards became. For our present purpose we may class the literary works in this doubtful style of writing under the book-hand, and place the documents among the specimens of cursive.

With regard to the different dates to be assigned to these early relics, those which have been recovered from Herculaneum have a limit, after which they cannot have been written, in the year of the destruction of the city, 79 A.D. But how far before that date they may be set it is hazardous to conjecture, although the greater number probably fall within the 1st century of our era. In the case of most of the Egyptian papyri there is no such limit either way. In some instances, however, literary remains have been found in company with deeds bearing an actual date, and in two of them the documents are written on the backs of the literary papyri. The work on astronomy entitled Ev8o£ov re^vr/, among the papyri of the Louvre (JV. et Extr., pis. i.-x.),2 is endorsed with deeds of 165 and 164 B.C., and may consequently be at least as old as the first half of the 2d century B.C. The writing of the text of this MS., as has been already noticed, is of a rather cursive character. But the fragments of a work on dialectics in the same collection (N. et Extr., pi. xi.), which is endorsed with a deed of 160 B.C., is written in set uncials of a perfectly simple style, formed with fine and even strokes. The columns of writing lean out of the per-pendi«ular, to the right, a peculiarity which is seen again in the orations of Hyperides (below). So far as one may venture to take this specimen as a standard whereby to judge of the age of others, a simple and fine and light stroke, without exaggeration of forms in the letters, and unrestraint in the flow of the writing seem to be the chief characteristics of this class of hand in the centuries immediately preceding the Christian era. And these characteristics are generally to be observed in all docu-ments which there is reason to assign to this period.

Not inconsiderable fragments of the Iliad dating from the pre-Christian period have also come down to us. First in importance stands the fragmentary papyrus of bk. xviii., found in a tomb near Monfalat in 1849-50. It may be confidently dated as early as the 1st century B.C. The text is written in slender uncials, formed with regularity and generally upright, the inclination, if any, being to the left. This tendency to incline the letters back is a mark of age which repeats itself in the earliest forms of the set minuscule hand. Breathings and accents and various cor-rections have been added by a later hand in this papyrus, which is now in the British Museum (Cat. Ana. MSS., i. pl. I.). Another papyrus of a portion of the Iliad, on the back of which is a work of Tryphon, the grammarian, \ M found at the same time, but remains in private hands. Among the papyri of the Louvre are also some fragments of the Iliad, viz., of bk. xiii. (N. et Extr., pl. xii.) and of bks. vi. and xviii. (pi. xlix.), all of a date previous to the Christian era. The fragment of bk. vi. is of particular interest as being written in a hand which is much more set and formal than is generally found in papyri,, in rather narrowed letters, among which the normal form of capital A appears. In the other fragments are seen here and there accents and breathings which from all accounts are ancient, although not to be taken as the work of the first hand. Not being applied systematically, they are probably added by some teacher for instruction on particular points. But the Homeric papyrus which has hitherto had the widest reputation is that which bears the name of its former owner, Bankes, who bought it at Elephantine in 1821. It contains the greater part of the last book of the Iliad. The writing, however, differs very essentially from that of the other Homeric fragments just noticed. It is less free, and wants the spirit and precision of the others, and in the form of letters it approaches more nearly to the cast of those in the early MSS. on vellum. For these reasons it seems better to date this papyrus after the time of our Lord, perhaps even in the 2d century.

A fragment of papyrus containing a copy in duplicate of some lines supposed to be taken from the Temenides of Euripides, together with a few lines from the Medea and some extracts from other works, has been lately published (H. Weil, Un Papyrus inédit de la bibl. de M. A. Firmin-Didot, Paris, 1879). The writing is in set uncials earlier than the year 161 B.C., a document of that date having been added.

Greek, 1881.

But the most important discovery hitherto made among the papyri from Egypt is that of four of the orations of the Athenian orator Hyperides, all of which are now in the British Museum. The papyrus containing the orations for Lycophron and Euxenippus is in unusually good pre-servation, being 11 feet in length and having forty-nine columns of writing. Other portions of the same roll are extant, containing fragments of a third oration against Demosthenes. The writing is particularly elegant, and is evidently by a skilled penman, considerable play being exhibited in the formation of the letters, which, while still set uncials, are' often linked together without raising the pen. The columns of writing incline to the right. There can be no hesitation in placing this papyrus as far back at least as the 1st century B.C. (see editions of Professor Babington, 1853; Cat. Anc. MSS., pis. 2, 3; Pal. Soc., pi. 126). Of much later date, however, is the papyrus containing the funeral oration on Leosthenes, 323 B.C. The writing differs entirely from that of the other orations, being in coarsely-formed uncials, sometimes wide apart and in other places cramped together; and the forms of the letters are irregular. This irregularity is not the rough and hasty character of writing of an early age, such as that of the EiSo^oi; rexyq, where, in _ spite of the want of regularity, it is evident that the scribe is writing a natural and practised hand. Here we have rather the ill-formed character bred of want of skill and familiarity with the style of writing. On the back is a horoscope, which has been shown to be that of a person born in 95. A.D. It was at one time assumed that this was an addition written after the oration had been inscribed on the other face of the papyrus. But from the evidence of the material itself the contrary appears to be the fact; and we may accordingly accept the theory that, as no work intended for sale would have been so written, the text of the oration probably represents a student's exercise,—a view which is also supported by the numerous faults in ortho-graphy. This specimen of writing, then, may be assigned to the 2d century of our era.

Lastly, among the discoveries in Egypt in Greek litera-ture is the fragment of writings of the poet Alcman, now in the Louvre, which, however, appears to be not older than the 1st century B.C., the hand being light and rather sloping, and inclining in places to cursive forms. It is of interest as having scholia in a smaller hand, and a few accents and breathings added probably, as in the case of the fragment of Homer quoted above, by a teacher for the purpose of demonstration (A", et Extr., pi. 1.). It may be also added that some early documents are extant written in a set hand (e.g., N. et Extr., pi. xvii., Nos. 12, 13).
Very few waxen tablets inscribed with Greek uncial writing have survived. Two of them found at Memphis are preserved in the British Museum, and on one of them

Turning to the remains discovered at Herculaneum, it is to be regretted that there exist hardly any sufficiently trustworthy facsimiles. The so-called facsimiles engraved in the Herculanensia Volumina are of no palasographical value. They are mere lifeless representations, and only show us that the texts of the different papyri are usually written in neatly-formed and regularly-spaced uncials. The character is better shown in two autotypes (Pal. Soc., pis. 151, 152) from the works of Philodemus and Metrodorus, although the blackening of the material by the action of the heated ashes threw great difficulty in the way of getting satisfactory reproductions by photography. In the first of these specimens the writing is very beauti-fully formed and evenly spaced, in the second it is rougher. But it is well to remember, when we have facsimiles from the Herculaneum papyri before us, that in many cases the material will have shrunk under the heat of the destroying shower, and that the writing, as we see it, may be much smaller than it was originally, and so have a more delicate appearance than when first written.

are traced some verses in large roughly-formed letters, the date of which can only be conjectured to fall in the 1st century (Verhandl. d. Philologen-Versamml. zu Wurzburg, 1869, p. 244). Another set of five tablets is in the Cabinet des Médailles at Paris, containing scribbled alphabets, and a contractor's accounts in a later and more current hand (Rev. ArcMoL, viii. p. 461). A tablet from which the wax has worn, and which is inscribed with ink upon the wood, in characters of the 4th century, as is thought, is described in Tram. Roy. Soc. Lit, 2d ser., vol. x.

With the introduction of vellum as a writing material, the uncial characters entered on a new phase. As already observed, the firmer and smoother ground offered by the surface of the vellum to the pen of the scribe would lead to a more exact and firmer style in the writing. The light touch and delicate forms so characteristic of calligraphy on papyrus gave place to a rounder and stronger hand, in which the contrast of fine hair-lines and thickened down-strokes adds so conspicuously to the beauty of the writing of early MSS. on vellum. Of such MSS., however, none have survived which are attributed to a higher antiquity than the 4th century. And here it may be remarked, with respect to the attribution to particular periods of these early examples, that we are not altogether on firm ground. Internal evidence, such, for example, as the presence of the Eusebian Canons in a MS. of the Gospel, assists us in fixing a limit of age, but when there is no such support the dating of these early MSS. must be more or less con-jectural. It is not till the beginning of the 6th century that we meet with a MS. which can be approximately dated ; and, taking this as a standard of comparison, we are enabled to distinguish those which undoubtedly have the appearance of greater age and to arrange them in some sort of chronological order. But these codices are too few in number to afford material in sufficient quantity for training the eye by familiarity with a variety of hands of any one period—the only method which can give entirely trustworthy results.

The earliest examples of vellum uncial MSS. are the three famous codices of the Bible. Of these, the most ancient, the Codex Vaticanus, is probably of the 4th century. The writing must, in its original condition, have been very perfect as a specimen of penmanship ; but nearly the whole of the text has been traced over by a later hand, perhaps in the 10th or 11th century, and only such words or letters as were rejected as readings have been left untouched. Written in triple columns, in letters of uniform size, without enlarged initial letters to mark even the beginnings of books, the MS. has all the simplicity of extreme antiquity (Pal. Soc., pi. 104). The Codex Sinaiticus (Pal. Soc, pi. 105) has also the same marks of age, and is judged by its discoverer, Tischendorf, to be even more ancient than the Vatican MS. In this, how-ever, a comparison of the writing of the two MSS. leads to the conclusion that he was wrong. The writing of the Codex Sinaiticus is not so pure as that of the other MS., and, if that is a criterion of age, the Vatican MS. holds the first place. In one particular the Codex Sinaiticus has been thought to approach in form to its possible archetype on papyrus. It is written with four columns to a page, the open book thus presenting eight columns in sequence, and recalling the long line of columns on an unfolded roll. The Codex Alexandrinus is placed in the middle of the 5th century. Here we have an advance on the style of the other two codices. The MS. is written in double columns only, and enlarged letters stand at the beginning of paragraphs. But yet the writing is generally more elegant than that of the Codex Sinaiticus. Examining these MSS. with a view to ascer-tain the rules which guided the scribes in their work, we find simplicity and regularity the leading features ; the round letters formed in symmetrical curves ; 6 and C, <fec, finishing off in a hair-line sometimes thickened at the end into a dot ; horizontal strokes fine, those of ¤, H, and © being either in the middle or high in the letter ; the base of A and the cross-stroke of LT also fine, and, as a rule, kept within the limits of the letters and not projecting beyond. Here also may be noticed the occurrence in the Codex Alexandrinus of Coptic forms of letters (e.g.,A, JJ., alpha and mu) in the titles of books, &c., confirmatory of the tradition of the Egyptian origin of the MS.

Greek Uncial (Cod. Alex. ), 5th century.
______.—2 John 4.)

In the 5th century also falls the illustrated Homer of the Ambrosian Library, sadly mutilated. Some fifty frag-ments remain, cut out for the sake of the pictures which they contain ; and all the text that is preserved is that which happened to be on the backs of these pictures. Here the writing shows differences from that of the three codices just noticed, being taller ; and, to instance particu-lar letters, the cross-stroke of ¤ is abnormally low down, and the shape of A and P (the latter not produced below the line) and the large bows of B are also points of difference. It has been suggested that the MS. was written in the south of Italy by a Latin scribe (Pal. Soc, pis. 39, 40, 50, 51).

To the 5th century may also belong the palimpsest MS. of the Bible, known from the upper text as the Codex Ephraemi, at Paris (ed. Tischendorf, 1845), and the Octateuch, whose extant leaves are divided between Paris, Leyden, and St Petersburg—both of which MSS. are prob-ably of Egyptian origin. Of the end of the 5th or beginning of the 6th century is the illustrated Genesis of the Cottonian Library, now unfortunately reduced to fragments by fire, but once the finest example of its kind (Cat. Anc. MSS., i. pi. 8). And to about the same time belong the Dio Cassius of the Vatican (Silvestre, pi. 60) and the Pentateuch of the Bibliothèque Nationale (Id., pl. 61).

In the writing of uncial MSS. of the 6th century there is a marked degeneration. The letters, though still round, are generally of a larger character, more heavily formed, and not so compactly written as in the preceding century. Horizontal strokes (e.g., in A, LT, T) are lengthened and finished off with heavy points or finials. The earliest ex-ample of this period which has to be noticed is the Dios-corides of Vienna, which is of particular value for the study of the palaeography of early vellum MSS. It is the earliest example to which an approximate date can be given. There is good evidence to show that it was written early in the 6th century for Juliana Anicia, daughter of Flavius Anicius Olybrius, emperor of the West in 472. Here we already notice the characteristics of uncial writing of the 6th century, to which reference has been made. To this century also belong the palimpsest Homer under a Syriac text, in the British Museum (Cat. Anc. MSS., i. pi. 9); its companion volume, used by the same Syrian scribe, in which are fragments of St Luke's Gospel (Ibid., pi. 10) ; the Dublin palimpsest fragments of St Matthew and Isaiah (T. K. Abbot, Par Palimpsest Dubl.), written in Egypt ; the fragments of the Pauline epistles from Mount Athos, some of which are at Paris and others at Moscow (Silvestre, pis. 63, 64; Sabas, pi. A), of which, however, the writing has been disfigured by retracing at a later period; the Gospels written in silver and gold on purple vellum, whose leaves are scattered in London (Cott. MS., Titus C. xv.), Rome, Vienna, and its native home, Patmos; the frag-mentary Eusebian Canons written on gilt vellum and highly ornamented, the sole remains of some sumptuous volume (Gat. Anc MSS., i. pi. 11); the Coislin Octateuch (Silvestre, pi. 65); the Genesis of Vienna, one of the very few early illustrated MSS. which have survived (Pal. Soc, pi. 178). Tischendorf has given facsimiles of others, but too insufficiently for the critical study of palaeography.

Reference may here be made to certain early bilingual Graeco-Latin uncial MSS., written in the 6th and 7th centuries, which, however, have rather to be studied apart, or in connexion with Latin palaeography; for the Greek letters of these MSS. run more or less upon the lines of the Latin forms. The best-known of these examples are the Codex Bezae of the New Testament, at Cambridge (Pal. Soc, pis. 14, 15), and the Codex Claromontanus of the Pauline epistles, at Paris (Pal. Soc, pis. 63, 64), attributed to the 6th century; and the Laudian MS. of the Acts of the Apostles (Pal. Soc, pi. 80) of the 7th century. To these may be added the Harleian glossary (Cat. Anc MSS., i. pi. 13), also of the 7th century.
An offshoot of early Greek uncial writing on vellum is seen in the Moeso-Gothic alphabet which Ulfilas constructed for the use of his countrymen, in the 4th century, mainly from the Greek letters. Of the few extant remains of Gothic MSS. the oldest and most perfect is the Codex Argenteus of the Gospels, at Upsala, of the 6th century (Pal. Soc, pi. 118), written in characters which com-pare with purely written Greek MSS. of the same period. Other Gothic fragments appear in the sloping uncial hand seen in Greek MSS. of the 7th and following centuries.

About the year 600 Greek Uncial writing passes into a new stage., We leave the period of the round and enter on that of the oval character. The letters ¤, 0, O, C, instead of being symmetrically formed on the lines of a circle, are made oval; and other letters are laterally compressed into a narrow shape. Iri the 7th century also the writing begins to slope to the right, and accents are introduced and afterwards systematically applied. This slanting style of uncials continued in use through the 8th and 9th cen-turies, becoming heavier as time goes on. In this class of writing there is again the same dearth of dated MSS. as in the round uncial, to serve as standards for the assign-ment of dates. We have to reach the 9th century before finding a single dated MS. in this kind of writing. It is true that sloping Greek uncial writing is found in a few scattered notes and glosses in Syriac MSS. which bear actual dates in the 7th century, and they are so far useful as showing that this hand was firmly established at that time; but they do not afford sufficient material in quan-tity to be of really practical use for comparison (see the tables of alphabets in Gardthausen's Griech. Palaog.). Of more value are a few palimpsest fragments of the Elements of Euclid and of Gospel Lectionaries which occur also in the Syriac collection in the British Museum, and are written in the 7th and 8th centuries. There is also in the Vatican a MS. (Reg. 886) of the Theodosian code, which can be assigned with fair accuracy to the close of the 7th century (Gardth, Gr. Pal., p. 158), which, however, being calligraphically wTritten, retains some of the earlier rounder forms. This MS. may be taken as an example of transitional style. In the fragment of a mathematical treatise from Bobio, forming part of a MS. rewritten in the 8th century and assignable to the previous century, the slanting writing is fully developed. The formation of the letters is good, and conveys the impression that the scribe was writing a hand quite natural to him.

Greek Uncial (Mathemat. Treatise), 7th century. _____

It should be also noticed that in this MS.'—a secular one —there are numerous abbreviations (Wattenbach, Script. Gr. Specim., tab. 8). An important document of this time is also the fragment of papyrus in the Imperial Library at Vienna, which bears the signatures of bishops and others to the Acts of the council of Constantinople of 680. Some of the signatures are in slanting uncials (Wat-tenb., Script. Gr. Specim., tabb. 12, 13 ; Gardth., Gr. Pal., tab. 1). Of the 8th century is the collection of hymns (Brit. Mus., Add. MS. 26113) written without breathings or accents (Cat. Anc. MSS., i. pi. 14). To the same cen-tury belongs the Codex Marcianus, the Venetian MS. of the Old Testament, which is marked with breathings and accents. The plate reproduced from this MS. (Wattenb., Script. Gr. Specim., tab. 9) contains in the second column a few lines written in round uncials, but in such a laboured style that nothing cou!d more clearly prove the discontinu-ance of that form of writing as an ordinary hand. In the middle of the 9th century at length we find a MS. with a date in the Psalter of Bishop Uspensky of the year 862 (Wattenb., Script. Gr. Specim., tab. 10). A little later in date is the MS. of Gregory of Nazianzus, written between 867 and 886 (Silvestre, pi. 71); and at the end of the 9th or beginning of the 10th century stands a lectionary in the Harleian collection (Cat. Anc. MSS., i. pi. 17). But by this time minuscule writing was well estab-lished, and the use of the more inconvenient uncial was henceforth confined to church-service books. Owing to this limitation uncial writing now underwent a further calligraphic change. As the 10th century advances the sloping characters by degrees become more upright, and with this resumption of their old position they begin in the next century to cast off the compressed formation and again become rounder. All this is simply the result of calligraphic imitation. Service-books have always been the MSS. in particular on which finely-formed writing has been lavished ; and it was but natural that, when a style of writing fell into general disuse, its continuance, where it did continue, should become more and more traditional, and a work of copying rather than of writing. In the 10th century there are a few examples bearing dates. Facsimiles from two of them, the Curzon Lectionary of 980 and the Harleian Lectionary of 995, have been printed (Pal. Soc, pis. 154, 26, 27). The Bodleian commentary on the Psalter (D. 4, 1) is likewise of great palaeographic value, being written partly in uncials and partly in minus-cules of the middle of the 10th century (Gardth., Gr. Pal., p. 159, tab. 2, col. 4). This late form of uncial writing appears to have lasted to about the middle of the 12th century. From it was formed the Slavonic writing in use at the present day.

Under the head of late uncial writing must be classed a few bilingual Graeco-Latin MSS. which have survived, written in a bastard kind of uncial in the west of Europe. This writing follows, wherever the shapes of the letters permit, the formation of corresponding Latin characters,— the purely Greek forms being imitated in a clumsy fashion. Such MSS. are the Codex Augiensis of Trinity College, Cambridge, of the end of the 9 th century (Pal. Soc, pL 127), and the Psalter of St Nicholas of Cusa (pi. 128) and the Codex Sangallensis and Boernerianus of the 10th century (pi. 179). The same imitative characters are used in quotations of Greek words in Latin MSS. of the same periods.

Cursive.—The materials for the study of early Greek cursive writing are found in papyri discovered in Egypt and now deposited in the British Museum, the Louvre, the library of Leyden, and the Vatican. The earliest of these to which an exact date can be assigned are contained in the collection of documents of a certain Ptolemy, son of Glaucias, a Macedonian Greek, who became a recluse of the Serapaeum at Memphis in 173-172 B.C., and collected or wrote these documents relating to himself and others connected with the service of the temple in the middle of the 2d century B.C. A series of these and other documents can be selected so as to give a fairly continuous course of cursive handwriting from that period for several centuries. The papyri are supplemented by the ostraka or potsherds on which were written the receipts for payment of taxes, &c, in Egypt under the Eoman empire, and which have been found in large quantities. Lastly there are still extant a few specimens of Greek cursive writing on waxen tablets ; and in documents of the 6th and 7th cen-turies from Naples and Ravenna there are found subscrip-tions in Latin written in Greek characters (Marini, I papiri diplom., 90, 92, 121; Cod. Dipl. Cavensis, voL ii., No. 250).
Facsimiles of the cursively written papyri are found scattered in different works, some dealing specially with the subject. By far the most plentiful and best executed are those which reproduce the specimens preserved at Paris in the atlas accompanying Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits, vol. xviii.

In the earliest examples of cursive writing we find the uncial character in use, and, as has been already remarked, many of the specimens fluctuate between the more formal or set book-hand and the cursive. As time goes on the two styles diverge more widely. The uncial book-hand had, as we have seen, a disposition to become more formal; cursive writing" naturally has the opposite tendency, to become more flowing and disintegrated, the more exten-sively it is used. But the fact that there existed in Egypt in the 2d century B.C. a cursive hand not differing very materially from a more formal contemporary hand seems to indicate that the two styles had diverged at no very long time befora It cannot, however, be supposed that a cursive form of Greek writing did not exist still earlier. The highly developed calligraphy of the earliest examples proves that Greek writing, as we there see it, was then no newly-discovered art. Judging by the analogy of later reforms, it is perhaps not going too far to conjecture that in the papyri under consideration we see the results of a calligraphic reform, in which a new model was perfected from earlier styles.

The cursive hand in its best style (e.g., N. et Exlr., pis. xxviii., xxix.) is very graceful and exact. This elegance is indeed characteristic of most of the writings of the 2d century B.C., and if a criterion can be established for assist-ing in the difficult problem of dating the early papyri, this simplicity and evenness of writing appears to be the best.

Greek Cursive, 163-162 B.C. In the oourse of successive centuries the cursive hand becomes slacker and more sloping. There is more com-bination of letters, and a continual disintegration, so to say, of the forms of the letters themselves. Naturally the letters which undergo most change are those which lend themselves most readily to combination with others. Alpha, for example, a letter in constant use, and appearing in frequently recurring words (as KCU), quickly altered its shape. In the earliest papyri it is seen more cursively written than most of its fellows. Epsilon, again, is a letter which soon took a second form. It was found easier to make the cross-bar in conjunction with the upper half of the curve of the letter than by a separate stroke after the formation of the full curve £. The upper half of the letter naturally linked itself with the next following letter; and the epsilon thus broken is found as early as a hundred years B.C., and runs through succeeding centuries. The tau was treated in the same way. In the specimen given above it may be seen how the scribe first made half the horizontal stroke and attached it to the main limb by one action of the pen "i, and then added the other half separately. By this device he avoided moving his hand far back. Next, to write the letter in one stroke, some-thing like a y, was a natural development. The transforma-tion of pi follows on the same lines; and the re-shaped nu comes from the capital letter quickly written, just as the same shape was derived in the Roman alphabet. Such a form as the sickle-shaped rho j> is one that would be expected; but the system of breaking-up is in no form better illustrated than in the case of delta. This letter, it might be thought, would, from its original shape, resist combination more than any other, yet even in the 2d century B.C. this combination is accomplished, and delta occasionally appears open on the right side and linked with the following letter £~

Minuscule.—The gradual disintegration of the pure forms of the early uncials by this progressive development of more cursive characters led eventually to the formation of minuscule letters. By the beginning of the 6th cen-tury most of the letters which are afterwards recognized as minuscules in form had become individually developed. For example, the three letters B, H, and K, which in their capital or uncial shapes are quite distinct, had, at this period, acquired alternative shapes which are not very dissimilar from one another, and which by a careless reader may be confused. The letter B in cursive writing lost its loops and was joined by a tag to the following letter—a process by which it became very like the Latin u. So the H readily passed through the form fl to K ; and K became U. The A developed at the apex an elongation of the right side of the triangle, which, for junction with the next letter, was bent over, and hence resulted the small S. The transformation of M through m to p., and of N through \J to y, is obvious. This development, however, of minuscules from the old uncials was a work of time. The incipient changes in individual letters can be detected in papyri of the 2d and 1st centuries B.C. ; but a fully developed minuscule hand, used as an independent form of writing, had no existence for some centuries to come. Arrived, however, at the end of the 6th century, we find a document of 600 A.D. given in facsimile in the Notices et Extraits (pi. xxiii., No. 20), the writing of which is so full of the smaller letters that the hand is practically a minuscule one. This document and six others which are extant formed part of the business papers of one Aurelius Pachymius, a dealer in purple dye, and, ranging in date from 592 to 616 A.D., are valuable material for elucidating the history of the Greek minuscule character. After an interval of eighty years another important document presents itself, in which the two styles of writing, the old uncial and the new minuscule, are seen on the same page. This is the fragmentary papyrus at Vienna, originally brought from Ravenna, which contains the subscriptions of bishops and others to the acts of the synod of Constantinople of 680 A.D. A facsimile was first printed by Lambecius (Comm. de Bibl. Cassar., ed. Kollar, lib. viii. p. 863), and is repro-duced by Wattenbach (Script. Gr. Specim., tabb. 12, 13), whose latest opinion, however, with regard to the document is, that the writing is too uniform to be the actual subscrip-tions, but that it is the work of a scribe imitating to some extent (and certainly so far that he has repeated the uncials and minuscules as he found them) the peculiarities of the original. This appears to be really the case, but the document being a nearly contemporary copy continues to have considerable palseographical value. An analysis of the alphabets of this papyrus and of the one of 600 A.L\ cited above is given by Gardthausen (Gr. Pal., taf. 4). The facsimile of the will of Abram, bishop of Harmonthis (Pal. Soc, pi. 107), may also be referred to as showing the mixture of large and small letters in the 8th century; and in the single surviving specimen of Greek writing of the Imperial Chancery, containing portions of a letter addressed apparently to Pepin le Bref on the occasion of one of his wars against the Lombards in 753 or 756, appears a hand which approaches nearest to the set minuscule book-hand of the next century (Wattenb., Script. Gr. Specim., tabb. 14, 15).

Arrived at this matured stage of development, the minuscule character was in a condition to pass into the regular calligraphic form of writing. In the documents quoted above, it appears generally in a cursive form, and in this form it was undoubtedly also used for literary works. An example of such book-writing in the 8th century has been given in facsimile by Gardthausen (Beitr. zur griech. Pal, 1877, taf. 1). But in the 9th century the minuscule hand assumed a set form from which the writing of the succeeding centuries developed as from a new basis.

The establishment of this set hand is to be ascribed to the fact of the minuscule being now generally adopted as the recognized literary hand, in place of the larger and more inconvenient uncial, and its consequent introduction into vellum books. As we have already seen, uncial writing was influenced in the same way when applied to vellum. The firmer surface of the skin offered to the calligrapher a better working ground for the execution of his handiwork; and thus may be explained the almost sudden appearance of the beautiful and regular writing which presents itself in the minuscule MSS. of the 9th century.

Greek MSS. written in minuscules have been classed as follows :—(1) codices vetustissimi, of the 9th century and to the middle of the 10th century; (2) vetusti, from the middle of the 10th to the middle of the 13th century; (3) recentiores, from the middle of the 13th century to the fall of Constantinople, 1453; (4) novelli, all after that date.

Of dated minuscule MSS. there is a not inconsiderable number scattered among the different libraries of Europe. Gardthausen (Gr. Pal., 344 sq.) gives, a list of some thousand, ending at 1500 A.D. But, as might be expected, the majority belong to the later classes. Of the 9th century there are not ten which actually bear dates, and of these all but one belong to the latter half of the century. In the 10th century, however, the number rises to nearly fifty, in the 11th to more than a hundred.

In the period of codices vetustissimi the minuscule hand is distinguished by its simplicity and purity. The period has been well described as the classic age of minuscules. The letters are symmetrically formed; the writing is com-pact and upright, or has even a slight tendency to slope to the left. In a word, the beauty of this class of minuscule writing is unsurpassed. Bat in addition to these general characteristics there are special distinctions which belong to it. The minuscule character is maintained intact, with-out intrusion of larger or uncial-formed letters. With its cessation as the ordinary literary hand the uncial character had not died out. We have seen that it was still used for liturgical books. It likewise continued to survive in a modified or half-uncial form for scholia, rubrics, titles, and special purposes—as, for example, in the Bodleian Euclid (Pal. Soc, pi. 66)—in minuscule written MSS. of the 9 th and 10th centuries. These uses of the older character sufficed to keep it in remembrance, and it is therefore not a matter for surprise that some of its forms should reappear and commingle with the simple minuscule. This afterwards actually took place. But in the period now under consideration, when the minuscule had been cast into a new mould, and was, so to say, in the full vigour of youth, extraneous forms were rigorously excluded.

Greek Minuscule (Euclid), 888 A.D. (___________)

The breathings also of this class are rectangular, in unison with the careful and deliberate character of the writing; and there is but slight, if any, separation of the words. In addition, as far as has hitherto been observed, the letters run above, or stand upon, the ruled lines, and do not depend from them as at a later period. The exact time at which this latter mechanical change took place cannot be named; like other changes it would naturally establish itself by usage. But at least in the middle of the 10th century it seems to have been in use. In the Bodleian MS. of Basil's homilies of 953 A.D. (Pal. Soc, pi. 82) the new method is followed; and if we are to accept the date of the 9th century ascribed to a MS. in the Ambrosian Library at Milan (Wattenb., Script. Gr. Specim., tab. 17), in which the ruled lines run above the writing, the practice was yet earlier. Certain scribal peculiarities, however, about the MS. make us hesitate to place it so early. In the Laurentian Herodotus (W. and V., Exempla, tab. 31), which belongs to the 10th century, sometimes the one, sometimes the other system is followed in different parts of the volume; and the same peculiarity happens in the MS. of Gregory of Nazianzus of 972 A.D. in the British Museum (Pal. Soc, pi. 25; Exempla, tab. 7). The second half of the 10th century therefore appears to be a period of transition in this respect.

The earliest dated example of codices vetustissimi is the copy of the Gospels belonging to Bishop Uspensky, written in the year 835. A facsimile is given by Gardthausen (Beitrdge) and repeated in the Exempla (tab. 1). Better specimens have been photographed from the Oxford Euclid of 888 A.D. (Pal. Soc, pis. 65, 66 ; Exempla, tab. 2) and from the Oxford Plato of 895 A.D. (Pal. Soc, pi. 81; Exempla, tab. 3). Sabas (Specim. Palxograph.) has also given two facsimiles from MSS. of 880 and 899. To this list maybe added a facsimile of the Chronicles of Nicephorus in the British Museum, which falls within the 9th century (Cat. Anc MSS., i. pi. 15), and also one of the Aristotle of Milan, which may be of the 9th or early 10th century (Pal. Soc, pi. 129 ; Wattenb., Script. Gr. Specim., tab. 16). Of the year 905 is the Catena on Job at Venice (Exempla, tab. 4); and other facsimiles of MSS. of this class are taken from a MS. of the Gospels in the British Museum (Cat. Anc. MSS., i. pi. 16), the Ambrosian Plutarch (Wattenb. Script. Gr. Specim., tab. 20), and the Ambrosian MS. of the Prophets(tab. 17),the last having, among other peculiarities, an unusual method of distinguishing the sigma at the end of a word by an added dot. These few facsimiles are all that are at present available for the purpose of studying minuscule book-writing of the first class. They are, how-ever, all reproduced by photography, and serve sufficiently to show the character of writing which we are to look for in other, undated, examples of the same time.

After the middle of the 10th century we enter on the period of the codices vetusti, in which it will be seen that the writing becomes gradually less compact. The letters, so to say, open their ranks; and, from this circumstance alone, MSS. of the second half of the century may generally be distinguished from those fifty years earlier. But altera-tions also take place in the shapes of the letters. Side by side with the purely minuscule forms those of the uncial begin to reappear, the cause of which innovation has already been explained. These uncial forms first show themselves at the end of the line, the point at which most changes first gained a footing, but by degrees they work back into the text, and at length become recognized members of the minuscule characters. In the 11th and 12th centuries they are well established, and become more and more prominent by the large or stilted forms which they assume. The change, however, in the general character of the writing of this class of codices vetusti is very gradual, uniformity and evenness being well main-tained, especially in church books. Among the latter, a trilingual Psalter of the year 1153, in the British Museum (Pal. Soc, pi. 132), may be noted as an example of the older style of writing being adhered to at a comparatively late time. On the other hand, a lighter and more cursive kind of minuscule is found contemporaneously in MSS. of a secular nature. In this hand many of the classical MSS. of the 10th or 11th centuries are written, as the MS. of iEschylus and Sophocles, the Odyssey and the Apollonius Rhodius of the Laurentian Library at Florence, the Anthologia Palatina of Heidelberg and Paris, the Hippo-crates of Venice (Exempla, tabb. 32-36, 38, 40), and the Aristophanes of Ravenna (Wattenb., Script. Gr. Specim., tab. 26). In a facsimile from a Plutarch at Venice (Ex-empla, tab. 44), the scribe is seen to change from the formal to the more cursive hand. This style of writing is distin-guishable by its light and graceful character from the current writing into which the minuscule degenerated at a later time. The gradual rounding of the rectangular breathings takes place in this period. In the 11th century the smooth breathing, which would most readily lend itself to this modification, first appears in the new form. In the course of the 12th century both breathings have lost the old square shape; and about the same time contractions become more numerous, having been at first confined to the end of the line. Facsimiles from several MSS. of the codices vetusti and the following class have been published by the Palseographical Society and by Wattenbach and Von Velsen in their Exempla.

When the period of codices recentiores commences, the

Greek Minuscule (Odyssey), 13th century. (______)

Greek minuscule hand undergoes extensive changes. The contrast between MSS. of the 13th century and those of a hundred years earlier is very marked. In the later examples the hand is generally more straggling, there is a greater number of exaggerated forms of letters, and marks of contraction and accents are dashed on more freely. There is altogether a sense of greater activity and haste.

The increasing demand for books created a larger supply. Scholars now also copied MSS. for their own use, and hence greater freedom and more variety appear in the examples of this class, together with an increasing use of ligatures and contractions. The introduction of the coarse cotton paper into Constantinople in the middle of the 13th century likewise assisted to break up the formal minuscule hand. To this rough material a rougher style of writing was suited. Through the 14th and 15th centuries the decline of the set minuscule rapidly advances. In the MSS. on cotton paper the writing becomes even more involved and intricate, marks of contraction and accents are combined with the letters in a single action of the pen, and the general result is the production of a thoroughly cursive hand. On vellum, however, the change was not so rapid. Church books were still ordinarily written on that material, which, as it became scarcer in the market (owing to the injury done to the trade by the competition of cotton paper), was supplied from ancient codices which lay ready to hand on the shelves of libraries. The result was an increasing number of palimpsests. In these vellum liturgical MSS. the more formal style of the minuscule was still maintained, and even on paper church services are found to be in the same style. In the 14th century there even appears a partial Renaissance in the writing of church MSS., modelled to some extent on the lines of the writing of the 12th century. The resemblance, however, is only superficial; for no writer can entirely disguise the character of the writing of his own time. And lastly there was yet another check upon the absolute disintegration of the minuscule in the 15th century exercised by the professional scribes who worked in Italy. Here the rag-paper, which had never made its way in the East, was the only paper in use. Its smoother surface approximated more nearly to that of vellum; and the minuscule hand as written by the Greek scribes in Italy, whether on paper or vellum, re-verted again to the older style. The influence of the Renais-sance is evident in many of the productions of the Italian Greeks which were written as specimens of calligraphy and served as models for the first Greek printing types.
The Greek minuscule hand had, then, by the end of the 15th century, become a cursive hand, from which the modern current hand is directly derived. We last saw the ancient cursive in use in the documents prior to the forma-tion of the set minuscule, and no doubt it continued in use concurrently with the book-hand. But, as the latter passed through the transformations which have been traced, and gradually assumed a more current style, it may not unreasonably be supposed that it absorbed the cursive hand of the period, and with it whatever elements of the old cursive hand may have survived.

In writing a history of Latin palaeography, it will be first necessary, as with the Greek, to follow its development in two main divisions—the set book-hand and the cursive. Under the former head will be first ranged the capital, uncial, and half-uncial hands found in early MSS.; on the other side will be traced the course of Roman cursive writing in the waxen tablets and papyri. Next will be shown how this cursive hand was gradually reduced into forms of writing peculiar to different countries on the continent of Europe (reserving for separate examination the development of the Irish and English schools), and finally how, in the revival of learning under Charlemagne, the reformed Caroline minuscule became the standard on which the writing of all the Western nations was finally modelled.

Capital.—The oldest form of book-writing which we find employed in Latin MSS. is in capitals ; and of these there are two kinds—the square and the rustic. Square capitals may be defined as those which have their horizon-tal lines at right angles with the vertical strokes ; rustic letters are not less accurately formed, nor, as their title would seem to imply, are they rough in character, but, being without the exact finish of the square letters, and being more readily written, they have the appearance of greater simplicity. In capital writing the letters are not all of equal height; F and L, and in the rustic sometimes others, as B and R, overtop the rest. In the rustic the forms are generally lighter and more slender, with short horizontal strokes more or less oblique and wavy. Both styles of capital writing were obviously borrowed from the lapidary alphabets employed under the empire. But it has been observed that scribes with a natural conservatism would perpetuate a style some time longer in books than it might be used in inscriptions. We should therefore be prepared to allow for this in ascribing a date to a capital-written MS., which might resemble an inscription older by a cen-tury or more. Rustic capitals, on account of their more convenient shape, came into more general use; and the greater number of the early MSS. in capitals which have survived are consequently found to be in this character.

In the Exempla Codicum Latinorum of Zangemeister and Wattenbach are collected specimens of capital writing, which are supplemented by other facsimiles issued by the Palaeographical Society. The earliest application of the rustic hand appears in the papyrus rolls recovered from the ruins of Herculaneum (Exempla, tabb. 1-3), which must necessarily be earlier than 79 A.D. In some of these speci-mens we see the letters written with a strong dashing stroke; in others they are mixed with cursive and uncial forms. In the vellum MSS. the writing in the earliest instances is of a perfectly exact character. MSS. of this class were no doubt always regarded as choice works. The large scale of the writing and the quantity of material required to produce a volume must have raised the cost to a height which would be within reach of only the wealthy. Such are the two famous copies of Virgil in the Vatican— the Codex Romanus, adorned with paintings, and the Codex Palatinus (Exempla, tabb. 11, 12; Pal. Soc., pis. 113-115), which may be even as early as the 3d or 4th century, for in the regularity of their letters they resemble very nearly the inscriptions of the 1st and 2d century. There are no marks of punctuation by the first hand; nor are there enlarged initial letters.


Roman Rustic Capitals (Virgil), 3d or 4th century

(Testaturque déos iterum se ad proelia cogi Bis iam ítalos hostis haec altera foedera)
In a third and younger MS. of Virgil, the Schedas Vaticanas (Exempla, tab. 13; Pal. Soc., pis. 116, 117), the imitation of the lettering of inscriptions is far less appar-ent, and the writing may be said to have here settled down into a good working book hand; but, like the MSS. just noticed, this volume also was doubtless prepared for a special purpose, being adorned with well-finished paintings of classical style. In assigning dates to the earliest MSS. of capital-writing, one feels the greatest hesitation, none of them bearing any internal evidence to assist the process. It is not indeed until the close of the 5th century that we 1 reach firm ground,—the Medicean Virgil of Florence having \ in it sufficient proof of having been written before the year 494. The writing is in delicately-formed letters, rather more spaced out than in the earlier examples (Exempla, tab. 10; Pal. Soc, pi. 86). Another ancient MS. in rustic capitals is the Codex Bembinus of Terence (Exempla, tabb. 8, 9; Pal. Soc, pi. 135), a volume which is also of parti-cular interest on account of its marginal annotations, written in an early form of small hand. Among palimpsests the most notable is that of the Cicero In Verrem of the Vati-can (Exempla, tab. 4).

Of MSS. in square capitals the examples are not so early as those in the rustic character. Portions of a MS. of Virgil in the square letter are preserved in the Vatican, and other leaves of the same are at Berlin (Exempla, tab. 14). Each page, however, begins with a large coloured initial, a style of ornamentation which is never found in the very earliest MSS. The date assigned to this MS. is therefore the end of the 4th century. In very similar writ-ing, but not quite so exact, are some fragments of another MS. of Virgil in the library of St Gall, probably of a rather later time (Exempla, tab. 14a; Pal. Soc, pi. 208).

In the 6th century capital-writing enters on its period of decadence, and the examples of it become imitative. Of this period is the Paris Prudentius (Exempla, tab. 15; Pal. Soc, pis. 29, 30) in rustic letters modelled on the old pattern of early inscriptions, but with a very different result from that obtained by the early scribes. A compari-son of this volume with such MSS. as the Codex Romanus and the Codex Palatinus shows the later date of the Prudentius in its widespread writing and in certain incon-sistencies in forms. Of the 7th century is the Turin Sedulius (Exempla, tab. 16), a MS. in which uncial writing also appears—the rough and misshapen letters being evidences of the cessation of capital writing as a hand in common use. The latest imitative example of an entire MS. in rustic capitals is in the Utrecht Psalter, written in triple columns and copied, to all appearance, from an ancient example, and illustrated with pen drawings. This MS. may be assigned to the beginning of the 9th century. If there were no other internal evidence of late date in the MS., the mixture of uncial letters with the capitals would decide it. In the Psalter of St Augustine's, Canterbury, in the Cottonian Library (Pal. Soc, pi. 19; Cat. Anc. MSS., ii. pis. 12, 13), some leaves at the beginning are written in this imitative style early in the 8th century; and again it is found in the Benedictional of Bishop iEthelwold (Pal. Soc, pi. 143) of the 10th century. In the sumptu-ous MSS. of the Carlovingian school it was continually used; and it survived for such purposes as titles and colo-phons, for some centuries, usually in a degenerate form of the rustic letters.

Uncial.—Uncial writing differs from the capital in adopting certain rounded forms, as iXb 6 h CO, and in having some of its letters rising above or falling below the line. The origin of the round letters may be traced in some of the Roman cursive characters as seen in the wall inscrip-tions of Pompeii and the waxen tablets. A calligraphic development of these slighter forms resulted in the firmly-drawn letters which are seen in the early vellum MSS. The most ancient of these may without much hesitation be assigned to the 4th century, and in them the writing is so well-established that one might well believe that it had been already practised for some generations. On the other hand, a calligraphic style may be stimulated into quick development by various causes,—caprice, fashion, or even the substitution of a different writing material, as vellum for papyrus. Uncial writing lasted as an ordinary book-hand into the 8th century, when it was supplanted by the reformed small writing of the Carlovingian school; but, like the capitals, it survived for some time longer as an ornamental hand for special purposes.

The Exempla of Zangemeister and Wattenbach, so often quoted above, contains a series of facsimiles which illustrate the progress of uncial writing throughout the period of its career. The letter CO has been adopted by the editors as a test letter, in the earlier forms of which the last limb is not curved or turned in. The letter e also in its earlier and purer form has the cross stroke placed high. But, as in every style of writing, when once developed, the earliest examples are the best, being written with a free hand and natural stroke.

The Gospels of Vercelli (Exempla, tab. 20), said to have been written by the hand of Eusebius himself, and which may indeed be of his time, is one of the most ancient uncial MSS. Its narrow columns and pure forms of letters have the stamp of antiquity. To the 4th century also is assigned the palimpsest Cicero De Eepublica in the Vatican (Exempla, tab. 17; Pal. Soc., pi. 160), a MS. written in fine large characters of the best type; and a very ancient fragment of a commentary on an ante-Hieronymian text, in three columns, has also survived at Fulda (Exempla, tab. 21). Among the uncial MSS. of the 5th century of which good photographic facsimiles are available are the two famous codices of Livy, at Vienna and Paris (Exempla, tabs. 18, 19; Pal. Soc., pis. 31, 32, 183), and the Gaius of Verona (Exempla, tab. 24). The latter MS. is also of special interest, as it contains abbreviations and has cer-tain secondary forms amongst its letters. To distinguish between uncial MSS. of the 5th and 6th centuries is not easy, for the character of the writing changes but little, and there is no sign of weakness or wavering. It may, however, be noticed that in MSS. which are assigned to the latter century there is rather less compactness, and occasionally, as the century advances, there is a slight tendency to artificiality.

Latin Uncial, 5th or 6th century.
(lam tibi ilia quae igno rantia saecularis bo na opinatur ostendam)

When the 7th century is reached there is every evidence that uncial writing has entered on a new stage. The letters are more roughly and carelessly formed, and the compactness of the earlier style is altogether wanting. From this time down to the age of Charlemagne there is a continual deterioration, the writing of the 8th century being altogether misshapen. A more exact but imitative hand was, however, at the same time employed, when occasion required, for the production of calligraphic MSS., such as liturgical books. Under the encouragement given by Charlemagne to such works, splendid uncial volumes were written in ornamental style, often in gold, several of which have survived to this day (Cat. Anc. MSS., ii. pis. 39-41).

Half-Uncial.—A very interesting style of writing, and for the study of the development of the set minuscule hand of later periods a most important one, is that to which the name of half-uncial has been given. It lies between cursive and uncial, and partakes of the character of both. As early apparently as the 4th century, a set style of small writing, partly following in formation the characters found in the Roman cursive writing of the Ravenna and other documents on papyrus, and in some of its letters betraying an uncial origin, is found in glosses or marginal notes of early MSS. The limited space into which the annotations had to be compressed compelled the writer to abandon the free style of the ordinary cursive hand, and at the same time a mere reduction of capital or uncial letters would have been too tedious a process to adopt. A middle course was followed, and a neat minute hand, half-set half-current, was used,—-just as in the present day it is no uncommon practice to write a so-called printing hand for similar purposes. The earliest example of this hand appears to be in the marginal directions for the painter in the Quedlinburg fragment of an illustrated early Italic version of the Bible (see Schum in Theolog. Studien u. Kritiken, 1876). In these notes appear b, d, m, n as fully developed minuscules; r is represented by ¡I, half way between the uncial and the minuscule, and s is X. Again in the notes by the Arian bishop Maximin (Exempla, tab. 22), of the 5th century, the same style of writing appears,—with some variations, however, in individual letters, as in g and r, which come near to minuscule shapes. In the Codex Bembinus of Terence (Exempla, tab. 8) there are many glosses giving ample opportunity for studying the hand, which is here in a small and well-formed character. From this specimen, and also from the notes in the ítala of Fulda (Exempla, tab. 21), a complete alphabet of set minuscule letters may be selected, as written probably early in the 6th century. Rather later and more uncial in form are the glosses in the Medicean Virgil (Exempla, tab. 10).

This set form of small writing, then, was, as it appears from the examples quoted above and from many others (see the enumeration in Wattenbach, Einleitung zur Lat. Palaeog., p. 12), in pretty general use for the purposes of annotation; and it was but natural that it should also come to be adopted in MSS. for the text itself. The intro-duction into the text of uncial-written MSS., at an early date, of forms of letters borrowed from cursive writing is illustrated by the Verona Gaius (Exempla, tab. 24) of the 5th century, in which, besides the ordinary uncial shapes, d is also found as a minuscule, r as the transitional XI > and s as the tall letter f. Again, in the Florentine Pandects of the 6th century, one of the scribes writes a hand which contains a large admixture of minuscule forms (Exempla, tab. 54). And some fragments of a Graco-Latin glossary on papyrus, of which facsimiles have been published (Com-ment. Soc. Gottingen., iv., 1820, p. 156 ; Rhein. Museum, v., 1837, p. 301), likewise contain, as secondary forms of uncial m, r, and s : TT), fl, X _ From these few instances it is seen that in uncial MSS. of a secular nature, as in works relating to law and grammar, the scribe did not feel himself restricted to a uniform use of the larger letters, as he would be in producing a church book or calligraphic MS. The adaptation then of a set small hand, very similar to, and in some particulars identical with, the annotating hand above referred to, is not surprising. The greater conveni-ence of the small hand in comparison with the larger uncial is obvious, and the element of calligraphy which was infused into it gave it a vitality and status as a recognized book-hand. Thus we have a series of MSS., dating from the end of the 5th century, which are classed as examples of half-uncial writing, and which appear to have been written in Italy and France. The MS. of the Fasti Con-sulares, at Verona, brought down to 494 A.D. (Exempla, tab. 30), is in this hand, but the earliest MS. of this class to which a more approximate date can be given is the Hilary of St Peter's at Rome, which was written in or before the year 509 or 510 (Exempla, tab. 52 ; Pal. Soc, pi. 136); the next is the Sulpicius Severus of Verona, of 517 A.D. (Exempla, tab. 32); and of the year 569 is a beautifully-written MS. at Monte Cassino containing a

Biblical commentary (Exempla, tab. 3). Other examples, of which good facsimiles may be consulted are the Corbie MS. of Canons, at Paris (Exempla, tabb. 41, 42), and the St Severianusat Milan (Pal. Soc, pis. 161,162), of the 6th century; and the Cologne MS. of Canons (Exempla, tab. 44), and the Josephus (Pal. Soc., pi. 138) and St Ambrose (Pal. Soc., pi. 137) of Milan, of the 6th or 7th century.

Latin Half-Uncial, 509-510 A.D.
(episcopi mmum innoeente[m]— [lin]guam non ad falsiloquium coegpsti]— natiouem anterioris sententifre]—)

The influence which this style of hand had upon the minuscule book-writing of the 7th and 8th centuries may be traced in greater or less degree in the Continental MSS. of that period. It appears at a comparatively late time with much of its old form in the Berlin MS. of Gregory's Moralia (Arndt, Schriftlaf., 5), attributed to the 8th century. After the Caroline reform an ornamental kind of half-uncial, evidently copied from this hand, was used for particular purposes in minuscule MSS. (Pal. Soc, pi. 239).

Cursive.—For examples of Roman cursive writing we are able to go as far back as the 1st century of the Christian era. During the excavations at Pompeii in July 1875, there was discovered in the house of L. Cascilius Jucundus a box containing as many as one hundred and twenty-seven libelli or waxen tablets consisting of per-scriptiones and other deeds connected with sales by auction and receipts for payment of taxes (Atti della R. Accademia dei Lincei, ser. ii., vol. iii. pt. 3, 1875-76, pp. 150-230). Other waxen tablets, twenty-five in number, some bearing dates ranging from 131 to 167 A.D., were found in the ancient mining works in the neighbourhood of Alburnus Major (the modern Verespatak) in Dacia, at different times between 1786 and 1855. In 1840 Massmann published such as had at that time been discovered (Libellus aurarius) ; and the whole collection is given in the Corpus Inscr. Lat. of the Berlin Academy, vol. iii. pt. 2 (1873).

Although the waxen tablets prepared for the reception of legal instruments followed the system of the bronze diptychs on which were inscribed the privileges granted to veteran soldiers under the empire, in so far that they contained the deed witnessed and sealed, and also its duplicate " copy open to inspection, yet they differed in being generally triptychs. Wood was a cheaper material than bronze, and the third tablet gave protection to the seals. These triptychs then were libelli of three tablets of wood, cleft from one piece and fastened together, like the leaves of a book, by strings passed through two holes pierced near the edge. In the case of the Pompeian libelli one side of each tablet was sunk within a frame, and the hollowed space was coated with wax, in such a way that, of the six sides or pages, Nos. 2, 3, 5 were waxen, while 1, 4, 6 presented a wooden surface. The first and sixth sides were not used, but served as the outside of the libellus; on 2 and 3 was inscribed the deed, and on 4 the names of the witnesses were written in ink and their seals were added in a groove cut down the centre, the deed being closed against inspection by means of a string of twisted threads which passed through two holes, one at the head and the other at the foot of the groove, round the two tablets and under the wax of the seals which thus secured it. An abstract or copy of the deed was written on the fifth page. The arrangement of the Dacian libelli differed in this respect that page 4 was also waxen, and that the copy of the deed was commenced on that page in the space on the left of the groove, that on the right being reserved for the names of the witnesses. In one instance (Corp. Inscr. Lat, iii. 2, p. 938) the seals and fastening threads still remain.

In these tablets some of the writing contains more capital letters, and is not so cursive as the rest; but here it is the cursive hand which has to be considered. This writing in both the Pompeian and Dacian tablets is very similar, differing only slightly in some of the letters; and both resemble the more cursive graffiti found on the walls of Pompeii.

Roman Cursive (Graffiti), Ist Century, (censio est nam noster magna habet pecuni[am]).

Roman Cursive (Dacian Tablet), 167 A.D. (descriptum et recognitum factum ex libello— erat Albfurno] maiori ad statione Resculi in quo scri— id quod i[nfra] sfcriptum] est)

It is of particular importance to notice that, when examining the alphabet of this early Roman cursive hand, we find (as we found in the early Greek cursive) the first beginnings of minuscule writing. The slurring of the strokes, whereby the bows of the capital letters were lost and their more exact forms modified, led the way to the gradual development of the small letters, which, as will be afterwards seen, must have formed a distinct alphabet at an early time. With regard to the particular forms of letters employed in the waxen tablets, compare the tables in Corp. Inscr. Lat, vols, iii., iv. The letter A is formed by a main stroke supporting an oblique cross-stroke above it; similarly P and R, having lost their bows, and F throwing away its bar, are formed by two strokes placed in relatively the same positions but varying in their curves. The main stroke of B dwindles to a slight curve, and the two bows are transformed into a long bent stroke so that the letter takes the shape of a stilted a or of a d. The D is chiefly like the uncial &; the E is generally represented by the old form || found in inscriptions and in the Faliscan alphabet. In the modified form of G the first outline of the flat-headed g of later times appears; H, by losing half its second upright limb in the haste of writing, comes near to being the small h. In the Pompeian tablets M has the four-stroke form ||||, as in the graffiti; in the Dacian tablets it is a rustic capital, sometimes almost an uncial m. The hastily written O is formed by two strokes, almost like a. As to the general character of the writing, it is close and compressed, and has an inclination to the left. There is also much combination or linking together of letters (Corp. Inscr. Lat, iii. tab. A). These peculiarities may, in some measure, be ascribed to the material and to the confined space at the command of the writer. The same character of cursive writing has also been found on a few tiles and potsherds inscribed with

alphabets or short sentences—the exercises of children at school (Corp. Inscr. Lat., iii. p. 962).

But unfortunately material for the study of this hand fails us for some time after the period of the Dacian tablets, and whole centuries have to be passed before we find examples. At length some very interesting fragments of papyri, assigned to the 5th century, disclose the official cursive hand of the Roman chancery of that time, in which are seen the same characters, with certain differences and modifications, as are employed in the waxen tablets. They contain portions of two rescripts addressed to Egyptian officials, and are said to have been found at Phile and Elephantine. Both documents are in the same hand; and the fragments are divided between the libraries of Paris and Leyden. For a long time the writing remained undeciphered, and Champollion-Figeac, while publishing a facsimile (Chartes et MSS. sur papyrus, 1840, pi. 14), had to confess that he was unable to read it. Massmann, however, with the experience gained in his work upon the waxen tablets, succeeded without much difficulty in reading the fragment at Leyden (Libellus aurarius, p. 147), and was followed by M. de Wailly, who published the whole of the fragments (M'em. de I'Institut, xv., 1842, p. 399). Later, Mommsen and Jaffé have dealt with the text of the documents (Jahrbuch des. gem. deut. Rechts, vi., 1863, p. 398), and compared in a table the forms of the letters with those of the Dacian tablets.

Roman Cursive (Imperial Chancery), 5th century.
(portionem ipsi debitam resarciré nec ullum precatorem ex instrumento)

The characters are large, the line of writing being about three-fourths of an inch deep, and the heads and tails of the long letters are flourished; but the even slope of the strokes imparts to the writing a certain uniform and graceful appearance. As to the actual shapes of the letters, as will be seen from the reduced facsimile here given, there may be recognized in many of them only a more current form of those which have been described above. The A and R may be distinguished by noticing the different angle at which the top strokes are applied; the B, to suit the requirements of the more current style, is no longer the closed <i-shaped letter of the tablets, but is open at the bow and more nearly resembles a reversed b; the tall letters /, h, I, and long s have developed loops; O and v-shaped U are very small, and written high in the line. The letters which seem to differ essentially from those of the tablets are E, M, N. The first of these is probably explained correctly by Jaffé as a development of the earlier 11 quickly written and looped. The M and N have been compared with the minuscule forms of the Greek mu and nu, as though the latter had been adopted; but they may with better reason be explained as cursive forms of the Latin capitals M and N.
That this hand should have retained so much of the older formation of the Roman cursive is no doubt to be attributed to the fact of its being an official style of writ-ing which would conform to tradition. To find a more independent development we turn to the documents on papyrus from Ravenna, Naples, and other places in Italy which date from the 5th century and are written in a looser and more straggling hand. Examples of this hand will be found in largest numbers in Marini's work specially treating of these documents (i~ Papiri Diplomatics), and also in the publications of Mabillon (De Re Diplomatica), Champollion-Eigeac (Chartes et MSS. sw papyrus), Mass-mann (Urkunden in Neapel und Arezzo), Gloria (Paleo-grafia), as well as in Facs. of Ancient Charters in the British Museum, part iv., 1878, Nos. 45, 46, and in the Facsimiles of the Palseographical Society. The development that is found in these papyri of minuscule forms almost complete shows how great a change must have been at work during the three centuries which intervene between the date of the Dacian tablets and that of these documents; and the variety of shape which certain of them assume in combina-tion with other letters proves that the scribes were well practised in the hand.

Roman Cursive (Ravenna), 572 A.D. (huius splendedissimae urbis)

The letter a has now lost all trace of the capital; it is j the open-shaped minuscule, developed from the looped uncial (<X (x) ; the b, throwing off the loop or curve on the left which gave it the appearance of d, has developed one on the right, and appears in the form familiar in modern writing; minuscule TO, n, and u are fully formed (the last never joining a following letter, and thus always dis-tinguishable from a); p, q, and r approach to the long minuscules, and s, having acquired an incipient tag, has taken the form T" which it keeps long after.

This form of writing was widely used, and was not con-fined to legal documents. It is found in grammatical works, as in the second hand of the palimpsest MS. of Licinianus (Cat. Anc. MSS., pt. ii., pis. 1, 2) of the 6th century, and in such volumes as the Josephus of the Ambrosian Library of the 7th century (Pal. Soc, pi. 59), and in the St Avitus of the 6th century and other MSS. written in France and referred to below under the head of Merovingian writing. It is indeed only natural to suppose that this, the most convenient, because cursive, hand, should have been employed for ordinary books which were in daily use. That so few of such books should have survived is no doubt owing to the destruction of the greater number by the wear and tear to which they were subjected.


Roman writing—capital, uncial, half-uncial, and cursive —became known to the Western nations, and in different ways played the principal part in the formation of the national styles of writing. In Ireland and England it was adopted under certain restrictions. On the Continent it had a wider range ; and from it were constructed the three kinds of writing which in many characteristics closely resembled one another, and which, practised in Italy, Spain, and Frankland, are known by the names of Lombardic, Visigothic, and Merovingian. The basis of all three was the Roman cursive, as is very evident in the national charters which have survived ; and by a certain admixture of uncial and half-uncial forms with the cursive were pro-duced the set book-hands of those countries.

Lombardic.—In Italy the cursive hand of the Ravenna documents, which have been already referred to, continued in use and became more and more intricate and difficult to read. Facsimiles have been reproduced from Milanese documents of the 8th and 9th century (Sickel, Monumenta Graphica, fasc. 1), the earlier examples, down to the middle of the 9th century, being in the large straggling character of their prototypes (see also Cod. Dipl. Cavensis, vol. i.; and Silvestre, i., pi. 137). The illegible scrawl into which this hand finally degenerated in notarial instruments of southern Italy was at length suppressed by order of Frederick II. (1210-50 A.D.). But at La Cava and Monte Cassino was especially cultivated the Lombardic hand, properly so called. There is much resemblance between this hand in its earlier stages and that which appears in certain MSS. written in France at the same period. Both starting from the same basis, it is not surprising that a likeness should be maintained for some time. Hence there is often no small difficulty in deciding whether a particular MS. is to be classed as Lombardic or Merovingian. If all MSS. written in the Merovingian kingdom are to be styled Merovingian, there are different styles which must be included under that title. A form of Frankish writing which is marked by a certain solidity and evenness, and thus more nearly resembles the Lombardic writing of Italy, is often classed with the latter. The Lombardic book-hand as written in Italy is seen in facsimile in Exempla Codd. Lat. (tabb. 29, 30), Silvestre (pi. 136), Pal. Soc. (pi. 92). As developed in the southern monasteries referred to above, it took, in the 9th century, a very exact and uniform shape, as seen in the Bible of La Cava (Silv., pi. 141). From this date the attention which it received as a calligraphic form of writing, accompanied with accessory ornamentation of initial letters, brought it to a high state of perfection in the 11th century, when by the peculiar treatment of the letters, they assume that strong contrast of light and heavy strokes which when exaggerated, as it finally became, received the name of broken Lombardic.

Broken Lombardic Writing, 12th century.
([H]ec nox est de qua scriptum est Et nox ut dies illuminabitur)

This style of hand lasted to the 13th century. The fullest collection of examples is to be found in facsimile in the Bibliotheca Casinensis (1873, &c). For other specimens see Silvestre, pis. 142-146, 150; Arndt, Schrifttaf., 7, 32; Pal. Soc, pi. 146.

Papal Documents.—A form of writing practised in Italy, but standing apart, is that found in papal documents. It has been erroneously named littera Beneventana. Speci-mens exist dating from the latter part of the 8th century. In the earliest examples it appears on a large scale, and has rounded forms and sweeping strokes of a very bold character. Derived from the official Roman hand, it has certain letters peculiar to itself, such as the letter a made almost like a Greek <a, t in the form of a loop, and e as a circle with a knot at the top.
This hand may be followed in examples from 788 A.D. through the 9th century (Faes. de Charles et Diplomes, 1866; Gloria, Palxog., tab. 22; Ch. Figeac, Charles et doc sur Papyrus, i.-xii.; Letronne, Diplom. Merov. Mtat., pi. 48 ; Silvestre, pis. 138, 139). In a bull of Silvester II., dated in 999 (Bibl. de VEc des Chartes, vol. xxxvii.), we find the hand becoming less round; and at the end of the next century, under Urban II., in 1097 (Mabillon, De Re Dipl., suppl., p. 115) and 1098 (Sickel, Mon. Graph., v. 4), it is in a curious angular style, which, however, then disappears. During the 11th and 12th centuries the imperial chancery hand was also used for napal documents, and was in turn displaced by the exact and calligraphic papal Italian hand of the later Middle Ages. The later invention of the 16th century, the so-called littera Sancti Petri, which seems to have been written to baffle the uninitiated, need only be referred to.


Bull of Pope John VIII. (much reduced), 876 A.D.
(Dei genetricis mariae filib—
haec igitur omnia quae huius praecepti)

Visigothic—The Visigothic writing of Spain ran a course of development not unlike that of the other national hands; and a series of photographic facsimiles lately published (Exempla Scripturae Visigoticae, 1883) enables us to mark the different periods of change. In the cursive hand attributed to the 7th century (Ex., 2, 3), the Roman cursive has undergone little change in form ; but another century developed a most distinctive character (Ex., 4, 5). In the 8th century appears the set book-hand in an even and not difficult character, marked by breadth of style and a good firm stroke. This style is maintained through the 9 th century with little change, except that there is a growing tendency to calligraphy. In the 10th century the writing deteriorates; the letters are not so uniform, and, when calligraphically written, are generally thinner in stroke. The same changes which are discernible in all the hand-writings of western Europe in the 11th century are also to be traced in the Visigothic hand,—particularly as regards the rather rigid character which it assumes. It continued in use down to the beginning of the 12th century. Perhaps the most characteristic letter of the book-hand is the ^-shaped g. The following specimens illustrate the Visigothic as written in a large heavy hand of the 9th century (Cat. Anc. MSS., ii., pi. 37), and in a calligraphic example of 1109 (Pal. Soc, pi. 48).

Visigothic Minuscules, 9th century.
(tibi dulcedine proxi
niorum et dignita
te operum perfectorum)

{jU^flnlcriX^&OTTWhrriu Jdflbfifit fju ljLLbuirr'ufcjuft|uo jVuctriTr^j)L^t3rua>
Visigothic Minuscules, 1109 A.D.
(patrum et profefeirum et sanctorum et aposfolorewft qu| gemitibus et tormenta desiderii sui habuit usquequo fructura. ex plebe sua)

Merovingian.—The writing of the Frankish empire, to which the title of Merovingian has been applied, had a wider range than the other national hands. It had a long career both for diplomatic and literary purposes. In this writing, as it appears in documents, we see that the Roman cursive is subjected to a lateral pressure, so that the letters received a curiously cramped appearance, while the heads and tails are exaggerated to inordinate length.

Merovingian Cursive, 679-680 A.D.
(dedit in respunsis eo quod ipsa— de annus triginta et uno inter ipso— —ondam semper tenuerant et possiderant si—)

Facsimiles of this hand, as used in the royal and imperial chanceries, are to be found scattered in various works; but a complete course of Merovingian diplomatic writing may be best studied in Letronne's Diplomata, and in the Kaiserurhunden of Profs. Sybel and Sickel now in course of publication. In the earliest documents, com-mencing in the 7th century and continuing to the middle of the 8th century, the character is large and at first not so intricate as it becomes later in this period. The writing then grows into a more regular form, and in the 9th century a small hand is established, which, however, still retains the exaggerated heads and tails of letters. The direct course of this chancery hand may then be followed in the imperial documents, which from the second half of the 9th century are written in a hand more set and evidently influenced by the Caroline minuscule. This form of writing, still accompanied by the lengthened strokes already referred to, continued in force, subject, however, to the varying changes which affected it in common with other hands, into the 12th century. Its influence was felt as well in France as in Germany and Italy; and certain of its characteristics also appear in the court-hand which the Normans brought with them into England.

The book-hand immediately derived from the early Merovingian diplomatic hand is seen in MSS. of the 7th and 8th centuries in a very neatly written but not very easy hand (Cat. Anc. MSS., ii., pis. 29, 30; Arndt, Schrifttaf., 28).

Merovingian Writing, 7th century.
(—dam intra sinum sanct&e eclesiae quasi uicinos ad—
positos increpant. Saepe uero arrogantes— —dem quam tenent arrogantiam se fugire osten—)

But other varieties of the literary hand as written in France are seen to be more closely allied to the Roman cursive. The earliest example is found in the papyrus fragments of writings of St Avitus and St Augustine, of the 6th century (Etudes paleogr. sur des Papyrus du VI"" Steele, Geneva, 1866); and other later MSS. by their diversity of writing show a development independent of the cursive hand of the Merovingian charters. It is among these MSS. that those examples already referred to occur which more nearly resemble the Lombardic type.

Franco-Lombardic Writing, 8th century.
(propter unitatem salua propriaetate na— non sub una substantia conueuientes, neque— —itam sed unum eundem filium. Unicum dewm)

The uncial and half-uncial hands had also their influence in the evolution of these Merovingian book-hands ; and the mixture of so many different forms accounts for the variety to be found in the examples of the 7th and 8th centuries. In the Notice sur un MS. Mérovingien d'Eugyppus (1875) and the Notice sur un MS. Méro-vingien de la Bibl. d'Epinal (1878), Delisle has given many valuable facsimiles in illustration of the different hands in these two MSS. of the early part of the 8th century. See also Exempla Codd. Lot. (tab. 57), and autotypes in Cat. Anc. MSS. ii. There was, however, through all this period a general progress towards a settled minuscule writing which only required a master-hand to fix it in a calligraphic form.

Irish Writing.—The early history of the palaeography of the British Isles stands apart from that of the Con-tinental schools. It is evident that the civilization and learning which accompanied the establishment of an ancient church in Ireland could not exist without a written litera-ture. The Roman missionaries would certainly in the first place have imported copies of the Gospels and other books, and it cannot be doubted that through intercourse with England the Irish would obtain Continental MSS. in sufficient numbers to serve as models for their scribes. From geographical and political conditions, however, no continuous intimacy with foreign countries was possible ; and we are consequently prepared to find a form of writing borrowed in the first instance from a foreign school, but developed under an independent national system.

In Ireland we have an instance how conservative writing may become, and how it will hand on old forms of letters from one generation to another when there is no exterior influence to act upon it. After once obtaining its models, the Irish school of writing was left to work out its own ideas, and continued to follow one direct line for centuries. The English conquest had no effect upon the national hand-writing. _ Both peoples pursued their own course. In MSS. in the Irish language the Irish character of writing was naturally employed ; and the liturgical books produced in Irish monasteries by Irish monks were written in the same way. The grants and other deeds of the English settlers were, on the other hand, drawn up by English scribes in their national writing. The Irish handwriting, then, went on in its even uninterrupted course ; and its consequent unchanging form makes it so difficult a matter to assign dates to Irish MSS. A stereotyped form of letters is transmitted for so long that there is more risk of giving an early date to a late Irish MS., when written with care, than to one written, under similar conditions, in the English or Continental schools. And nowhere is it more necessary to look for the changes, slight though they be, which may indicate an advance.

The early Irish handwriting is of two classes—the round and the pointed. The round hand is found in the earliest examples ; the pointed hand, which also was developed at an early period, became the general hand of the country, and survives in the native writing of the present day. Of the earliest surviving MSS. written in Ireland none are found to be in pure uncial letters. That uncial MSS. were introduced into the country by the early missionaries can hardly be doubted, if we consider that that character was so commonly employed as a book-hand, and especially for sacred texts. Nor is it impossible that Irish scribes may have practised this hand. The copy of the Gospels in uncials, found in the tomb of St Kilian, and preserved at Wtirzburg, has been quoted as an instance of Irish uncial. The writing, however, is the ordinary uncial, and bears no marks of Irish nationality (Exempla, tab. 58). The most ancient examples are in half-uncial letters, so similar in character to the half-uncial MSS. of Italy and France, noticed above, that there can be no hesitation in deriving the Irish from the Roman writing. We have only to compare the Irish MSS. of the round type with the Continental MSS. to be convinced of the identity of their styles of writing. There are unfortu-nately no means of ascertaining the exact period when this style of hand was first adopted in Ireland. Among the very earliest surviving examples none bears a fixed date; and it is impossible to accept the traditional ascription of certain of them to particular saints of Ireland, as St Patrick and St Columba. Such traditions are notoriously unstable ground upon which to take up a position. But an examination of certain examples will enable the palaeo-grapher to arrive at certain conclusions. In Trinity College, Dublin, is preserved a fragmentary copy of the Gospels (Wat. MSS. Ireland, L, pi. ii.) vaguely assigned to a period from the 5 th to the 7th century, and written in a round half-uncial hand closely resembling the Continental hand, but bearing the general impress of its Irish origin. This MS. may perhaps be of the early part of the 7th century.

Stffc ¿6» p 11 c?M tt^OU h t Cll i ¿3 tTI i&U tV)
Irish Half-uncial Writing, 7th century.
(ad ille deintus respondens [dicit, Nojli mihi molestus esse, iam osti[um clausum] est et pueri in cubiculo mecum [sunt])

Again, the Psalter (Nat. MSS. Ireland, i., pis. iii., iv.) traditionally ascribed to St Columba (ob. 597), and perhaps of the 7th century, is a calligraphic specimen of the same kind of writing. The earliest examples of the Continental half-uncial date back, as has been seen above, to the end of the 5th or beginning of the 6th century. Now the likeness between the earliest foreign and Irish MSS. forbids us to assume anything like collateral descent from a common and remote stock. Two different national hands, although derived from the same source, would not independently develop in the same way, and it may accordingly be granted that the point of contact, or the period at which the Irish scribes copied and adopted the Roman half-uncial, was not very long, comparatively, before the date of the now earliest surviving examples. This would take us back at least to the 6th century, in which period there is sufficient evidence of literary activity in Ireland. The beautiful Irish calligraphy, ornamented with designs of marvellous intricacy and brilliant colouring, which is seen in full vigour at the end of the 7th century, indicates no small amount of labour bestowed upon the cultivation of writing as an ornamental art. It is indeed surprising that such excellence was so quickly developed. The Book of Kells has been justly acknowledged as the culminating example of Irish calligraphy (Nat. MSS. Irel., i., pis. vii.-xvii.; Pa/./Soc, pis. 55, 56). The text is written in the large solid half-uncial hand which is again seen in the Gospels of St Chad at Lichfield (Pal. Soc., pis. 20, 21, 35), and, in a smaller form, in the English-written Lindisfarne Gospels (see below). Having arrived at the calligraphic excellence just referred to, the round hand appears to have been soon afterwards superseded, for gene-ral use, by the pointed ; for the character of the large half-uncial writing of the Gospels of MacRegol, of about the year 800 (Nat. MSS. Irel., i., pis. xxii.-xxiv.; Pal. Soc., pis. 90, 91), shows a very great deterioration from the vigorous writing of the Book of Kells, indicative of want of practice.

Traces of the existence of the pointed hand are early. It is found in a fully developed stage in the Book of Kells itself (Pal. Soc, pi. 88). This form of writing, which may be termed the cursive hand of Ireland, differs in its origin from the national cursive hands of the Continent. In the latter the old Roman cursive has been shown to be the foundation. The Irish pointed hand, on the contrary, had nothing to do with the Roman cursive, but was simply a modification of the round hand, using the same forms of letters, but subjecting them to a lateral compression and drawing their limbs into points or hair-lines. As this process is found developed in the Book of Kells, its beginning may be fairly assigned to as early a time as the first half of the 7th century; but for positive date there is the same uncertainty as in regard to the first beginning of the round hand. The Book of Dimma (Nat. MSS. Irel., i., pis. xviii., xix.) has been attributed to a scribe of about 650 A.D. ; but it appears rather to be of the 8th century, if we may judge by the analogy of English MSS. written in a similar hand. It is not in fact until we reach the period of the Book of Armagh (Nat. MSS. Irel., pis. xxv.-xxix.), a MS. containing books of the New Testament and other matter, and written by Ferdomnach, a scribe who died in the year 844, that we are on safe ground. Here is clearly a pointed hand of the early part of the 9th century, very similar to the English pointed hand of Mercian charters of the same time. The MS. of the Gospels of MacDurnan, in the Lambeth Library (Nat. MSS. Irel., i., pis. xxx., xxxi.) is an example of writing of the end of the 9th or beginning of the 10th century, showing a tendency to become more narrow and cramped. But coming down to the MS. of the 11th or 12th centuries we find a change. The pointed hand by this time has become moulded into the angular and stereotyped form peculiar to Irish MSS. of the later Middle Ages. From the 12th to the 15th centuries there is a very gradual change. Indeed, a carefully written MS. of late date may very well pass for an example older by a century or more. Later forms must be detected among the fairly written characters. A book of hymns of the 11th or 12th century (Nat. MSS. Irel., i., pis. xxxii.-xxxvi.) may be referred to as a good typical specimen of the Irish hand of that period; and the Gospels of Maelbrighte, of 1138 A.D. (Nat. MSS. Irel., i., pis. xl.-xlii.; Pal. Soc, pi. 212), as a calligraphic one.

In Irish MSS. of the later period, the ink.is black, and the vellum, as a general rule, is coarse and discoloured, a defect which may be attributed to inexperience in the art of preparing the skins and to the effects of climate.

When a school of writing attained to the perfection which marked that of Ireland at an early date, so far in advance of other countries, it naturally followed that its influence should be felt beyond its own borders. How the influence of the Irish school asserted itself in England will be presently discussed. But on the Continent also Irish monks carried their civilizing power into different countries, and continued their native style of writing in the monas-teries which they founded. At such centres as Luxeuil in

France, Wurzburg in Germany, St Gall in Switzerland, and Bobbio in Italy, they were as busy in the production of MSS. as they had been at home. At first such MSS. were no doubt as distinctly Irish in their character as if written in Ireland itself; but, after a time, as the bonds of connexion with that country were weakened, the form of writing would become rather traditional, and lose the elasticity of a native hand. As the national styles also •which were practised around them became more perfected, the writing of the Irish houses would in turn be reacted on; and it is thus that the later MSS. produced in those houses can be distinguished. Archaic forms are tradition-ally retained, but the spirit of the hand dies and the writing becomes merely imitative.

English Writing.-—In England there were two sources whence a national hand could be derived. From St Columba's foundation in Iona the Irish monks established monasteries in the northern parts of Britain; and in the year 635 the Irish missionary Aidan founded the see of Lindisfarne or Holy Isle, where there was established a school of writing destined to become famous. In the south of England the Roman missionaries had also brought into the country their own style of writing direct from Rome, and taught it in the newly founded monasteries. But their writing never became a national hand. Such a MS. as the Canterbury Psalter in the Cottonian Library (Pal. Soc, pi. 18) shows what could be done by English scribes in imitation of Roman uncials ; and the existence of so few early charters in the same letters (Facs. of Anc. Charters, pt. i., Nos. 1, 2, 7), among the large number which have survived, goes to prove how limited was the influence of that form of writing. On the other hand, the Irish style made progress throughout England, and was adopted as the national hand, developing in course of time certain local peculiarities, and lasting as a distinct form of writing down to the time of the Norman Conquest. But, while English scribes at first copied freir Irish models with faithful exactness, they soon learned to give to their writing the stamp of a national character, and imparted to it the elegance and strength which individualized the English hand for many centuries to come.

As in Ireland so here we have to follow the course of the round hand as distinct from the pointed character. The earliest and most beautiful MS. of the former class is the Lindisfarne Gospels or " Durham Book" in the Cottonian Library (Pal. Soc., pis. 3-6, 22; Cat. Anc. MSS., pt. ii., pis. 8-11), said, to have been written by Eadfrith, bishop of Lindisfarne, about the year 700. The text is in very exactly formed half-uncials, differing but slightly from the same characters in Irish MSS., and is glossed in the Northumbrian dialect by Aldred, a writer of the 10 th century.

fcppGQ TTiTces Quoin con ipsi posiDe6uiit7~
Lindisfarne Gospels, circ. 700 A.D.
(regnum caelorum. Beati mites quoniam ipsi posidebunt.
rie heofna eadge bicfon 3a milde forcton 3a agnegad.)

MSS. in the same solid half-uncial hand are still to be seen in the Chapter Library of Durham, this style of writing having been practised more especially in the north of England. But in addition to this calligraphic book-writing, there was also a lighter form of the round letters which was used for less sumptuous MSS. or for more ordinary occasions. Specimens of this hand are found in the Durham Cassiodorus (Pal. Soc, pi. 164), in the Canterbury Gospels (Pal. Soc, pi. 7 ; Cat. Anc MSS., pt. ii., pis. 17, 18), the Epinal Glossary (E. Eng. Text. Soc), and in a few charters (Facs. Anc. Charters, pt. i., 15; ii., 2, 3; Pal. Soc, 10), one of which, of 778 A.D., written in Wessex, is interesting as showing the extension of the round hand to the southern parts of England. The examples here enumerated are of the 8th and 9th centuries,—the earlier ones being written in a free natural hand, and those of later date bearing evidence of decadence. Indeed the round hand was being rapidly displaced by the more con-venient pointed hand, which was in full use in England in the middle of the 8th century. How late, however, the more calligraphic round hand could be continued under favouring circumstances is seen in the Liber Vitas or list of benefactors of Durham (Cat. Anc MSS., pt. ii., pi. 25; Pal. Soc, pi. 238), the writing of which would, from its beautiful execution, be taken for that of the 8th century, did not internal evidence prove it to be of about the year 840.

The pointed hand ran its course through the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries, until English writing came under the influence of the foreign minuscule. The leading character-istics of this hand in the 8th century are regularity and breadth in the formation of the letters and a calligraphic contrast of heavy and light strokes—the hand being then at its best. In the 9th century there is greater lateral compression, although regularity and correct formation are maintained. But in the 10th century there are signs of decadence. New forms are introduced, and there is a disposition to be imitative. A test letter of this latter century is found in the letter a with obliquely cut top, CL _

The course of the progressive changes in the pointed hand may be followed in the Facsimiles of Ancient Charters in the British Museum and in the Facsimiles of Anglo-Saxon MSS. of the Rolls Series. The charters reproduced in these works have survived in sufficient numbers to enable us not only to form a fairly accurate knowledge of the criteria of their age, but also to recognize local peculiarities of writing. The Mercian scribes appear to have been very excellent penmen, writing a very graceful hand with much delicate play in the strokes. On the other hand the writing of Wessex was heavier and more straggling, and is in such strong contrast to the Mercian hand that its examples may be easily detected with a little practice. Turning to books in which the pointed hand was employed, a very beautiful specimen, of the 8th century, is a copy of Bede's Ecclesiastical History in the University Library at Cambridge (Pal. Soc, pis. 139, 140), which has in a marked degree that breadth of style which has been referred to. Not much later is another copy of the same work in the Cottonian Library (Pal. Soc, pi. 141; Cat. Anc. MSS., pt. ii., pi. 19), from which the following facsimile is taken.

-aij-smx^porfcCD Rehear

English Pointed Minuscules, 8th century.
(tus sui tempora gerebat.
TJir uenerabilis oidiluuald, qui multis
annis in monasterio qwd dicitur Inhry )

For an example of the beginning of the 9th century, a MS. of miscellanea, of 811-814 A.D., also in the Cottonian Library, may be referred to (Pal. Soc, pi. 165; Cat. Anc. MSS., pt. ii., pi. 24); and a very interesting MS. written in the Wessex style is the Digby MS. 63 of the middle of the century (Pal. Soc., pi. 168). As seen in the charters, the pointed writing of the 10th century assumes generally a larger size, and is rather more artificial and calligraphic. A very beautiful example of the book-hand of this period is found in the volume known as the Durham Eitual (Pal. Soc, pi. 240), which, owing to the care bestowed on the writing and the archaism of the style, might at first sight pass for a MS. of higher antiquity, were not the character-istics of its period evident in the angularity of certain letters.

In the latter part_ of the 10th century the foreign set minuscule hand began to make its way into England, consequent on increased intercourse with the Continent and political changes which followed. In the charters we find the foreign and native hands on the same page:—the body of the document, in Latin, in Caroline minuscules; the boundaries of the land conveyed, in the English hand. The same practice was followed in books. The charter (in book form) of King Eadgar to New Minster, Winchester, 966 A.D. (Pal. Soc, pis. 46, 47), the Benedictional of Bishop iEthelwold of Winchester (pis. 142, 144) before 984 A.D., and the MS. of the Office of the Cross, 1012-20 A.D. (pi. 60), also written in Winchester, are all examples of the use of the foreign minuscule for Latin. The change also which the national hand underwent at this period may certainly be attributed to this foreign influence. The pointed hand, strictly so-called, is replaced by a rounder or rather square character, with lengthened strokes above and below the line.

truxncm kepcej-firp mct^cv. jzeajio j^teartDa^e-^jllib orrpoLc jrefte t ej4ftgen cer|^e-."|[nj-pirai |U)jiL?c- cmytel jtope purrmrm pjt£jturroai<
English Minuscules, 11th century.
(manan he wses his mEega. sceard freonda ge fylled on folcstede heslsegen set s^cge. and his sunu forlset. on weelstowe wundum forgrunden.)

This style of writing becomes the ordinary English hand down to the time of the Norman Conquest. That event extinguished the national hand for official purposes—it disappears from charters ; and the already established use of the Caroline minuscule in Latin MSS. completed its exclusion as the handwriting of the learned. It cannot, however, be doubted that it still lingered in those parts of the country where foreign influence did not at once pene-trate, and that Englishmen still continued to write their own language in their own style of writing. But that the earlier distinctive national hand was soon overpowered by foreign teaching is evident in English MSS. of the 12th century, the writing of which is of the foreign type, although the English letter thorn, b, survived and continued in use down to the 15th century, when it was transformed to y.

The Caroline Reform.—The revival of learning under Charlemagne naturally led to a reform in handwriting. An ordinance of the year 789 required the revision of church books; and a more correct orthography and style of writing was the consequence. The abbey of St Martin of Tours was the principal centre from whence the reforma-tion of the book-hand spread. Here, from the year 796 to 804, Alcuin of York presided as abbot; and it was under his direction that the Caroline minuscule writing took the simple and graceful form which was gradually adopted to the exclusion of all other hands. In carrying out this reformation we may well assume that Alcuin brought to bear the results of the training which he had received in his youth, in the English school of writing, which had attained to such proficiency, and that he was also benefici-ally influenced by the fine examples of the Lombard school which he had seen in Italy. In the new Caroline minus-cule all the uncouthness of the later Merovingian hand disappears, and the simpler forms of many of the letters found in the old Roman minuscule hand are adopted. The character of Caroline writing through the 9th and early part of the 10th century is one of general uniformity, with a contrast of light and heavy strokes, the limbs of tall letters being clubbed or thickened at the head by pressure on the pen. As to characteristic letters—the a, following the old type, is, in the 9th century, still fre-quently open, in the form of u; the bows of g are open, the letter somewhat resembling the numeral 3; and there is no turning of the ends of letters, as m and n.

Xcotper~e;maj~iocm conui^cm ruomi C|u.Ocl

Juurc&m^Lium C~c:nacAl>\Cnorncncxuf^iVtm
Caroline Minuscules, 9th century, (accipere mariam coniugem tuam quod enim ex ea naseetur de spiro'iu scmcfo est. Pariet autem filium et uocabis nomen eius Iemm)

In the 10th century the clubbing of the tall letters becomes less pronounced, and the writing generally assumes, so to say, a thinner appearance. But a great change is notice-able in the writing of the 11th century. By this time the Caroline minuscule may be said to have put off its archaic form and to develop into the more modern character of small letter. It takes a more finished and accurate and more upright form, the individual letters being drawn with much exactness, and generally on a rather larger scale than before. This style continues to improve, and is reduced to a still more exact form of calligraphy in the 12th century, which for absolute beauty of writing is unsur-passed. In England especially, the writing of this century is particularly fine.

oM daruttiultf fuitadtatt firmer

English Minuscules, 12th century.
(—culos cum aruinulis suis adoleuit super altare uitulum cum pelle et carnibus et fimo cremarcs extra castra sicut preceperat dominus)

As, however, the demand for written works increased, the fine round hand of the 12th century could not be maintained. Economy of material became necessary, and a smaller hand with more frequent contractions was the result. The larger and more distinct writing of the 11th and 12th centuries is now replaced by a more cramped though still distinct hand, in which the letters are more linked together by connecting strokes, and are more later-ally compressed. This style of writing is characteristic of the 13th century. But, while the book-hand of this period is a great advance upon that of a hundred years earlier, there is no tendency to a cursive style. Every letter is clearly formed, and generally on the old shapes. The particular letters which show weakness are those made of a succession of vertical strokes, as m, n, u. The new method of connecting these strokes, by turning the ends and running on, made the distinction of such letters difficult, as, for example, in the word minimi. The ambiguity thus arising was partly obviated by the use of a small oblique stroke over the letter i, which, to mark the double letter, had been introduced as early as the 11th century. The dot on the letter came into fashion in the 14th century.

Minuscule Writing, 13th century.
{Eligite hodie quod placet cui seruire potissimum
debeatis. Utrum diis quibws seruierani paires uesfri in
mesopotamia, an diis amoreorawt in quorum terra
ha&itatis. Ego wAem et domus mea seniiemus domino. Respore-
ditque popwlus et ait, Absit a nobis ut relinqaaniws domimcm)

In MSS. of the 14th century minuscule writing becomes slacker, and the consistency of formation of letters falters. There is a tendency to write more cursively and without raising the pen, as may be seen in the form of the letter a, of which the characteristic shape at this time is 8., with both bows closed, in contrast with the earlier a. In this century, however, the hand still remains fairly stiff and upright. In the 15th century it becomes very angular and more and more cursive, but is at first kept within bounds. In the course of the century, however, it grows more slack and deformed, and the letters become continu-ally more cursive and misshapen. An exception, however, to this disintegration of minuscule writing in the later centuries is to be observed in church books. In these the old set hand of the 12th and 13th centuries was imitated and continued to be the liturgical style of writing.

It is impossible to describe within limited space, and without the aid of illustrations, all the varieties of hand-writing which were developed in the different countries of western Europe, where the Caroline minuscule was finally adopted to the exclusion of the earlier national hands. In each country, however, it acquired, in a greater or less de-gree, an individual national stamp which can generally be recognized and which serves to distinguish MSS. written in different localities. A broad line of distinction may be drawn between the writing of northern and southern Europe from the 12th to the 15th century. In the earlier part of this period the MSS. of England, northern France, and the Netherlands are closely connected. Indeed, in the 12th and 13th centuries it is not always easy to decide as to which of the three countries a particular MS. may belong. As a rule, perhaps, English MSS. are written with more sense of gracefulness; those of the Netherlands in darker ink. From the latter part of the 13th century, however, national character begins to assert itself more distinctly. In southern Europe the influence of the Italian school of writing is manifest in the MSS. of the south of France in the 13th and 14 th centuries, and also, though later, in those of Spain. That elegant roundness of letter which the Italian scribes seem to have inherited from the bold characters of the early papal chancery, and more recently from Lombardic models, was generally adopted in the book-hand of those districts. It is especially notice-able in calligraphic specimens, as in church books,—the writing of Spanish MSS. in this style being distinguishable by the blackness of the ink. The mediaeval minuscule writing of Germany stands apart. It never attained to the beauty of the hands of either the north or the south which have been just noticed; and from its ruggedness and slow development German MSS. have the appearance of being older than they really are. The writing has also very commonly a certain slope in the letters which com-pares unfavourably with the upright and elegant hands of other countries. In western Europe generally the minus-cule hand thus nationalized ran its course down to the time of the invention of printing, when the so-called black letter, or set hand of the 15th century in Germany and other countries, furnished models for the types. But in Italy, with the revival of learning, a more refined taste set in in the production of MSS., and scribes went back to an earlier time in search of a better standard of writing. Hence, in the first quarter of the 15th century, MSS. written on the lines of the Italian hand of the early 12th century begin to appear, and become continually more numerous. This revived hand was brought to perfection soon after the middle of the century, just at the right moment to be adopted by the early Italian printers, and to be perpetuated by them in their types.

It must also not be forgotten that by the side of the book-hand of the later Middle Ages there was the cursive hand of every day use. This is represented in abundance in the large mass of charters and legal or domestic docu-ments which remains. Some notice has already been taken of the development of the national cursive hands in the earliest times. From the 12th century downwards these hands settled into well-defined and distinct styles peculiar to different countries, and passed through syste-matic changes which can be recognized as characteristic of particular periods. But, while the cursive hand thus followed out its own course, it was still subject to the same laws of change which governed the book-hand; and the letters of the two styles did not differ at any period in their organic formation. Confining our attention to the charter hand, or court hand, practised in England, a few specimens may be taken to show the principal changes which it developed. In the 12th century the official hand which had been introduced after the Norman Conquest is characterized by exaggeration in the strokes above and below the line, a legacy of the old Eoman cursive, as already noted. There is also a tendency to form the tops of tall vertical strokes, as in b, h, I, with a notch or cleft. The letters are well made and vigorous, though often rugged.

Charter of Stephen, 1136-39 A.D.
(et ministra et omnibus iìdelious suis Francis et
Regine uxoris mee et Eustachii fllii
mei dedi et concessi ecclesie Beate Marie)

As the century advances, the long limbs are brought into better proportion; and early in the 13th century a very delicate fine-stroked hand comes into use, the cleaving of the tops being now a regular system, and the branches formed by the cleft falling in a curve on either side. This style remains the writing of the reigns of John and Henry III.

e*vJ|\6 ^Awirk _&_ _^_

Charter of Henry III., 1259 A.D.
(uniuersis presentes litteras inspecturis salitóem. Noueritis q«od— —ford et Essexie et Constabularium Anglie et WilleZuium de Fortibitó —ad iurandum in animam nostam in presencia nostra de pace)

Towards the latter part of the 13th century the letters grow rounder; there is generally more contrast of light and heavy strokes; and the cleft tops begin, as it were, to shed the branch on the left.


(S£>&£. 9 CxmaaxxxuS aUcjuanSb xcriu£ytnr cr c^iSm Q&aiff <&>
Charter of Edward I., 1303 A.D.
(More cum rjertmentiis in mora que vocatwr Inkelesmore continentem —se in longitudine per medium more illius ab uno eapite— Abbas et Conuentus aliquando tenuerujit et quam prefatus Co—)

In the 14th century the changes thus introduced make further progress, and the round letters and single-branched vertical strokes become normal through the first half of the century. Then, however, the regular formation begins to give way and angularity sets in. Thus in the reign of Richard II. we have a hand presenting a mixture of round and angular elements—the letters retain their breadth but lose their curves. Hence, by further decadence, results the angular hand of the 15th century, at first compact, but afterwards straggling and ill-formed.

<§»t«9|jW<r *M$&V8 £0W <s(fat\S

English Charter, 1457 A.D.
(and fully to be endid, payinge yerely the seid—_ successours in hand halfe yere afore that is— next suyinge xxiij. s.iiij. d. by evene porciouras.)

Palimpsests. —A class of MSS. must be briefly noticed which, on account of the valuable texts which many of them have yielded, have a particular interest. These are the palimpsests. The custom of removing writing from the surface of the material on which it was inscribed, and thus preparing that surface for the reception of another text, has been practised from early times. The term palim-psest is used by Catullus, apparently with reference to papyrus ; by Cicero, in a passage wherein he is evidently speaking of waxen tablets; and by Plutarch, when he narrates that Plato compared Dionysius to a _____ _____ that his tyrant nature, being _____, showed itself like the imperfectly erased writing of a palimpsest MS. In this passage, reference is clearly made to the washing off of writing from papyrus. The word _____ can only in its first use have been applied to MSS. which were actually scraped or rubbed, and which were, therefore, composed of a material of sufficient strength to bear the process. In the first instance, then, it might be applied to waxen tablets ; secondly, to vellum books. There are still to be seen, among the surviving waxen tablets, some which contain traces of an earlier writing under a fresh layer of wax. Papyrus could not be scraped or rubbed; the writing was washed from it with the sponge. This, however, could not be so thoroughly done as to leave a perfectly clean sur-face, and the material was accordingly only used a second time for documents of an ephemeral or common nature. To apply, therefore, the title of palimpsest to a MS. of this substance was not strictly correct; the fact that it was so applied proves that the term was in common use.

In the early period of palimpsests, vellum MSS. were also washed. The ink of the earlier centuries was easily removed with the sponge, and at the moment when this was done it may be sup-posed that the pages presented a clean surface. In course of time, however, by atmospheric action or other chemical causes, the ori-ginal writing would to some extent reappear ; and it is thus that so many of the capital and uncial palimpsests have been successfully deciphered. In the later Middle Ages the knife was used ; the surface of the vellum was scraped away and the writing with it. The reading of the later examples is therefore very difficult or alto-gether impossible. Besides actual rasure, various recipes for effacing the writing have been found,—such as, to soften the surface with milk and meal, and then to rub with pumice. In the case of such a process being used, total obliteration must almost inevitably have been the result. To intensify the traces of the original writ-ing, when such exist, various chemical reagents have been tried with more or less success. The old method of smearing the vellum with tincture of gall restored the writing, but did irreparable damage by blackening the surface, and, as the stain grew darker in course of time, by rendering the text altogether illegible. Of modern reagents the most harmless appears to be hydrosulphurate of ammonia; but this also must be used with caution, and should be washed off when it has done its work.

The primary cause of the destruction of MSS. by wilful obliteration was, it need hardly be said, the dearth of material. At certain periods, from political or social changes, the market was interfered with, and production or importation failed. In the case of Greek MSS., so great was the consumption of old books, for the sake of the material, that a synodal decree of the year 691 forbade the destruction of MSS. of the Scriptures or the church fathers—imper-fect or injured volumes excepted. The decline of the vellum trade also on the introduction of paper, as already noticed above, caused a scarcity which was only to be made good by recourse to material already once used. Vast destruction of the broad quartos of the early centuries of our era took place in the period which followed the fall of the Roman empire. The most valuable Latin palim-psests are accordingly found in the volumes which were remade from the 7th to the 9th centuries, a period during which the large volumes referred to must have been still fairly numerous. Late Latin palimpsests rarely yield anything of value: often the first writing precedes the later one by only a century or two; and some-times both hands are of the same age. In the earlier examples, many of the original texts were sacrificed to make room for patristic literature or grammatical works. In many instances MSS. of the classical writers have been thus destroyed ; and the sacred text itself has not always been spared. On the other hand, there are instances of classical texts being written over Biblical MSS.; but these are of late date. It has been remarked that no entire work has been found in any instance in the original text of a palimpsest, but that portions of many works have been taken to make up a single volume. These facts, however, go rather to prove, not so much that only imperfect works were put under con-tribution, as that scribes were indiscriminate in selection of material.

An enumeration of the different palimpsests of value is not here possible (see Wattenbach, Schriftwesen, pp. 252-257) ; but a few may be mentioned of wdiich facsimiles are accessible. The MS. known as the Codex Ephraemi, containing portions of the Old and New Testaments in Greek, attributed to the 5th century, is covered with works of Ephraem Syrus in a hand of the 12th century (ed. Tischendorf, 1843, 1845). Among the Syriac MSS. obtained from the Nitrian desert in Egypt, and now deposited in the British Museum, some important Greek texts have been recovered. A volume containing a work of Severus of Antioeh of the beginning of the 9th century is written on palimpsest leaves taken from MSS. of the Iliad of Homer and the Gospel of St Luke, both of the 6th century (Cat. Anc. MSS., i., pis. 9, 10), and the Elements of Euclid of the 7th or 8th century. To the same collection belongs the double palimpsest, in which a text of St John Chrysostom, in Syriac, of the 9th or 10th century, covers a Latin grammatical treatise in a cursive hand of the 6th century, which in its turn has displaced the Latin annals of the historian Granius Licinianus, of the 5th century (Cat. Anc. MSS., ii., pis. 1, 2). Among Latin palimpsests also may be noticed those which have been reproduced in the Aexempla of Zangemeister and Wattenbach. These are—the Ambrosian Plautus, in rustic capitals, of the 4th or 5th century, re-written with portions of the Bible in the 9th century (pi. 6); the Cicero De Republica of the Vatican, in uncials, of the 4th cen-tury, covered by St Augustine on the Psalms, of the 7th century (pi. 17; Pal. Soc., pi. 160); the Codex Theodosianus of Turin, of the 5th or 6th century (pi. 25); the Fasti Consulares of Verona, of 486 A.D. (pi. 29) ; and the Arian fragment of the Vatican, of the 5th century (pi. 31). Most of these originally belonged to the monastery of Bobbio, a fact which gives some indication of the great literary wealth of that house. The new photographic processes are particularly well adapted for the reproduction of palimpsests, for the reason that, however faint the subject, it is nearly always intensified in the negative. By using skill and judgment, with a favouring light, photography may be often made a useful agent in the decipherment of obscure palimpsest texts.

Mechanical Arrangement of Writing in MSS.—In the papyrus rolls the text was written in columns, generally narrow, whose length was limited by the width of the material, allowing a margin at top and bottom. In books, if the text did not extend across the page, it was usually written in two columns. A few instances, however, are known of MSS. which have more than two columns of writing in a page. Among them, the Codex Sinaiticus of the Bible has four columns, and the Codex Vaticanus three columns. In the Fulda fragment of an ancient Latin Bible (Exempla, 21) the arrangement is one of three columns ; and a late instance of the same number occurs in a Latin Bible of the end of the 9th century in the British Museum (Cat. Anc. MSS., ii., pi. 45). Besides the practice of continuous writing without distinction of words, which will be referred to more fully below, the letters towards the end of a line were, in the earliest MSS., reduced in size and cramped together, and very frequently in Latin MSS. two or more letters were linked or combined in a monogrammatic form, as LR UT (ur, unt). By these devices space was saved and words were less divided between two lines. Combinations survived partially in minuscule MSS. The opening lines of the main divisions of the text, as for example the different books of the Bible, were frequently written in red, for distinction. At first there was no enlargement whatever of letters in any part of the text, but still at an early period the first letter of each page was made larger than the rest. Rubrics and titles and colophons were at first written in the same character as the text; afterwards, when the admixture of different kinds of writing was allowed, capitals and uncials were used at discretion. In papyri it appears to have been the practice to write the name of the work at the end only. Running titles or head-lines are found in some of the earliest Latin MSS. in the same characters as the text, but of a small size. Quotations were usually indicated by ticks or arrow-heads in the margin, serving the purpose of the modern inverted commas. Sometimes the quoted words were arranged as a sub-paragraph or indented passage. In commentaries of later date, the quotations from the work commented upon were often written in a different style from the text of the commentary itself.

In MSS., both Greek and Latin, of the earlier centuries the writing runs on continuously without breaking up into distinct words. To this system there are, however, a few partial exceptions, in some of the very earliest examples. For instance, the ______, written on papyrus in the 2d century B.C., has a certain amount of separation of words, and in the fragments of the poem on the battle of Actium which were recovered at Herculaneum the words are marked off with points, monosyllabic or short pre-positions and conjunctions, however, being joined to the words which immediately follow them—a system which we find in practice at a later time. In the early vellum MSS. there is no such separa-tion ; and unless there is a pause in the sense, at which a small space may be left, the line of letters has no break whatever. In Greek MSS., indeed, a system of distinct separation of words wras never thoroughly worked out, even as late as the 15th century. The continuous writing of the uncial MSS. was carried on in the minuscules ; and, although, in the latter, a certain degree of separa-tion is noticeable as early as the 10th century, yet a large propor-tion of words remain linked together or wrongly divided.

In the case of Latin uncial MSS., when the latter part of the 7th century is reached, there is more evidence of separation, although no regular system is followed. Concurrently the same process is observed in minuscule MSS., in which a partial separation goes on in an uncertain and hesitating manner down to the time of the Caroline reform. In early Irish and English MSS., however, it may be observed that separation is more consistently followed. In MSS. of the 9th and 10th centuries the long words are separated, but short prepositions and conjunctions are joined to the next following word. It was not until the 11th century that these smaller words were finally detached and stood apart.

Punctuation.—From the use of continuous writing naturally arose in the first place the necessity for the breaking up of the text into paragraphs and sentences, and afterwards the introduction of marks of punctuation. In the Greek works on papyrus before the Christian era certain marks of division are found. In the Harris Homer (Cat. Anc. MSS., i., pi. 1) a wedge-shaped sign > is in-serted between the beginnings of the lines to mark a new passage. In the prose works of Hyperides a pause in the sense (unless it occurs at the end of a line) is indicated by a short blank space being left in the line and by a horizontal stroke being drawn under the first letter of the line in which the pause occurs. In a few instances, in the space left to mark the pause a full point or slight oblique stroke is added high in the line. As large letters were un-known, this system of dividing the paragraphs was calculated to sacrifice the least amount of space, as the rest of the line, after the pause, was utilized for the beginning of the next paragraph. In the early vellum MSS. the same plan is followed, with the more general use of the full point, which is placed on a level with either the top or the middle of the letters; and the marginal dividing signs are of different patterns. When large letters were introduced to mark the paragraphs, had they been invariably placed at the beginning of their respective paragraphs, the latter must of necessity have each begun a new line, unless the lines had been wide enough apart to leave room for the insertion of the large letters. This latter arrangement would, however, have entailed considerable loss of space ; and the device was accordingly invented, in cases where the paragraph began in the middle of a line, to place the large letter as the first letter of the next line, even though it might there occur in the middle of a word, and, as it was placed in the margin, it did not affect the normal space between the lines. It need hardly be said that, if the paragraph commenced at the beginning of a line, the large letter took its natural place as the initial. The use of these large or initial letters led to the abolition of the paragraph marks. As early as the 5th century there is evidence in the case of the Codex Alexandrinus that the marks were losing their meaning in the eyes of the scribes ; for in that MS. they are frequently placed in anomalous positions, particularly over the initial letters of the different books, having been evidently considered as mere ornaments. The position of the initial as the leading letter of the second line of a paragraph beginning in the middle of a line was maintained in the Greek minuscule MSS. into the 15th century. The practice of con-tinuous writing also led to the arrangement of the text of the Bible and some other works in short sentences, according to the sense, which were called orixoi, as will be noticed presently ; but other minor methods were followed to prevent the ambiguity which would occasionally arise. In even the earliest Greek uncial MSS. an apostrophe was often inserted above the line between two words, as a dividing mark, as, for instance, in theCodex Alexandrinus, _____; and it was specially used after words ending in K, X> l> P> an(l after proper names which have not a Greek termination. It was even placed, apparently from false analogy, between two consonants in the middle of a word, as ______. Some of these uses of the apostrophe survived in minuscule MSS. A mark also, resembling an accent or short horizontal stroke, was employed to indicate words consisting of a single letter, as H, which as a word has so many different meanings.

In the earliest surviving Latin volumes there was no punctuation by the first hand, but in the later uncial MSS. the full point, in various positions, was introduced—being placed on a level with either the bottom, middle, or top of the letters, the two latter positions being the most common. In minuscule MSS. the full point, on the line or high, was first used ; then the comma and semicolon, and the inverted semicolon ('.), whose power was rather stronger than that of the comma. In Irish and early English MSS. the common mark of punctuation was the full point. As a final stop one or more points with a comma . ., were frequently used.
Stichometry.—While dealing with the subject of punctuation, the system of stichometry, or division of the texts into _______, versus, or lines of a certain length may be referred to. It was the custom of the Greeks and Romans to estimate the length of their literary works by lines. In poetical works the number of verses was com-puted ; in prose works a standard line had to be taken, for no two scribes would naturally write lines of the same length. This standard was a medium Homeric line, and it appears to have con-sisted, on an average, of 34 to 38 letters, or 15 to 16 syllables. The lines of any work, so measured, were called crrixoi or jfmj. The practice of thus computing the length of a work can be traced back to the 4th century B. c. in the boast of Theopompus that he had written more iirn than any other writer. The number of such (_____ or tirn contained in a papyrus roll was recorded at the end with the title of the work; and at the end of a large work extend-ing to several rolls the grand total was given. The use of such a stichometrical arrangement was in the first place for literary refer-ence. The numeration of the trrlxoi was no doubt at an early period regularly noted in the margin, just as lines of poetical works or verses in the Bible are numbered in our printed books. In a Greek Biblical MS. at Milan they are numbered at the end of every hundred, and the verses in the Bankes Homer are counted in the same way. But the system was also of practical use in calculating the pay of the scribes and in arranging the market value of a MS. When once a standard copy of a work had been written in the normal lines, the scribes of all subsequent copies had only to record the number of ______ without keeping to the prototype. When we find therefore at the end of the different books of a Bible that they severally contain so many arixoi or versus, it is this stichometrical arrangement which is referred to. Callimachus, when he drew up his catalogue of the Alexandrian libraries in the 3d century B.C., registered the total of the o-rixot in each work. Although he is generally lauded for thus carefully recording the numbers and setting an example to all who should follow him, it has been suggested that this very act was the cause of their general disappearance from MSS. For, when his vivaices were published, scribes evidently thought it was needless to repeat what could be found there ; and thus it is that so few MSS. have descended to us which are marked in this way.

There was also in use in Biblical MSS. another arrangement. This was the division of the text into short sentences or lines, according to the sense, chiefly with a view to a better understand-ing of the meaning and a better delivery in public reading. The Psalms, Proverbs, and other poetical books were anciently thus written, and hence received the title of _____, or _____; and it was on the same plan that St Jerome wrote, first the books of the prophets, and subsequently all the Bible of his version, per cola et commata "quod in Hemosthene et Tullio solet fieri." In the Greek Testament also Euthalius, in the 5th century, introduced the method of writing ______, as he termed it, into the Pauline and Catholic Epistles, and the Acts. The surviving MSS. which contain the text written in short sentences show by the diversity of the latter that the rhythmical sentences or lines of sense were differently calculated by different writers ; but the original arrangement of St Jerome is thought to be represented in the Codex Amiatinus at Florence, and that of Euthalius in the Codex Claromontanus at Paris. With regard to St Jerome's reference to the division per cola, et commata of the rhetorical works of Demosthenes and Cicero, it should be noticed that there are still in existence MSS. of works of the latter in which the text is thus written, one of them being a volume of the Tusculans and the De Senectute in the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris. The same arrangement of the text of the orations of Demosthenes is also men-tioned by the rhetoricians of the 5th and subsequent centuries. It is a curious circumstance also that the text of the only two surviv-ing documents of the Roman chancery addressed to Egyptian officials in the 5th century (see above) is written in lines of various lengths, apparently for rhetorical convenience.

Corrections. —For obliteration or removing pen strokes from the surface of the material the sponge was used in ancient times. While the writing was still fresh, the scribe could easily wash off the ink by this means ; and for a fragile material, such as papyrus, he could well use no other. On vellum he might use sponge or knife. But after a MS. had left his hands it would undei'go revision at the hands of a corrector, who had to deal with the text in a different manner. He could no longer conveniently apply the sponge. On hard material he might still use the knife to erase letters or words or sentences. But he could also use his pen for such purposes. Thus we find that a very early system of indicating erasure was the placing of dots or minute strokes above the letters to be thus "expunged." The same marks were also (and generally, at later periods) placed under the letters ; in rare instances they stood inside them. It need scarcely be said that letters were also struck out with strokes of the pen or altered into others, and that letters and words were interlined. A long sentence, however, which could not be admitted between the lines, was entered in the margin, and its place in the text indicated by corresponding reference marks, such as hd. hs. = hie deest, hoe supra, &c.

Tachygraphy.—The systems of tachygraphy which were followed by both Greeks and Romans had an effect upon the forms of contrac-tion found in mediaeval MSS. The subject of Greek tachygraphy .has lately received a good deal of attention on account of recent dis-coveries. How far back the practice of shorthand writing existed among the Greeks there is nothing to show ; for, although certain words of Diogenes Laertius have been taken to imply that Xenophon wrote shorthand notes (_______) of the lectures of Socrates, yet a similar expression in another passage, which will not bear this meaning, renders it hardly possible that tachygraphy is referred to. The first undoubted mention of a Greek shorthand writer occurs in 195 A.D., in a letter of Flavius Philostratus. But _ unfortunately there appear to be no very ancient specimens of Greek tachygraphy in existence ; for it is denied that certain notes and inscriptions in the papyri dating from the 2d century B.C., which have been put forward as such, are in shorthand at all. The extant examples date only from the 10th century. First stands the Paris MS. of Hermogenes, with some tachygraphic writing of that period, of which Montfaucon (Pal. Gr., p. 351) gives some account, and accompanies his description with a table of forms which, as he tells us, he deciphered with incredible labour. Next, the Add. MS. 18231 in the British Museum contains some marginal notes in shorthand, of 972 A.D. (Wattenb., Script. Grsec. Specim., tab. 19). But the largest amount of material is found in the Vatican MS. 1809, a volume in which as many as forty-seven pages are covered "with tachygraphic writing of the 11th century. Mai first published _a specimen of it in his Scriptorum Veterum Nova Collectio, vol. vi. (1832); and in his Novaz Patrum Bibliotheess torn, sccundus (1844) he gave a second, which, in the form of a marginal note, contained a fragment of the book of Enoch. But he did not quote the num-ber of the MS., and it has only lately been found again. The tachygraphic portion of it is now being made the subject of special study by Dr Gitlbauer for the Vienna Academy. It contains frag-ments of the works of St Maximus the Confessor, the confession of St Cyprian of Antioch, and works of the pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita. The writing used in these examples is syllabic, and appears to be a younger form of tachygraphy as distinguished from an older system, the existence of which may be inferred from the occurrence of certain signs or symbols of contraction used in the minuscule MSS. For, while many of the signs thus used correspond with the tachygraphic signs of the above examples, there are others which differ and which have been derived from an earlier source. For a system of tachygraphic contractions had been developing at an earlier period ; and its elements have been traced in both cursive and uncial MSS. as far back as the 5th or 6th century. If then we may suppose that the new system of tachygraphy was an invention of the 9th or 10th century, this will account for the occurrence in MSS. of that period of two forms of abbreviation for certain syllables—the one adopted from the old or ordinary system, and the other being the neo-stenographic symbol. As to the first origin of Greek tachygraphy, it has been supposed that it grew from a system of secret writing which was developed from forms of abbreviation, and which the early Christians adopted for their own use.

Evidence of the use of tachygraphy among the Romans is to be found in the writings of authors under the empire. It appears to have been taught in schools, and, among others, the emperor Titus is said to have been skilful in this style of writing. Ennius has been named as the inventor of a large collection of shorthand symbols ; but more generally Cicero's freedman M. Tullius Tiro is regarded as the author of these signs, which commonly bear the title of "Notaa Tironianae." The shorthand writers or notaries were well trained in the use of these notes, and in the early Christian times were largely employed in taking down the words of the bishops of the church which were preached in sermons or spoken in councils, and in recording the acts and lives of martyrs. In the Frankish empire the notes were used in signatures or subscriptions of charters, and later, in the 9th and early 10th centuries, they were adopted by the revisers and annotators of the texts of MSS. Of this period also are several MSS. containing the Psalter in these characters, which it has been suggested were written for practice at a time when a fresh impulse had been given to the use of short-hand in the service of literature. The existence also of volumes containing collections of the Tironian notes, and written at this time, points to a temporary revival. The notes appear to have gone out of general use, however, almost immediately after this, although in isolated eases, such as in subscriptions to charters, they linger as late as the beginning of the 11th century. A few of the forms of the Tironian notes were adopted in mediaeval MSS. as symbols of contraction for certain common words, as will be noticed presently.

Contractions.—The use of contractions or abbreviations in MSS. would arise from two causes—first, the natural desire to write as quickly and shortly as possible words of frequent occurrence which could not be misread in a contracted form, and, secondly, the necessity of saving space. The contractions satisfying the first requirement were necessarily limited in number and simple in char-acter, and are such as are found with more or less frequency in the oldest MSS. But the regular system of contracted forms, with the view of getting as much writing as possible into a limited space, was only elaborated in course of time, and was in use in the later centuries of the Middle Ages. Different kinds of literature also were, according to their nature, more or less contracted. From early times abbreviations were used more freely in secular books, and particularly in works in which technical language was employed, such as those on law or grammar or mathematics, than in Biblical MSS. or liturgies. In the Greek fragment of a mathematical treatise of the 7th century, at Milan, there are numerous contrac-tions ; and the same is found to be the case in a Latin MS. of the 5th century, the Verona Gaius. With regard to the different systems or styles of contraction, the oldest and simplest is that in which a single letter, or at most two or three letters, represent a whole word. Among Latin classical writers we know that these contractions were common enough, and ancient inscriptions afford plentiful examples. In the waxen tablets also they are found; and they survive in the later papyri of Ravenna, &c, and in law deeds. Next is the system of dropping the final syllable or syllables of a word, or of omitting a letter or syllable or more in the middle,—_ such omissions being easily supplied from the general sense of the context—e.g., ____ = ______, habuef = habucrunt, ____=patrem. And lastly, there are the arbitrary signs and contractions formed in a special manner or marked by certain figures whereby they may be regularly interpreted.

Traces of a system of contraction are found in some of the earllyGreek papyri. For example, in the papyrus of the oration oi Hyperides for Lycophron, of at least the 1st century B.C., the nit of the syllable av, when occurring at the end of a line, is omitted, and its omission marked by a light horizontal stroke above the line of writing; and, as marks of reference to an accidentally omitted line, abbreviated forms of ava and Kara are used. In the Bankes Homer also the sign _____ for _____ is placed in the margin to mark the narrative portion of the text. In the ancient Greek Biblical MSS. the contractions are usually confined to the sacred names and titles, and a few words of common occurrence, as ____ = _____, ____ = _____, XC = ____ — _____, ____ = _____, ____ = _____, ____ = _____, ____ = _____, ____ = _____, ____ = _____, ____ = _____, ____ = _____, ____ = _____, ____, &C. Final N, especially at the end of a line, was dropped, and its place occupied by the horizontal stroke, as TO-. This limited system of contraction was observed generally in the uncial Biblical and liturgical MSS. In the mathematical .fragment at Milan abbrevia-tions by dropping final syllables, and contracted particles and pre-positions, are numerous ; and in the palimpsest Homer of the 6th century in the British Museum final syllables are occasionally omitted. Such omissions were, however, indicated by strokes or curves, or by some leading letter of the omitted portion being placed above the line of writing. Certain signs also were borrowed from tachygraphy, at first sparingly, but afterwards, in the later and more elaborate system of contraction, in sufficient numbers to repre-sent certain common words and terminations.

In the early Greek minuscule MSS. contractions are not very fre-quent in the texts ; but in the marginal glosses, where it was an object to save space, they are found in great numbers as early as the 10th century. The MS. of Nonnus, of 972 A.D., in the British Museum (Wattenb. and Von Vels., Exempla, 7) is an instance of a text contracted to a degree that almost amounts to tachygraphy. In secular MSS. contractions developed most quickly. In the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries texts were fully contracted ; and as the writing became more cursive contraction-marks were more care-lessly applied, until, in the 15th centuiy, they degenerated into mere flourishes. .

In Latin Biblical uncial MSS. the same restrictions on abbrevia-tions were exercised as in the Greek. The sacred names and titles DS = deus, DMS, DNS = dominus, SCS=sanctus, SFS = spiri-tus, and others appear in the oldest codices. The contracted ter-minations Q' = que, B' = OMS, and the omission of final m, or (more rarely) final n, are common to all Latin MSS. of the earliest period. There is a peculiarity about the contracted form of our Saviour's name that it is always written by the Latin scribes in letters imitating the Greek IHG, XPC, ihc, xpc. In secular works, as already noticed, contractions were used in many forms at an early period. In minuscule MSS. of the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries the system of dropping middle or final syllables was commonly applied. In this stage the simpler marks of contraction, such as a horizontal stroke or an apostrophe to mark the omitted termination, were generally used. Certain ordinary words also, as prepositions and conjunctions, and a few prefixes and terminations, had parti-cular forms of contraction from an early date. Such are e = est, i = vel, ii = non, p' =pre, p=per, p=pro,''— termination us. The letter q with distinctive strokes applied in different positions re-presented the often recurring relative and other short words, as quod, quia. Conventional signs also derived from the Tironian notes were employed, particularly in Irish and English MSS., as n =autem, -r-"=est, 9 = ejus, W = enim, "J =et. From the practice of writing above the line a leading letter of an omitted syllable, as int" = intra, t" = tur, other conventional signs were also de-veloped. Such growths are well illustrated in the change under-gone by the semicolon, which was attached to the end of a word to indicate the omission of the termination, as b; = bus, q; = que, deb; = debet, and which in course of time became converted into a s, a form which survives in our ordinary abbreviation viz. (i.e., vi;=videlicet). The different forms of contraction which have been noticed were common to all the nations of western Europe. The Spanish scribes, however, attached different values to certain of them. For example, in Visigothic MSS., qm, which elsewhere represented quoniam, may be read as quum; and ,p, which else-where =pro, is here =per.

By the 11th century the system of Latin contractions had been reduced to exact rules ; and from this time onwards it was univer-sally practised. It reached its culminating point in the 13th cen-tury, the period of increasing demand for MSS., when it became more than ever necessary to economize space. After this date the exact formation of the signs of contraction was less strictly observed, and the system deteriorated together with the decline of hand-writing. In conclusion, it may be noticed that in MSS. written in the vernacular tongues contractions are more rarely used than in Latin texts. A system suited to the inflexions and terminations of this language could not be readily adapted to other languages so different in grammatical structure.

Breathings and Accents.—These were not systematically applied to the texts of Greek MSS. before the 7th century. Such as are found in isolated passages in the ancient papyri do not appear to have been written by the first hand, and most of them are probably of much later date. They have been freely added to the ancient texts of Homer, as in the Harris and Bankes papyri, but palpably long after the dates of the writing.' Nor were they used in the early uncial MSS. The ancient codices of the Bible are devoid of them; and, although in the Ambrosian Homer of the 5th century it is thought that some of the breathings may be by the original hand, the other marks of breathing and the accents are of later date. So likewise the few breathings and accents which are seen in the palimpsest Homer of the 6th century in the British Museum have been, to all appearance, added afterwards. In Latin texts, and particularly in early Irish and English MSS., an accent is occasionally found over a monosyllabic word or one consisting of a single letter. But such accentuation, serving to distinguish such small words in reading, rather corresponds to the similar marking of short words in Greek MSS., as noticed above.

Numerals. —An examination of the different forms of numerals to be found in Greek and Latin MSS. is beyond the province of this article. It may, however, be pointed out that, while in Greek MSS. one system was followed, in Latin MSS. both the Roman and Arabic numerals were in use. The Roman numerals appear in all kinds of documents at all times. When occurring in the text of a MS. they were usually placed between full points, e.g., .cxiiii., to prevent confusion with the letters of the words. Arabic numerals were established in common use by the end of the 14th century, but their occurrence in MSS. has been traced back to the middle of the 12th century, from which date down to the time of their general adoption they were principally confined to mathe-matical works.

Bibliography— GREEK PALAEOGRAPHY.—The first book which dealt with the subject in a systematic manner was the Palxographia Grœca of the learned Benedictine, Dom Bernard de Montfaueon, published in 1708. So thoroughiy well was the work done that down to our own time no other scholar attempted to improve upon it, and Montfaueon remained the undisputed authority in this branch of learning. At length, in 1879, Gardthausen published Ms Grieckische Paheographie, in which is embodied fuller information that was unavailable in Montfaucon's day. In this work the development of Greek writing in its various styles is carefully and lucidly worked out and illustrated with tables, and a useful list of dated Greek MSS. is added. See also a review of Gardt-hausen's work by Charles Graux in the Journal des Savants (1881). A most useful and handy introduction is Wattenbach's Anleitung zur Griechischen Palseographie (2d éd., 1S77), in which will be found references to all the most important MSS. With regard to facsimiles, those which are found in Montfaueon and other books of the same time are practically useless for critical purposes. The invention of photography has entirely driven into the background all hand-made facsimiles, and in the future none will be admissible which are not pro-duced by the action of light. Autotypes or phc to-lithographs from MSS. are given in the Facsimiles of the Palœographical Society (1873-83); in the Exempla Codicum Grxcorum litteris minusculis scriptorum (1878) of Wattenbach and Von Velsen; in the Catalogue of Ancient MSS. in the British Museum, part i. (1881); in Wattenbach's Scripturx Grxcx Specimina (1883); and, in fewer numbers, in Specimina Palxographica cvdd. Grxc. et Slav. bibl. Mosquensis (1863-64) by Bishop Sabas. Facsimiles made by hand, but excellently finished, are in Silvestre's Paléographie Universelle (1850) and in Notices et Extraits des. Manuscrits, torn, xviii., pt. 2 (1865), where the papyri of Paris are faithfully represented.

LATIN PALAEOGRAPHY.—The bibliography of Latin palaeography in its different branches is very extensive, but there are comparatively few books which deal with it as a whole. The most complete work is due to the Benedictines, who. in 1750-65 produced the Nouveau Traité de Diplomatique, which examines the remains of Latin writing in a most exhaustive manner. The fault of the work lies indeed in its diffuseness and in the superabundance of subdivisions which tend to confuse the reader. The extensive use, however, which the authors made of the French libraries renders their work most valuable for reference. As their title shows, they did not confine themselves to the study of MS. volumes, but dealt also with that other branch of palaeography, the study of documents, in which they had been preceded by Mabillon in his De Re Diplomatica (1709). Wattenbach's Anleitung zur Lateinischen Palxographie, 3d ed., 1878, is a thoroughly practical introduction, classifying the different kinds of writing, and giving full biographical references, and tracing the forms of letters and the history of contractions, *fec. Works which give facsimiles in general are— Silvestre, Paléographie Universelle; the Facsimiles of the Palœographical Society; Arndt, Schrifttafeln, 1874, 1878; the Catalogue of Ancient MSS. in the British Museum, part ii., 1884 ; and among those which deal with particular branches of Latin palaeography the following may be enumerated—Exempla Codicum Laiin- orumlitteris maiusculis scriptorum (1876,1879) by Zangemeisterand Wattenbach; on Roman cursive, and on Lombardic, Merovingian, and Visigothic writing, the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, vols, iii., iv.; Massmann, Libellus aurarius, 1840 ; Marini, Papiri Diplomatici, 1805 ; the Chartes Latines sur Papyrus (1835- 40) of Chatnpollion-Figeac; Gloria, Palcografia, 1870; Sickel, MonumenCa Graphica, 1858- 69 ; Letronne, Diplomata et Charlie Merovingicae jEtatis, 1848 ; " Facsimile de Chartes et Diplômes," in the Archives de VEmpire, 1866; Sybel and Sickel, Kaiserurhunden, 1880-84; Bibliotheca Casinensis, 1S73, &c.; Merino, Escuela Palcographica, 1780 ; and the Exempla Scripturx Visigoticx (1883) of Ewald and Loewe. On Irish and English writing—Astle, Origin and Progress of Writing, 1873 ; Facsimiles of Ancient Charters in the British Museum, 1873-78 ; Facsimiles of Anglo-Saxon MSS., 1878,1881, Bolls Series; Facsimiles of National MSS. of Eng- land, Scotland, and Ireland, in separate series. The various works on illumina- tion, such as those of Count Bastard, Westwood, Tymms and Wyatt, and others may also bo consulted. For the study of the Tironian Notes, see Carpentier, Alphabelum Tironianum, 1747 ; Kopp, Palxographia Critica, 1817; Jules Tardif, " Mémoire sur les Notes Tironiennes," in the Mémoires deVAcadémie des Inscriptions, sér. 2, tom. iii., 1852; and the "Notas Bernenses," &c, published in the Panstenographikon periodical. A useful handbook of contractions is Chassant's Dictionnaire des Abréviations, 1862. For particulars as to materials employed and the mechanical arrangements followed in the production of MSS., see Birt's Antike Buchwesen (1882) and Wattenbach's Schriftwesen im Mittelalter (1875). (E. M. T.)


Catalogue of Ancient MSS. in the British Museum—Part I.,
Palseograpbical Society, Facsimiles, 1873-83. I

Scripturse Grmcm Specimina, Berlin, 1883.

Wattenbach and Von Velsen, Exempla Codicum Orseeorwm, litt. minusc. soriptorum, Heidelberg, 1878.

See the article by C. Graux in Revue de Philologie, 1878, vol. ii. p. 97.

Other Pages
1 St Jerome's often-quoted words, "uncialibus, ut vulgo aiunt, litteris," in his preface to the hook of Job, have never been explained. Of the character referred to as " uncial" there is no doubt, but the derivation of the term is unknown.
1 Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits, vol. xviii., Paris, 1865.

The above article was written by: E. Maunde Thompson, LL.D., Principal Librarian, British Library.

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