Script Type : minuscule
Location : England, in this case from Lindisfarne
Function : book hand
|A segment from the 10th century Old English colophon to the Lindisfarne Gospels (British Library, Cotton Nero D IV, f.259). (From E.G. Millar 1923 The Lindisfarne Gospels London: British Museum)|
|Pass cursor over letters to see enlarged examples taken from the page illustrated above.|
: This form of insular
minuscule used for Old
English has essentially the same letter forms as that used for Latin,
with the addition of both the edh
and thorn characters
to represent th. This example lacks the letters
k, q, w,
x or z. The
letter j only appears in a Latin name.
The letter a comes in two forms, closed at the top and open. Ascenders of letters such as b and l are wedged at the top. The letters r, s and f are easily confused, as all tend to extend below the baseline and are similar in general shape. The letter d has a backsloping ascender, while g is of the open lightning bolt form. While the letters u and v are diffentiated, in that there is a rounded and an angular form, the angular form seems to be used in most cases as either vowel or consonant.
The trickiest ligature is the dipthong ae, which is written as an e with a little hook on the back.
The Tironian et character appears as an abbreviation for and.
Pass the cursor over the first few lines for a quick transcript. To examine this text in more detail, and to find out what it all means, proceed to the paleography exercises.
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