Medieval Writing
Gothic Textura - moderately formal grade but tiny

Script Type : minuscule

Date : 12th to 15th centuries, this example from the early 15th century.

Location : Spread from France and the Low Countries across western Europe. This example is from Flanders.

Function : Book hand

As with some other examples of small scripts, I have enlarged this sample for legibility. On the real thing, this segment of text is 3.75 cm high by 3.5 cm wide. A marvel of intricacy.
This is a segment from a tiny book of hours leaf of around 1420 from Flanders, from a private collection. The text is Psalm 117 in the Vulgate, 118 in a modern Bible
Pass cursor over letters to see enlarged examples taken from the page illustrated above.

Distinctive letters : This example is taken from a leaf from a very tiny book of hours, the text representing part of Psalm 117 in the Vulgate Bible. Although it is a very small script, it is moderately formal. The bases of all minims are finished with blocky little diagonal feet and the letters are regular and angular, and not excessively horizontally compressed. The tiny coloured capitals, illuminated with gold leaf, need to be looked at under a magnifying glass to appreciate their intricacy.

The ascenders of b, h and l are adorned with wedged tops, while h, l and tall s have little angular adornments halfway up the letter. It is all rather fine and fiddly.

Two forms of r are present, as well as two forms of s, the tall and the short and curly, as usual in Gothic textura scripts.

The letters i and j are identical, as are u and v.

There are no examples of k, w, y or z.

Although the letters are fairly well spaced, it can be hard to distinguish the letters where there are rowns of minims, although it helps that i is dotted with an extremely fine diagonal slash which is pretty much impossible to see on the computer screen. Trust me.

There are some conjoined letter combinations, notably de and do .

Pass the cursor slowly down the lines of text for a quick transcription. To look at the piece in more detail, and somewhat enlarged for clarity, proceed to the paleography exercises.

Script Index

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This site is created and maintained by Dr Dianne Tillotson, freelance researcher and compulsive multimedia and web author. Comments are welcome. Material on this web site is copyright, but some parts more so than others. Please check here for copyright status and usage before you start making free with it. This page last modified 4/10/2011.