Medieval Writing
Paleography Exercises
Hilarius of Poitiers, 509-10 (Rome, Archivio de S. Pietro, D.182) Images from Steffens 1929, No. 20.
This page of dense writing is from a codex containing the writings of St Hilary of Poitiers. This section is from a massive exposition on the Holy Trinity; a truly hot topic of early church writers. The script, from the early 6th century, is supposedly the earliest dated example of half uncial book hand, the date being recorded in a colophon. This was a work for study by learned clerics, and it contains no frivolous reading aids such as decorative initials, or even word spacing, punctuation marks, or capital letters at the beginnings of sentences. Paragraphs are marked by a single enlarged letter at the beginning. The text as examined here is the paragraph running from line 4 through line 26 of the page shown.
The translation I have included here has come from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library. If this snippet does not seem to make a lot of sense, you might just have to work your way through the full twelve books of the work De Trinitate.

| overview | text | alphabet | abbreviations | exercises | transcript | translation |

Click on each of the above to walk your way through a segment of the text. The transcript will appear in a separate window so that you can use it for reference at any time. These exercises are designed to guide you through the text, not test you, so you can cheat as much as you like.
Script sample for this example
Index of Exercises
Index of Scripts

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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 11/4/2005.