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The open a which looks like cc and the t with a loop on its back are the most unfamiliar letters. However, extensive use of ligatures changes the appearance of many letters profoundly, so that e often appears in raised form, somewhat entangled with the following letter. While most of these ligatures disappeared in the change to Caroline minuscule, it is intriguing that the tall st was retained, became highly exaggerated in fancy ecclesiastical calligraphy, and even survived into some modern posh book typesetting.
Responsiones of Pope Gregory from an 8th century codex of religious writings (Cologne Cathedral Library, MS XCI, f.57b). Images from The New Palaeographical Society, 1905, Plate 57.

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Medieval Writing
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 22/4/2005.