Medieval Writing
Humanistic Display Script

Script Type : minuscule

Date : 15th century

Location : Italy

Function : Book hand of formal grade

This segment represents part of the scribe's colophon to a copy of 1451 of the Politics and Economics of Aristotle, translated into Latin by Leonardo Aretino for Cosimo de Medici, from a private collection. (From New Palaeographical Society 1907)
Pass cursor over letters to see examples taken from the page illustrated above.

Distinctive letters : This can be described as a humanistic display script which still has much in common with formal Gothic book hands of the rotunda variety. Italian scribes never really adopted the highly compressed Gothic forms. This rounded hand mostly uses formal versions of the letters from Caroline minuscule, the script which was deliberately revived in the Italian Renaissance. Although not highly compressed, it retains some conjoined letter combinations such as do and be. Letters such as i, u, m and n are well separated however.

There are two forms of d, the backsloping Gothic form and the upright Caroline minuscule form. Both the upright r and the minimalistic r found after vowels appear, as do both the short and tall forms of s. The letter i is delicately dotted.

The letters i and j, as well as u and v are identical, as usual. There are no examples of w or z.

There are a few abbreviations in the text. Pass the cursor over the first few lines for a taste, and continue to the paleography exercises to examine it in more detail.

Script Index

Paleography exercises for this example using Flash

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