Medieval Writing
The History of c (2)

The changes to later English document hands did not produce any new distinctive forms of c, with the changes being rung on existing minor variants.

protogothic c In the formal protogothic document hands of the 12th century, c is relatively rounded.
protogothic c This example is from a less formally scribed writ of the reign of Henry II, where the horizontal top is slightly concave.
calligraphic charter c A calligraphic charter of the 13th century has a simple, slightly angular c. The more distinctive letters in this script are those with long ascenders.
cursiva anglicana c The more rounded and curly cursive document hand known in England as cursiva anglicana, which first appeared in the 13th century, did not exercise its curly elaborations on c, although in this example, some, but not all, instances of the use of the letter have a vertical slash through them. This appears to be not only done to designate a capital.
cursiva anglicana c
Gothic charter c In this formal ecclesiastical charter, the letter has a jaggy, reverse curvy appearance.
chancery c In the formal English chancery hand of the 13th century, based on cursiva anglicana, c was not one of the letters subject to calligraphic flourishes.
chancery c Less formally penned documents, such as the early 13th century writ from which this letter derives, show the straight extended top.
French cursive c This 14th century example of a French cursive document hand displays the rounded form.
cursive book hand c In this early 14th century cursive English book hand the top is flat, but the bottom curve virtually closes the loop.
charter hand c These two examples from English 15th century charters show the rounded form and the flat topped form of the letter.
charter hand c
batarde c The French bâtarde script, shown here as a formal 15th century book hand, displays a particularly exaggerated horizontal top, but no bottom curve to the letter.
late chancery c The later English chancery hand, as shown here from an Elizabethan document of conservative penmanship, has given the curve of the letter a broken back, and closed the loop.

Humanistic scripts restored the the simple form of the letter c.

humanistic c This is a very pure and simple form from a 15th century Italian book hand.
late humanistic c This 16th century example dates from after the advent of printing.
ligature ct The ligature ct was also resurrected from the old Caroline minuscule. This was even used in some printed books.
The letter c gets most of its variants from how the pen is handled, rather than from fundamental differences of form. Apart from the confusion with t in Gothic, and especially cursive, scripts, it is generally not easy to confuse with other letters until you get to those ghastly 16th century cursives where all the small letters dissolve into unfathomable loops. Then the whole business becomes cryptography, not paleography.
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Histories of Individual Letters

History of Scripts
What is Paleography?

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