Medieval Writing
The History of l

Back with the letters of more regular occurrence, l is one which has remained relatively standardised, if you take into account the multiple generic variations that occur on letters with ascenders. It may be straight or curved, wedged or looped, but it is essentially a simple tall letter adorned in whatever way is appropriate to the script.

square capital L In the Old Roman square capitals, L is a simple right angle.
rustic Capital L In the rustic capital script, a slight curve to the back of the letter is the only difference.
uncial L The uncial L is right angled, with thick and thin lines and a neat horizontal top.
New Roman cursive l In this example of New Roman cursive, the minuscule l is curved up at the bottom.
In the pre-Carolingian minuscule scripts or National Hands, l is a tall letter with a rounded curve at the bottom, as in the New Roman cursive example.
half uncial l In a 6th century half uncial script the lower curve of l is low and wide.
Corbie ab l In the specialised book script Corbie ab it is rounded.
An old northern Italian book hand of the 8th century has a straight ascender with a rounded foot attached.
Germanic l This sample from Merovingian minuscule or Germanic book hand is sloping with a rounded curve at the bottom.
Luxeuil minuscule l This l from the variant of Merovingian minuscule known as Luxeuil minuscule is tall, slightly backsloping and rounded at the base.
Visigpthic l The Visigothic script has added a wedged top to the ascender of l, as with other tall letters in this script.
insular half uncial l The formal script known as known as insular half uncial also has a wedged top for l, and the letter is relatively short, as with other tall letters in this script.
insular minuscule l This 10th century example of l from insular minuscule displays the wedged top, but the ascender is longer.
Beneventan l In this example from a developed form of Beneventan minuscule the letter l has a simple rounded form.
Merovingian chancery l In Merovingian chancery script the letter l is very tall, as compared to the very tiny small letters.
old curialis l The same applies to the old curialis of the papal chancery.
In the Carolingian scripts l tended to have a slightly wedged top and a more angular foot.
Caroline minuscule l This version of Caroline minuscule l has an angular foot.
Caroline minuscule l A sample from a forged 12th century monastic charter has a long hairline angular foot.
later curialis l The later papal curialis of the 11th century is still very tall, with a more rounded foot.
papal l By the 12th century the diplomatic minuscule of the papal chancery added a slightly wedged top to the ascender of l.
imperial l The 12th century diplomatic minuscule of the Imperial German chancery has added the usual spaghetti-like squiggles to the ascender of l.
In the formal Gothic book hands, the letter l is essentially simple and angular, sometimes with a simple angular hairline at the base, and sometimes with a more formally produced foot.
protogothic l This protogothic l from a 12th century French book hand has an added top and a foot with a diagonal extension.
rotunda l The 14th century Gothic rotunda version of the letter l is simple and rounded.
textura l This 13th century Gothic textura l of medium grade has a wedged top and a curved bottom with a fine diagonal extension.
prescissa l The very formal Gothic prescissa actually has a blocky foot added to l, which is surprising as a notable feature of other letters in this script is that they are finished straight, without feet.
textura l A relatively informally written late 15th or early 16th Gothic textura script shows a simple and straight l with a fine diagnal slash at the bottom.
textura l A 15th century Dutch language formal Gothic textura l is similar, with with a neat slightly wedged top.
In document hands and later cursive scripts, there is a range of variants on the treatment of the ascender.
more about l
Histories of Individual Letters

History of Scripts
What is Paleography?

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