Saturday, June 19, 2010
Horrible Old Handwriting
Whenever I decide to put up a new handwriting sample on Medieval Writing, there may be some debate on what it should be. The family medievalist is a historian of the later middle ages, and he thinks I should put up endless samples from the English chancery archives from the 13th century onwards, of every type of historical document. He has even been known to transcribe and translate them for me.
I am actually trying to gradually fill in a more broad ranging history of the types of medieval handwriting, including nasty old stuff. He reckons nobody would want to read that, but I have found that not only do people tell me that they have read it, I have even had exercises of very ancient and illegible scrawl corrected by assiduous users.
So in the interest of filling in some of the earlier history of medieval handwriting development, the latest addition is a piece of utterly horrible Merovingian minuscule book hand. I couldn't actually read it properly myself, so I have used a couple of cribs. That should mean, barring typos, that it is reasonably accurate. Nevertheless, any suggestions to the contrary will be gravely considered.
As an additional note, in relation to the last posting, I discovered that there were two copies of the French paleography book in question on the Internet Archive, but that both were slightly defective in different places. So while I am spending considerable time printing it one page at a time, I have saved a tree or two as a result of not printing the whole thing twice. The grand international digital library still has a long way to go, but it is getting somewhere.