Thursday, January 25, 2018

how to "read" the context of a "character

Gospel of Mark, Book of Durrow

biblical manuscripts can be divided into four groupings:
1- papyri,
2- uncials,
3- minuscules, and
4- lectionaries.

1- is based on the physical material (papyrus) used in the manuscripts. 2, 3- two divisions are based on script: uncial (majuscule) and minuscule. 4- is based on content: lectionary (a list of lections for reading in a divine service).

Most papyrus manuscripts and the lectionaries before the year 1000 are written in uncial script (uncial means majuscule).

let's go by steps with the "N" majuscule above in the Book of Durrow:

we have: base line (where all letters sit), mast (embroidered here), ascender (the portion of the miniscule letter that extends above meanline of a font), descender (the portion of the letter below the base line), and cap height.

observe, there is no separation between the letters, no punctuation (european languages and syntaxis are still evolving),

this is known as scripto continua. take a look at this beauty:

 Virgil, Georgics, made with capitalis quadrata

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