Medieval Writing
Paleography Exercises
Latin Vulgate Bible, 9th century. British Library add. ms. 10546. (From Fairbank 1952, Pl.7)
This is a segment from a page of the Bible in the Latin Vulgate, as revised by Alcuin of York. The revision of the text at this date was accompanied by reform to the scripts in which it was written. The script, known to us today as Caroline minuscule, was based on very clear, well differentiated individual letter forms, mostly familiar to us today as they were revived in the later middle ages in time to become the basis for typeface. This segment also shows the hierarchy of scripts used for headings, starting at the top with square capitals, followed by uncials, before the Caroline minuscule of the main text takes over. This use of script hierarchy and page layout is all part of increasing the legibility of the written word, especially in this most significant of texts. The text of this section is St Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews 1: 1-9.

The transcript has been completed with the help of a little cheaty peeking at Sacred Texts, but really, I could have done it all by myself without them.

| overview | text | alphabet | abbreviations | exercises | transcript | translation |

Click on each of the above to walk your way through the text. The transcript will appear in a separate window so that you can use it for reference at any time. These exercises are designed to guide you through the text, not test you, so you can cheat as much as you like.
Script sample for this example
Index of Exercises
Index of Scripts

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This site is created and maintained by Dr Dianne Tillotson, freelance researcher and compulsive multimedia and web author. Comments are welcome. Material on this web site is copyright, but some parts more so than others. Please check here for copyright status and usage before you start making free with it. This page last modified 25/2/2010.