Medieval Writing
Paleography Exercises
Melissande Psalter (British Library, Egerton 1139, f.210), early 12th century. Images by permission of the British Library.
The Melissande Psalter was made between 1131 and 1143 in Jerusalem, Palestine. It was probably made for Queen Melissande, daughter of Baldwin and wife of Fulk of Anjou. We are getting a glimpse of an item of western European culture in what must have seemed something of an outpost in a strange land, despite it being the spiritual heart of European religion. The script of the Latin text is a form known as rotunda, or alternatively Roman minuscule. It was used in Italy and was a broader and more rounded type than the angular Gothic styles of more northern parts. In fact, the letter forms differ little from those of its predecessor, Caroline minuscule. This page shows the first page of a prayer to St Mary Magdalene, a popular saint in the middle ages as she represented the redemption of sinners.

| overview | decoration | text | alphabet | abbreviations | exercises |

| transcript | translation |

Click on each of the above to walk your way through a segment of 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 8/5/2005.