Medieval Writing
Paleography Exercises
Suetonius De Vita Caesarum, late 12th century (British Library, Egerton 3055, f.2) All images by permission of the British Library.
This is the first text page of a late 12th century copy of De Vita Caesarum, by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, a work of Classical history in 12 books. This copy is French in origin and once belonged to the Benedictine Abbey of St Bénigne at Dijon. The script is a protogothic book hand which still bears a strong resemblance to Caroline minuscule. The letters have become angular, but have not yet transformed into rows of minims and there are no conjoined letters. The language is Latin. Just the first section of text will be examined in these exercises.
And just for fun, the Benedictine abbey church at Dijon, where the manuscript once resided.
This example is featured in Brown 1990.

| overview | 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 30/4/2005.