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Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports
(Timeline Project)

4th century – Latin is the official language of the Christian church in Rome. Uncial is the official script (though it had no official name until the 18th c.). It developed from late Majuscule (old Roman cursive). Uncial was in use until tapering off in the 10th c. – used to write Greek, Latin and Gothic

This post is part of an ongoing series on books, miniatures, writing and supports since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports
(Timeline Project)

Coptic Alphabet
4th to 9th centuries – The Coptic alphabet was used in Egypt and was perpetuated thereafter by the Coptic Christian church. It was the first Egyptian writing system to indicate vowels.

This post is part of an ongoing series on books, miniatures, writing and supports since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the fourth century! (tootle toot!)

Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports
(Timeline Project)

4th century – Codex form is starting to dominate in Christian manuscripts – portable and easy to consult, ideal for traveling, sharing and personal devotion – use of scrolls sharply diminishes

This post is part of an ongoing series on books, miniatures, writing and supports since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

Books, Miniatures, Writing and Supports
(Timeline Project)

By the 3rd century, the codex format was common for legal documents.

This post is part of an ongoing series on bookbinding, miniatures, writing and paper since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

Books, Miniatures, Writing, Paper and Supports
(Timeline project)

I’ve changed the title of this project to better reflect the content. I changed “bookbinding” to “books,” as so much of what I’m interested in has to do with the whole book; be it construction, content or history. I changed “paper” to “supports” as my interest includes all writing supports, from silk to palm leaves to parchment and paper.

Here is today’s entry for the timeline:

Year 256 – The world’s oldest known complete paper book: Phi Yü Ching written on paper called liu-ho chih, in Liu-ho, Chiangsu, China

This post is part of an ongoing series on bookbinding, miniatures, writing and paper since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

Bookbinding, Miniatures, Writing and Paper
(Timeline project)

As early as 3rd century — Roman script Half-Uncial gaining popularity—easier to write, took up less space, required less skill than Uncial. Smoother writing surfaces of parchment and vellum allowed for smoother, rounder writing using fewer strokes per letter. Early development does not use word separation. Later use incorporated separated words.

This post is part of an ongoing series on bookbinding, miniatures, writing and paper since the year 1. Please consider it a kick-start for your own private timeline and a springboard for further research. See my blog for the rest of the series.

Left-Handed Monks

Christine Cox:

Wondering about how many manuscripts have been identified as having been written by lefties.

Originally posted on Things Medieval:

Did you know that, despite the sinister (pun fully intended) associations of left hands, some scribes were actually left-handed? Paleographers know this because unlike right-handed scribes, for whom writing involved pulling the pen and ink across the writing surface, writers who held the pen in their left hands would have had to push the ink over the surface. This forced them to completely change their ductus, or the way in which they execute strokes. This according to Malcolm Parkes, in Their Hands Before Our Eyes: A Closer Look at Scribes.

Parkes also explains that handwriting can be used to determine how many words at a time copyists held in memory while turning their attention from the exemplar to their sheet, since words held in memory together tend to be aligned vertically, while stopping the motion and turning the gaze to the exemplar causes a break in the aligment.

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