Brill’s New Pauly

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(2,079 words)

I. Overview

[German version]

A. Definition

Minuscule, in contrast to majuscule, is the name given to the form of writing where letters, often ligatured (Ligature), are organised in a(n idealised) four-line system: the two middle lines delimit the space for the bodies of the letters and the outer lines that for ascenders and descenders.

[German version]

B. Greek writing

In the history of Greek writing minuscule developed out of late antique cursive (Writing, styles …

Cite this page
Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice), Frioli, Donatella (Rimini) and John, James J. (Ithaca, N. Y.), “Minuscule”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 26 September 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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