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Grease-drop script

(222 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] Greek script type of the 2nd half of the 13th cent. to the beginning of the 14th cent. (contemporary with the first Paleologi Period) that is characterized by a striking contrast between the small, rounded and often crooked core of most letters and the oversized curves of omikron, sigma, beta, ypsilon, alpha and omega as well as by the inscribing of small letters into omikron, ypsilon and omega and in this way best represents the complete crumbling of the ancient minuscule canon (…

Writing, inclination of

(298 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] In the history of Greek and Latin palaeography attention has only lately focused on the inclination of writing. The first serious work on the subject and its definition was by J. Mallon [1]. His studies on the …

South Italian minuscule

(401 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] Alongside the Latin Beneventana, there also existed independent Italo-Greek scripts in the Middle Ages (often called south Italian minuscule in scholarly literature). Due to a lack of subscribed (Subscriptio) and localised MSS, the Italo-Greek origin is not easy to prove for Greek majuscule codices (Codex). One can assume an Italo-Greek origin only for certain Greek MSS executed in the Bible-majuscule (e.g. Cod. Claromontanus with St. Paul's Epistles, 5th cent. AD) and in pointed-…

Pearl (script)

(313 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] Byzantine bookhand, developed in the 2nd half of the 10th cent., and perfected in its last decade. It is characterized by a combination of typically round letter-forms with more or less slanting ones.  The name PS refers to the stringing together of longer letter-groups, written in pearl form and joined up in a string-like manner [1]; particularly noticeable are the circular Ο and the round Υ. PS usually slants a little to the right and is written in a uniform manner; letters sometimes have the shape of a tub, the ductus is normally fluid and s…

Hodegon style

(155 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] Greek script of the 14th and first half of the 15th cent., named for the Hodegon monastery in Constantinople, a cursive, calligraphic, archaizing minuscule ( Archaic script) with pronounced letter structure, relatively large body, a balanced contrast between large and small letters and some angular forms; the c…

Macedonian Renaissance

(695 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] A. Characteristics In Byzantine art history, Macedonian Renaissance (MR) usually refers to the classicist revival that took place mostly during the Macedonian dynasty (867-1056). It takes its name from its founder emperor Basilius [5] I (867-886), who was born in the thema of Macedonia. During that time Byzantium experienced its greatest expansion since Justinian. However, indications for a cultural Renaissance (including art) can be found as early as under Theophilus (829-842) (cf. the philosopher Leon [10]) and especially under Michael III (842-867; Kaîsar


(362 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] A quire of papyrus or (usually) of parchment is part of a codex or book. It consists of a specific number of sheets folded together and sewn along the crease; as a rule each hair side of a parchment sheet faces a flesh side. Quires are closely linked to the format of a codex: as early as Martial there is talk of notebooks of parchment quires ( membranae or

Sinai script

(157 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] Two 9th/10th-century Latin liturgical codices, not rediscovered until the beginning of the 1960s in the library of the Monastery of Saint Catherine in Sinai, exhibit a remarkably strong similarity to the Visigothic script and influences from Arabic and Byzantine bibliology. They presumably originate from one and the same


(322 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] In the palaeographic terminology of medieval MSS and papyri ductus is usually associated with the speed of execution of individual letterforms or ligatures. Sometimes (especially in French scholarship) the term refers to the number, sequence and direction of individual pen-strokes [1. 22]; that, however, is more a matter of the structure of the letters. Accordingly, the ductus can be described as ‘slow’ (calligraphic) or cursive, without excluding either calligraphic or cursive elements from some writing styles. In the first case, the…

Bouletée script

(162 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] Manneristic style of writing Greek minuscules (also termed ‘Church Fathers' style’ because of the main texts in which it was used [1]) in the 10th cent. (913/4-983/4 on the dated examples), characterized in particular by buttonhole-shaped and knotty thickening of ascenders and in many of the small letters. The normally vertical and broadly executed script shows a strong tendency to bilinearism, with shortened ascenders and descenders; the round letters are given a squarish shape. …


(218 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] In papyrology the definition of recto ( r.) and verso ( v.) has not always been straightforward and uncontroversial. R. normally refers to the side of the papyrus on which the fibres run horizontally, in other words the inner side of the papyrus scroll which is thought to have been inscribed first; it is also the side on which the glued overlap ( kóllēsis) is visible. V. describes the outer side on which the fibres run vertically and which was not intended for writing. More recent papyrus editions indicate the fibre direction with {{rarr}} for horizontal fibres and  for vertical ones. For fragments or sheets of papyrus without gluing or recognisable fibre direction the symbols  and  are used. In contrast, the use of the terms…

Palaeography, Latin

(1,065 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice) | Marchioli, Nicoletta Giovè
[English version] From its beginnings, palaeography was regarded as an auxiliary discipline - useful and even indispensable for deciphering and dating manuscripts and documents. It was understood this way by Daniel Van Papenbroeck [8. I-LII] and Jean Mabillon [4], whose works, dealing mainly with diplomatics, mark the beginning of scholarly occupation with the history of the Latin writing system [2]. The term palaeography was coined by the Maurist Bernard de Montfaucon [7]. Soon enough, the new di…

Document hand

(384 words)

Author(s): Menci, Giovanna (Florence) | Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] I. Greek The Greek  documents passed down on papyri ( Papyrus) and ostraka (  óstrakon ) are mostly written in cursive script ( Writing, styles of) or chancellery script. Howeve…

Palaeography, Greek

(870 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice) | Pradel, Marina Molin
[English version] The term palaeography was first used by the Benedictine Bernard de Montfaucon in his work Palaeographia graeca, which appeared in 1708 and opened the way for modern research into the history of Greek writing with its description of modes of operation as well as of methods. Yet Montfaucon initially received little recognition and it was not until approximately a century later that a work by Friedrich Jacob Bast [1] appeared with the actual analysis of Greek writing as its subject. For almost the …


(1,247 words)

Author(s): Menci, Giovanna (Florence) | Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
[German version] I. Definition Since the 18th cent., the term 'uncials' has been used to describe a Latin script which was current from the 4th to 9th cents. AD. It is derived from a misunderstanding of a passage in Jerome (Praef. ad Iob, PL 28, 1142), which mentions


(836 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice) | Menci, Giovanna (Florence)
In contrast to minuscules, majuscules are the scripts in which the letters of the alphabet are written between two often only imaginary horizontal lines. [German version] A. Greek…


(301 words)

Author(s): Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice) | Hallof, Klaus (Berlin)
[German version] is the name given to the merging of the individual letters of a word to ‘one’ ( móno(n)) ‘character’ ( grámma), involving a change of their original order. Sometimes the individual elements of the monogram need to be read more than once, sometimes only in part. Hence many monograms are ambiguous or indecipherable (g). Monograms are found more frequently in Greek than in Latin…


(551 words)

Author(s): Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice)
This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt | Pilgrimage | Egypt [German version] A. The city City in Middle Egypt, modern Al-Bahnasā; in Pharaonic times the capital of the 19th nome of Upper Egypt, Egyptian pr-mḏd, 'meeting house (?)'. Originally O. was one of the main cult centres of Seth as well as of Thoeris. Because Seth had killed Osiris, it was mentioned in traditional lists of nomes as a banned place. There are hardly any archaeological finds from the pre-Ptolemaic period; the ancient centre of the nome was presumably located in spr-mrw. During the Graeco-Roman period, the…
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