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Nomina Sacra

(400 words)

Author(s): Giovè Marchioli, Nicoletta (Triest)
[German version] The term NS (‘holy words’) refers to various shortened forms such as ΘΣ, Latin DS; ΙΣ, Latin IHS; ΧΡΣ, Latin XPS; ΚΣ, Latin DNS; ΠΗΡ, Latin PR; ΠΝΑ, Latin SPS; as well as Latin SCS, NR for the names Θεός, Latin Deus; Ἰησοῦς, Latin Iesus; Χριστός, Latin Christus; Κύριος, Latin Dominus; πατήρ, Latin pater; πνεῦμα, Latin spiritus; and for the Latin adjectives sanctus and noster. These shortened forms, which look like contractions, generally consist only of consonants (without vowels), usually the first and last letters of the word, and are marked…


(1,305 words)

Author(s): Giovè Marchioli, Nicoletta (Triest) | Menci, Giovanna (Florence)
[German version] I. Definition Tachygraphy is the conventional term for the ancient technique of speed writing, which replaced letters, syllables, words or short sentences by symbols, and was practiced by sēmeiográphoi and tachygráphoi (Lat. notarii and exceptores) [1.30-31]. The existence of mutual Greco-Roman influences may be assumed, although the priority of either contemporaneous system is difficult to ascertain. The chronological priority of the Greek system might be attested by a letter of Cicero from 45 BC (Cic. Att. 13,32), in which he uses the Greek expression dià sēmeí…

Gothic script

(996 words)

Author(s): Oettinger, Norbert (Augsburg) | Zamponi, Stefano (Pistoia) | Giovè Marchioli, Nicoletta (Triest)
[German version] [1] Alphabetical script by Wulfila The linguistic monuments of  Gothic are written in their own alphabetical script. It was created about the middle of the 4th cent. AD by the Gothic bishop Wulfila in Moesia (modern Bulgaria) for the purpose of translating the Bible. The extant manuscript tradition starts about AD 500 and is divided into two slightly different script variants of different ages. Most letters are taken directly from the Greek  alphabet. The reasons for deviations from it…


(2,775 words)

Author(s): Giovè Marchioli, Nicoletta (Triest) | Eleuteri, Paolo (Venice) | Menci, Giovanna (Florence)
[German version] A. General An abbreviation (Latin notae, sigla, siglae) consists of a semantic element -- the alphabetic lettering of the abbreviated word -- and a symbolic element, signs referring to the summarizing character of what is written. The use of abbreviations is justified for a number of practical reasons: first, because they make reading quikker and more accurate, and secondly, because they save time and space. In classical antiquity and, in a wider sense, right up to the late Middle Ages,…