Chronological Survey of Diane Tillotson's Script Tutorials from C8 through C16

Click here for a link to the full list of her script examples.  This page is intended to give a rapid overview of changes in types of hands during the period to aid MS dating of scripts you are most likely to encounter in 241 or at the Walter Art Museum Library.  Surviving manuscripts from C4-C8 are extremely rare.  For full reading competence, longer exposure to her examples will be required but these should get you started.

C8-12 Caroline Miniscule--1) rounded forms; 2) some "crowns" and "feet" on ascenders and descenders of "e," "t," "k," and "b"; 3) "g" does not close lower loop; 4) "d" ascender usually vertical & loop does not cross; 5) balanced crossbars on "x"; 6) "t" has no ascender above the crossbar, a Greek "tau" (τ).

C13 Transition from Caroline Miniscule to Early Gothic--1) more vertical, less rounded; 2) "g" lower loop starts to close; 3)  angled ascender crowns and flat feet; 4) "d" loop starts to cross ascender; 5) "x" crossbars becoming unbalanced and right side of "h" starts to curve under as a descender; 6) "t" continues to have no or only a tiny ascender above the crossbar, a Greek "tau" (τ).

C15  Gothic Textura--1) angular top and bottom loops; 2) ascenders may be split at tops to form "crowns"; 3) lower loop of "g" closed and ascender curves backward to left above loop; 4)  vertical "x" form appears; 5) crossed "z"; 6) "t" ascender extends above crossbar as in modern form.

C15 Gothic Littera Bastarda--1) Letter forms resemble Textura Quadrata above, especially "g," "x," and "t"; 2)  minuscule characters for "l" and "f" etc. develop "dagger" descenders and "flag" ascenders appear, often high above the line, sometimes looped and flourished; 3) Capital "A" sometimes becomes a triangle.

C14-16 Cursive Scripts--NOT in Drogin!  These are examples of handwriting with characteristics similar to those produced by private secretaries and their employers, not typical of scribes of the previous eras.