Vocabulary for Describing Medieval Manuscripts and their Hands

Bounding lines, pricking and ruling: a rectangular frame of faint lead or blind ruled lines marking the text block, tiny holes along the gutter and fore-edge margins to guide the ruling, and the lead or blind ruling which guided the lines of text to be copied.

Minim--the basic stroke (viz. l) from which all characters are composed.

Serif--a brief line ending a minim ( l ) to improve definition.  (Sanserif characters have no serifs.  Sin pedibus characters have no "feet.")

Ascender--the vertical portion of a stroke above the midpoint of a minuscule in the letters "b" or "d" or "l."

Descender--the vertical portion of a stroke below the bottom of a minuscule in the letters "g" or "p."

Rubric--ink colored other than black, for emphasis, explanation, or section endings or beginnings (L., "red" but used for other colors as "rubricated in blue ink.")

Foliate border--text block frames made from intertwined flowers, leaves, and vines, often containing animals or fantastic beasts and grotesques.

Bas-de-page--Fr. lit. "bottom of the page," illuminations at the foot of the page, often animals or grotesques (MS produced in & after C13)

Line filler--decorative shapes inserted to occupy blank space to the margin of a short line of text, often illuminated.

Illumination--lit. "light-bringing," highly colored painted scenes illustrating or making parallel commentary on the text, including illuminated capitals.

The Burnet Psalter,

The Aberdeen Bestiary  Creation  Creation of the Firmament (icon)  Fowl and Fishes (permeable image fame)  Panther  Deer (cut out)  Dogs 1  Dogs 2