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According to Trabe, these abbreviations are not really meant to lighten the burden of the scribe but rather to shroud in reverent obscurity the holiest words of the Christian religion. Another practice was repeating the abbreviation's final consonant a given number of times to indicate a group of as many persons: AVG denoted "Augustus", thus, AVGG denoted "Augusti duo"; however, lapidaries took typographic liberties with that rule, and instead of using COSS to denote "Consulibus duobus", they invented the CCSS form.

Still, when occasion required referring to three or four persons, the complex doubling of the final consonant yielded to the simple plural siglum. To that effect, a vinculum overbar above a letter or a letter-set also was so used, becoming a universal medieval typographic usage. Besides the tilde and macron marks, above and below letters, modifying cross-bars and extended strokes were employed as scribal abbreviation marks, mostly for prefixes and verb, noun and adjective suffixes.

The typographic abbreviations should not be confused with the phrasal abbreviations: i. Moreover, besides scribal abbreviations, ancient texts also contained variant typographic characters, including ligatures e. The "u" and "v" characters originated as scribal variants for their respective letters, likewise the "i" and "j" pair. Modern publishers printing Latin-language works replace variant typography and sigla with full-form Latin spellings; the convention of using "u" and "i" for vowels and "v" and "j" for consonants is a late typographic development. Since the establishment of movable-type printing in the 15th century, founders have created many such ligatures for each set of record type font to communicate much information with fewer symbols.

Moreover, during the Renaissance 14th to 17th centuries , when Ancient Greek language manuscripts introduced that tongue to Western Europe , its scribal abbreviations were converted to ligatures in imitation of the Latin scribal writing to which readers were accustomed. Later, in the 16th century, when the culture of publishing included Europe's vernacular languages, Graeco-Roman scribal abbreviations disappeared, an ideologic deletion ascribed to the anti- Latinist Protestant Reformation — After the invention of printing, manuscript copying abbreviations continued to be employed in Church Slavonic and are still in use in printed books as well as on icons and inscriptions.

Many common long roots and nouns describing sacred persons are abbreviated and written under the special diacritic symbol titlo , as shown in the figure at the right. That corresponds to the Nomina sacra Latin: "Sacred names" tradition of using contractions for certain frequently-occurring names in Greek ecclesiastical texts. Adriano Cappelli's Lexicon Abbreviaturarum lists the various medieval brachigraphic signs found in Vulgar Latin and Italian texts, which originate from the Roman sigla, a symbol to express a word, and Tironian notes.

For example, "e. The original manuscripts were not written in a modern sans-serif or serif font but in Roman capitals, rustic, uncial, insular, Carolingian or blackletter styles. For more, refer to Western calligraphy or a beginner's guide. Additionally, the abbreviations employed varied across Europe. Suspended terms are those of which only the first part is written, and the last part is substituted by a mark, which can be of two types:. The largest class of suspensions consists of single letters standing in for words that begin with that letter.

A dot at the baseline after a capital letter may stand for a title if it is used such as in front of names or a person's name in medieval legal documents. However, not all sigla use the beginning of the word. For plural words, the siglum is often doubled: "F.

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To avoid confusion with abbreviations and numerals, the latter are often written with a bar above. Starting in the 8th or the 9th century, single letter sigla grew less common and were replaced by longer, less-ambiguous sigla, with bars above them. Abbreviations by contraction have one or more middle letters omitted. They were often represented with a general mark of abbreviation above , such as a line above. They can be divided into two subtypes:. Such marks inform the reader of the identity of the missing part of the word without affecting independent of the meaning.

Some of them may be interpreted as alternative contextual glyphs of their respective letters.


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A superscript letter generally referred to the letter omitted, but, in some instances, as in the case of vowel letters, it could refer to a missing vowel combined with the letter r , before or after it. It is only in some English dialects that the letter r before another consonant largely silent and the preceding vowel is " r-coloured ".


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Although in English, the g is silent in gn , but in other languages, it is pronounced. Vowels were the most common superscripts, but consonants could be placed above letters without ascenders; the most common were c , e. These marks are nonalphabetic letters carrying a particular meaning. Several of them continue in modern usage, as in the case of monetary symbols. In Unicode, they are referred to as letter-like glyphs. Additionally, several authors are of the view that the Roman numerals themselves were, for example, nothing less than abbreviations of the words for those numbers.

Other examples of symbols still in some use are alchemical and zodiac symbols, which were, in any case, employed only in alchemy and astrology texts, which made their appearance beyond that special context rare. In addition to the signs used to signify abbreviations, medieval manuscripts feature some glyphs that are now uncommon but were not sigla. Many more ligatures were used to reduce the space occupied, a characteristic that is particularly prominent in blackletter scripts.

An illuminated manuscript would feature miniatures , decorated initials or littera notabilior , which later resulted in the bicamerality of the script case distinction. Various typefaces have been designed to allow scribal abbreviations and other archaic glyphs to be replicated in print. They include " record type ", which was first developed in the s to publish Domesday Book and was fairly widely used for the publication of medieval records in Britain until the end of the 19th century. In the Unicode Standard v.

Specifically, they are located in the charts "Combining Diacritical Marks Supplement" 26 characters , "Latin Extended Additional" 10 characters , "Supplemental Punctuation" 15 characters , "Ancient Symbols" 12 characters and especially "Latin Extended-D" 89 characters. Characters are "the smallest components of written language that have semantic value" but glyphs are "the shapes that characters can have when they are rendered or displayed".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Latin abbreviations of praedicatorum , quoque , conversis , and quorum. See also: Palaeography , Illuminated manuscript , Typographic ligature , and Breviograph. Main article: Medieval Unicode Font Initiative.

Cappelli incorporates these into his category of abbreviative signs which are dependent on the context cf. Segni abbreviativi con significato relativo , Cappelli : xxix—xli. Monogrammatic letters Cappelli : xli—xlii , or ligatures, in turn, refer to the common practice used in stone and metal inscriptions of saving space by joining letters together.

Chassant stresses their irregular quality. The two main reasons to use abbreviations are the economy of time and the economy of space cf. Petti : Economy of time was the more important one in Ancient Rome, where abbreviations were needed for making quick transcriptions of spoken language. In late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, saving parchment became the driving principle. Both are lists of abbreviations which are far from comprehensive. They do not include many of the abbreviations used in older Roman cursive, or inscriptions, or minuscule abbreviations found in non-calligraphic manuscripts of late antiquity.

The third one, Nomina Sacra , was described by Traube Ancient Rome was a society in which public speaking played a significant role and which had an ample supply of slaves for scribal duties. This led to a need for a quick shorthand, or tachygraphic , developed as an aid for making quick transcriptions. The system of Tironian Notae is sometimes said to have been invented by Tiro personally see, e. The claim is hard to verify, since all surviving Ciceronian works and letters are several generations removed from the original — no Roman manuscript is known as an authorial holograph Greetham Chassant gives the alternative theory of origin that the system was invented by Ennius and perfected by Tiro : x.

However, it seems entirely possible, and even likely, that this is merely another instance of pseudepigraphy , the name of a famous person becoming attached to something not invented by him for reasons of prestige. The Tironian system was expanded according to new needs — and St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, mentions a need to supplement it with Christian symbols in the third century.

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New symbols were added to according to the differing needs of various MSS cf. Chassant : xiii. Insular scribes were particularly fond of the Tironian signs, as they were of all abbreviations cf. Brown : 5.

The Elements of Abbreviation in Medieval Latin Paleography - Adriano Cappelli - Google книги

Another system of abbreviations, which is clearly identified as such in classical and medieval sources is the Notae Iuris , mentioned both by Probus and Isidore of Seville cf. Lindsay This consists of abbreviations used by the legal profession, including some of the most commonly known Roman ones, such as pr. Notae Iuris are typically suspensions, but also include contractions such as EE. Lindsay : — The third category, Nomina Sacra , refers to a set of abbreviations found in early Christian writings. These abbreviations are used with remarkable consistency in these writings, including inscriptions on amulets and icons as well as papyri , in several different languages, including Greek, Latin, Coptic, Armenian, and Slavonic sources Barker : 8—9, Solomon : 14— Unlike the previous two categories, the name is a modern one.

The Latin term, which has become standard, originates with Traube : 17— The practice was adopted into Latin via Greek, which itself may have been influenced by the Hebrew practice of avoiding mentioning name of the Lord see, e. Many of the Nomina Sacra are Greek, and retain the form of the characters in the Latin west, even though there are some indications that scribes may not always have understood this.

Traube makes the case that the purpose of these abbreviations was not to save time and space, but to avoid mentioning names which were considered holy. He cites a range of examples from manuscripts in which the scribe has only used the Nomina Sacra in Christian contexts; for example, the Christian God is abbreviated DS, but pagan ones are written in full; e. Lindsay : 2.

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As already mentioned, there are several abbreviations found in ancient sources which do not fall under the traditional categories. The same phenomenon also affects titles and indexes of manuscripts, and can be found in pocket-sized copies of gospels, commonplace books which required economy of space at the expense of calligraphy Lindsay However, archeological work has also uncovered papyri and other sources containing evidence of minuscule abbreviations cf.

Barker that are likely to have influenced the scripts used in the early Middle Ages, but not in the majuscule codices of late antiquity preserved in medieval monasteries. The main motivation for using manuscript abbreviations in the early Middle Ages differed from antiquity. In Ancient Rome, there was a great need for shorthand, whereas in the Middle Ages, the main concern was to save expensive writing materials, and thus the economy of space became the prime objective cf.

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Petti One factor contributing to this was the codex type of manuscript, which supplanted the roll between the fourth and the seventh centuries and was written on parchment because, despite being more expensive, it was better suited for bending and sewing into quires Greetham : In areas under Roman rule, such as France, Italy, and Spain, there was a continuation from late Antiquity through the Dark Ages into the later Middle Ages, as opposed to Ireland and the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, where writing came with Christian missionaries cf.

Chassant The areas in which the abbreviations were most popular, Ireland and Scandinavia, are also some of the poorest.

Irish minuscule scribes used all means possible to save vellum, keeping letter-size very small, crowding words together and ignoring rules for syllable-division between lines Lindsay : 2—3. Using Latin abbreviations reached its height with scholasticism. Abbreviations were carried over to the vernacular, as far as practicable, but with less consistency.

When writing was transfered from Latin to the vernacular, the abbreviation symbols were applied to these languages.

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