later continental scripts

Takamiya MS 84: Epistolae morales ad Lucillium

Takamiya MS 84. Seneca, Epistolae morales ad Lucilium (fragment). Italy (?), c. 1470.

While Gothic textura scripts and Gothic-derived cursives dominated for centuries in northern Europe, Italian scribes and scholars were perfecting new scripts based on a return to the letterforms of Caroline minuscule.

If this fifteenth-century manuscript looks “modern” to us, it is because these Humanist scripts were the foundation of modern writing and printing.

Beinecke MS 439: Scribal pattern book

Beinecke MS 439. Gregorius Bock, Scribal pattern book. Swabia, Germany, c. 1510-1517. 

Even as new scripts were developed over the centuries, not every older style was forgotten. Some remained in continuous use for particular texts, such as Gothic scripts for liturgical works. One result of this accumulation of scripts can be seen in Beinecke MS 439, a scribal pattern book belonging to a Benedictine monk named Gregorius Bock. It contains a collection of scripts for scribes to master and imitate, including many of the Gothic, Secretary, and Humanist scripts seen here. Some would have been familiar to a sixteenth-century reader, but others may have been less so, such as those with Hebrew and Greek letters.

later continental scripts