Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The case for a West Saxon minuscule

  • Julia Crick (a1)

Julian Brown's famous analysis of what he termed the Insular system of scripts marked out a number of routes, now well trodden, through the debris of undated and unlocalized manuscript material from the pre-Viking-Age British Isles. Ever since, the best hope for students of palaeography seeking to date and localize examples of early Insular minuscule has been to follow Brown's classification and identify them as Type A or B, Northumbrian or Southumbrian, and Phase I or II. Brown's schema, however, offered orientation rather than a map. As with any typology, it depends on a very few fixed points, themselves unusual because of their lack of anonymity: gospelbooks from Ireland and Northumbria dated by the survival of rare colophons, manuscripts connected with St Boniface which show the operation of a unique editorial mind. Although Brown's system has been successfully applied to the output of scriptoria whose influences, practices, connections, even locations remain mostly unknown, complications inevitably arise. This article concerns one of them, the recycling in Phase II of a type of minuscule displaying the cursiveness and capriciousness characteristic of Phase I: Type B minuscule as illustrated by the script of St Boniface.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

‘The Origin and Authenticity of the Royal Anglo-Saxon Diploma’, Jnl of the Soc. of Archivists 3 (19651969), 4861, at 57

S. M. Kuhn , ‘The Vespasian Psalter and the Old English Charter Hands’, Speculum 18 (1943), 458–83, at 458–66.

From Canterbury to Lichfield’, Speculum 23 (1948), 591629, at 609.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Anglo-Saxon England
  • ISSN: 0263-6751
  • EISSN: 1474-0532
  • URL: /core/journals/anglo-saxon-england
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 80 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 27th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.