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Script Analysis – Majuscules

Drogin says

“Gothic textura capitals varied from scribe to scribe…..The freedom in creation of capitals may be due to the fact that until now, no script had had it’s own set of capitals but had either enlarged it’s own script or called upon traditions of earlier scripts. So this was a “new field” and many variations were created…..

While versals served as the grandest capitals, they were invariably done in colour. A simpler but no less calligraphic capital, penned with the same point and ink used for the text, is shown in Plate 117 and it’s ductus given in Figures 28 and 29.”

Plate 117, page 142.

And from the only page of the Bedford Psalter I have that shows a group of Majuscules :

Well, lookee that.

In spite of mention of variations, these majuscules are very similar to plate 117! Varied in only a small way.

So that gives me the set of majuscules to use.

The majuscules appear here in what I think this is a list of headings and names, from what James Derrick told me when I was asking about Paleography.

The other time a majuscule appears is

the first letter following the illuminated letter on 2 of the 4 pages of the Bedford Psalter I have. A majuscule doesn’t follow the illuminated letter on the other two pages.

This is nicely explained on page 23 of “The British Library Guide to Manuscript Illumination” by Christopher de Hamel.

I’m very glad that I found this – or I would have gone nuts trying to to understand the variances in sizes, and why the majuscules were only used to follow two of the illuminated letters. (because they opened Psalms)

Versals,

(used to open ordinary psalms and individual verses in the Bedford Psalter), are discussed by Drogin on pages 55 to 57 of his book.

Script Analysis – Punctuation


Drogin says

” In general, all modern punctuation would be appropriate. The question mark should have it’s curve angularized. And flavour would be added if periods and commans were set at mid-minum height”

(page 141)

Medieval Writing has a brief history of punctuation, with examples

http://medievalwriting.50megs.com/writing.htm

and says

“My resident medievalist assures me that Latin does not require punctuation, as the grammatical constructions are so precise that the significance cannot be misunderstood.

That is the assertion of someone who reads Latin very accurately, but perhaps slowly, and who knows it as a written language.

The different forms of punctuation used in the middle ages were graphic clues as to how the text was to be read.”

Manuscript Studies, Medieval and Early Modern

(http://www.ualberta.ca/~sreimer/ms-course/course/ms-intro.htm)

says (everything you’d ever want to know about medieval punctuation)


Punctuation / “pointing”: the word “punctuation” is derived from the Latin word “punctus,” translated “point”; punctuation is literally the use of “points,” and, until the sixteenth century or so, the English word for punctuation was “pointing.”

Pointing was originally done in liturgical manuscripts as an aid in reading aloud, especially by those whose knowledge of the language which they were reading might be less than perfect; thus, pointing for reading aloud tends to correspond quite closely to marking “pauses for breath,” and it may, in fact, owe much to musical notation for “breaths.

It also tends to be much more thorough in Biblical and liturgical manuscripts (from which readings aloud were done regularly in churches and monasteries) than in secular texts.

However, M. B. Parkes, in his article on “Pause and Effect” in Medieval Eloquence (later expanded into a book, Pause and Effect), warns that there is little consistency in scribal choices of when and how to point a passage:

Medieval scribes and correctors punctuate when confusion is likely to arise (if their Latin is sufficient to recognize the fact) and do not always punctuate where confusion is not likely to arise, even when they are concerned with the sententia literae ["literal meaning"]. . . . Elements which may have a similar syntactic function or convey similar meaning, and which are punctuated in one context, need not be punctuated in another when the context ensures that confusion is not likely to arise” (pp. 138-139).

Furthermore, manuscript pointing may be added by anyone at any time: it might be authorial, intended to clarify the author’s intended meaning, or added by a scribe or a corrector, and some manuscripts show considerable punctuation added at various times by various readers as part of their response to the contents.

There is little literature on medieval punctuation, partly because there is so much evidence which needs to be studied, and partly because editors of texts have considered the effort needed to be a waste (since usually the pointing is not authorial anyway). However, as Parkes’s studies show, much can be learned about scribal practices by studying the punctuation used in a manuscript.

Generally, manuscripts tend to be more lightly and less consistently pointed than printed books (and with the exception of the punctus and the blank space, almost all of our modern marks of punctuation have come into use only since the thirteenth century).

Modern punctuation, designed to clarify syntactic structures rather than to indicate breathings, is largely a Renaissance invention, developing during the first generations of the printing press, and codified in the eighteenth century (about the same time that capitalization and spelling became fixed in more or less their current form).

Among the earliest works showing “modern” punctuation is Francis Bacon’s Essays. An interesting early discussion of the nature of modern punctuation can be found in Ben Jonson’s English Grammar (composed ca. 1617, printed posthumously in 1640). Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century punctuation practice varies considerably, but tends to be “heavy”; current “light” punctuation is largely the invention of H. G. and F. G. Fowler, The King’s English.

The use of layout (putting each “line” of verse on a new line, using indentations, etc.) to punctuate verse is an invention of the later Middle Ages (probably introduced to the English by the French, from whom the English learned rhyming and stanzaic forms, these being characteristics of French verse forms, not of native English verse).

Early English poetry (Beowulf, for instance) is written as prose, filling each writing line to the margin before beginning a new line.

Such “prose-like” poetry also tended to be punctuated in much the same way that prose was, except that the ends of poetic lines (and, in Old English verse, the ends of half-lines) were usually marked with some sort of punctuation symbol.

In later Middle English manuscripts, when layout comes to be used to punctuate verse, it was often considered to be all the punctuation that was necessary.

Thus, with the introduction of the use of layout as punctuation, other punctuation marks become less common in verse, with several notable exceptions: a virgule is often used to mark caesura within the line, the paragraphus or capitulum is used to mark the beginning of stanzas, and a punctus elevatus at the end of the line often indicates an unexpected continuation (enjambement) of the sensus into the next line rather than an “end-stopped” line. [This paragraph is a summary of a portion of M. B. Parkes's article.]

Littera notabilior: an enlarged letter (often in a “display” script) which is used to mark the beginning of a new section (chapter, paragraph, sentence, stanza or line of verse, etc.); can also be used for any “capital” letters.

Punctus (. or •): the placement (which could be at the baseline, in the middle, or at the headline) was, according to a system elaborated by Isidore of Seville (Etymologies I.20), significant:

in early punctuation systems,

it was placed at the baseline to mark a pause in the middle of a sentence (roughly like our comma),

in the middle for a longer pause between clauses (roughly like our semicolon),

and at the headline for a long pause at the end of a sentence.

With the development of minuscule scripts, however, such relative heights are hard to judge, and this set of distinctions is largely abandoned in the later Middle Ages, and . and • are more or less interchangeable (usually used for a final pause, to mark the end of a sentence).

The punctus is the ancestor of our modern “period.”

Punctus versus (which looks like a small “7″ over a period; it can look like a modern semicolon): usually used for a final pause, to mark the end of a sentence (equivalent to a punctus).

Punctus elevatus (which looks like an inverted semicolon, with the tail going up and to the left):

used from the twelfth to the fifteenth century,

and usually used to indicate a major, medial pause (roughly equivalent to a modern comma or semicolon),

usually where the sensus is complete though the sentence is not (as, for instance, between clauses of a sentence).

It fell out of use in the fifteenth century, though it has obvious connections with the modern semicolon.

The modern semicolon (Elizabethan “comma-colon” or “subdistinction”) is a late sixteenth-century development.

Punctus flexus (which can look like a tilde or a small “u” over a period): a tenth-century invention, though it never came into common use;

it was used to mark a minor medial pause where the sensus is not complete (equivalent, then, to a comma when separating phrases within a clause).

Punctus interrogativus (which sometimes looks like a tilde or just a squiggle above a period): used to indicate the end of a question (rising intonation).

First appearing in the eighth century, it was not commonly used, since questions were easily recognized from their syntax.

The modern form (?) and usage is a seventeenth-century invention.

Virgula suspensiva (/): in common use from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century.

Often used for short pauses (such as the caesura in the middle of a line of poetry), but sometimes was used as equivalent to the punctus.

It could be made increasingly emphatic by doubling or even tripling.

The virgule gradually dropped to the bottom of the line and curved, giving us the modern comma (the longer virgule was then redefined and used in a new manner).

The comma as we know it is a sixteenth-century development (the first known use in England was in a book printed in 1521).

Colon (:): first appears in late fourteenth century, to mark either a full or a medial pause.

Hyphen (-): first appears in eleventh century (in England in late thirteenth century); its only common medieval use is to mark words broken at the ends of lines.

Parentheses or brackets: a fifteenth-century invention, to mark parenthetical material;

they were curved in the opposite direction from modern parentheses, and were usually accompanied by the underlining of the words between the parentheses:

)here are some medieval brackets(.

Underlining: is found in medieval manuscripts to mark quotations, direct speech, or parenthetical material;

it is also commonly used to highlight proper names, and can be used as a form of expunction (to mark a word or words for deletion).

Exclamation mark: a modern invention, introduced in the seventeenth-century.

Apostrophe: the modern apostrophe is derived from a medieval mark of abbreviation, a suspension mark indicating that some letters are missing (and therefore we use the apostrophe to mark a contraction).

Quotation marks: an eighteenth-century invention.

In medieval manuscripts, underlining was sometimes used to indicate direct speech or quotation, especially for Biblical quotations, but generally quotations were indicated by rhetorical rather than graphic means.

Dash: an eighteenth-century invention.

Capitulum: the Latin “capitulum” means “head,” and it gives us the Modern English word “chapter” (the beginning or head of a new section of the work).

The chapter marker, a “C” with a vertical stroke, comes to be used not only to mark chapter divisions, but also paragraph divisions (equivalent to the paragraphus, “¶”) and sometimes even sentence divisions (which is related to our modern practice of “capitalizing” the beginning of a sentence).

Paragraphus (a “gallows-pole” or upper-case gamma, or § later ¶): used to mark paragraph divisions.

Insertion signals: material missed was added between the lines or in the margin, with the point of insertion marked with a caret (common from the twelfth century on) or, sometimes, various “nota bene” signs, etc. The word “caret” means “it is lacking.”

Omission signals: there are several common ways of indicating that a word or phrase was to be deleted: cancellation (crossing out), expunction (dots placed below the words or passage to be deleted), vacation (enclosing passage between the syllables “va” and “cat”; “vacat” = “it is void, empty”).

That’s interesting about the Punctus interrogativus (a tilde above a period) instead of a question mark, and the way brackets were done.

“In the Forest” not being in Latin, I’ll need punctuation, and I’ll need the Punctus, and Punctus Elevatas for the commas. It’d be more correct to use Virula Suspensiva (a slanted line for the commas) but, hey.

Later : Doh! There are two question marks in the piece. I’ll use the modern version – there’s one suggested in the Bedford Psalter analysis of the Historic Source Book for Scribes, on page 92.

Script Analysis – More ligatures

I’ve come up with more ligatures, involving bowed letters (mostly to do with v and p)

After discussion with Robert of Stonemarche, I’ll be using the half r only after bowed A, O and E of the vowels – it looks best that way, rather than after the diamond ending I and U.

For the record, looking at one mss :

But *drogin* says that half r’s are used after vowels?! (see attached file)
Maybe the scribes varied the rule?

O biting P – tick
E biting V – like you were saying in your other mail, if V* and W** didn’t end in a diamond. I’ve been using V ligatures in the last couple of days. (but my W ends in a diamond)
and that looks like an E ligatured to the H in the final line! hmmm

Looking at other pages of the same MSS
http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=3293

first line – half r after a and o, but not after e
second line – half r after e, full r after a
ninth line – half r after a
last line – half r after o

http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=3721
first full line : half r after a
last line : half r after o
otherwise full r’s used (examples all after an e or u)

http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=2747
second line – half r after o (two examples)
lines 11 and 13 – half r after o
full r used after a’e and e’s and u’s

Half r after o, a
full r after u, e
seems to be a general rule, Didn’t see any after i’s, which is a pity. It makes sense in terms of bowing for o, a and u, but not for e.

And half r’s used after p’s across the board.

Script Analysis – Abbreviations

Here’s some paleography stuff, but I haven’t worked out one of the symbols and am looking for help :-)
===============
I don’t really need to know what the abbreviations used in the Bedford Psalter page I’m analysing are, since I don’t plan to use them when I’m doing calligraphy pieces, but I thought that I’d look up the ones used, for the sake of further understanding.

I’ve got the Ductus software (thanks Nick!), described at http://www.evellum.com/index.html?ductus/

It reproduces the text of “The Elements of Abbreviation in Medieval Latin Paleography” by Adriano Capelli.

( I also found Capelli’s Dictionary of Latin Abbreviations on-line at http://www.hist.msu.ru/Departments/Medieval/Cappelli/ . The explanations are in Italian, which is a great pity, but it does provide the lists of abbreviated letters with their full Latin word counterparts.)

I am jumping around, reading bits and pieces of a rather complicated subject, but this is a little start on it, and hopefully I’ve interpreted the symbols correctly.

“0.2 All medieval abbreviations, for both Latin and Italian words, can be divided into six categories….. Abbreviation can be indicated by 1. Truncation 2. Contraction 3. Abbreviation marks significant in themselves 4. Abbreviation marks significant in context 5. Superscript letters 6. Conventation signs.”

Most of what I’ve seen in my page of the Bedford Psalter is either truncation or contraction with one possible abbreviation mark significant in itself (at the end)

The following is from “Manuscript Studies – Medieval and Early Modern … IV.vi.Paleography.Scribal Abbreviations
http://www.ualberta.ca/~sreimer/ms-course/course/abbrevtn.htm unless otherwise noted:-

“The two most common (and most variable) marks are a macron above a letter or an apostrophe-like curl after or part of a letter; both can mean “some letters are missing” (though in late medieval manuscripts the apostrophe-like mark is frequently otiose: purely decorative, without significance).

A macron usually indicates a missing m or n, or a missing syllable involving one of these nasals; it can also indicate other suspensions, such as a missing i in ion (it also frequently represents a medial or final syllable with i).

I was confused as to whether a macron was a bar or line, as opposed to sometimes being a curved line (tilde) as referred to above, representing an ‘a’/syllable containing an ‘a’.

Wikipaedia gives

A macron, from Greek μακρός (makros) meaning “large”, is a diacritic ¯ placed over a vowel originally to indicate that the vowel is long. The opposite is a breve ˘, used to indicate a short vowel. These distinctions are usually phonemic.

Never mind the definition, which is a pronunciation based one, at least it tells me that a macron is a bar/line.

From the Bedford Psalter. Even tho it’s ‘decorated’ to make it looked curved, I say that this is a macron, and is the abbreviation of “cundum cum” (“something with”)

A curled macron (a tilde) represents a missing a or a syllable with an a. Assuming that the symbol above is a macron, there aren’t any curled macrons in the Bedford Psalter.

A curled line extending from a final letter, or an apostrophe-shaped mark (it can be a small “9″ shaped mark in a raised position after a letter), most frequently indicates a missing terminal us: “ver9″ = “versus”; “ven9″ = “Venus.”

From the Bedford Psalter, showing the apostrophe shaped mark and the “9″ close together :-

It also is used medially and finally to denote e or er: p’iodic = periodic.

This medieval suspension mark is the origin of the modern apostrophe to indicate missing letters in contractions, as in “don’t.”

Still to find – an diamond placed above a non-terminal letter,
Capelli says
“1.4 The first truncation sign, a period or dot, is generally placed after the abbreviated word and is still in use today with the same meaning.
But the Bedford Psalter examples have the dot over the word, not at the end :-

I don’t know about psaltiu(m?) but egypti would seem to me to be a complete word. So what is the dot doing?


On page 16, Capelli work through the development of a wavy line “3.41 sometimes very pronounced, almost like the letter ‘u’, is written above the word to indicate the omission of the letter ‘r’ or a syllable which contains an ‘r’, such as ‘re’, ‘ra’, ‘ar’. “In many cases, however, this wavy line is used to indicate the letter ‘a’ or a syllable that ends in ‘a’….in this case being a transformation of the letter ‘a’…. “In manuscripts of the 14th and 15th centuries, especially those written in the Gothic script, this wavy line develops further into a broken horizontal bar, or two heavy dots closely spaced”

From the Bedford Psalter :
From my reading of Capelli, I am thinking that the first character shown here is a specialised symbol, indicating a specification abbreviation of letters.

On another page of the Bedford Psalter there is

A couple more double dots, indicating endings in an ‘a’ or a syllable containing an ‘a’.

Capelli says

1.5 Amongst the various abbreviations by truncation, the sigla are easily the most important. They are also the most difficult to interpret since they reproduce only the initial letter of the abbreviated word. Fortunately it is only the most frequently used words and phases that are so abbreviated….. It is generally the majuscule form of the initial letter that at is used, followed by a period.

I think the following paragraph may be relevant to the following weird thing – the “lxx” topped by two dots :-

“1.55 Doubled sigla generally indicated the plural number or the superlative degree, or sometimes also a word in which the letter in the abbreviation occurs two or more times.”

I wonder if the ‘infinity symbol’ (an 8 on it’s side) is a Bishop’s knot.

Script Analysis – Ligatures and other letter form rules

From Drogin, page 64.

I made a list of all the letters with bows to the left and/or right, and then put them together in the possible combinations.

The ones with a “x” are combinations that don’t occur in English (or Latin, as far as I know).
There are repeats in the list.

And here’s the final list, with the repeats removed, and also the other relevant rules associated with letter forms (half r and long s).

I’ve struck out the ligatures to do with version 2 of ‘a’ just lightly – because I think when I’m using a source other than the Bedford P, which I’m copying faithfully, I’ll just use version 1 of a – I like it better.

Oh – that last line should have ‘o’ as the row header.


Later : I found this comment in “An Introduction to Palaeography for Scribes”, Migistra Nicolaa de Bracton of Leicester
at http://members.tripod.com/nicolaa5/articles/pal.html

They also began a practice known as “biting”, in which adjoining letters with rounded parts (bowls) would be shoved together so that the bowls actually touched”.

Drogin refers to the ligatures of the bows as “biting’ somewhere as well.

She also says

The use of ligatures is part of this. In some hands (such as half-uncial), ligatures–one or more letters within a word joined together–were mostly used as a space-saving measure towards the ends of lines. In other hands (Beneventan, for example), certain letters were always joined in ligature, no matter where they were located in a line. Still other hands (Luxeuil, for one) feature a dazzling variety of possible ligatures–some used more often than others.”

Script Analysis – Remaining Questions

I mentioned that I still have some questions from my list of script analysis questions to cover.
I also want to look at the spacing again, coz I have a much better idea about what I’m looking for now.

I’ve edited the list a bit, because I’ve hopped around the place.

So they are :

Letter Width

Use the pen ladder on the card to measure the width of a N. Compare this width against the width of other letters. Widths of letters in variant scripts may differ from the widths used in the ‘standardized’ script of that type.

If the width of the same letter varies within the source examples, which is the most common width, or which width looks the best to you?

Make notes on the ductus as appropriate. You should now know the proportions of each letter – the height and the width.

Counterspaces

Look at the negative spaces within the letters (the counterspaces). Become aware of the shapes that are formed. “Become conscious of what each corner of the nib is “drawing” by looking at the corner nearer to the inside counter, while forming each letter. This encourages greater awareness of negative shapes. If these are correct, the black lines will also be correct”

Letter and Word Spacing

Use the nib width ladder to find the spacing between the letters in a word. 3,4

What is it?

Does it vary, and when?

(Not including ligatures, which are covered below)

What is the space between the words in nib widths?

Details of the Letters

What alternative forms of letters exist (for example R, half R, S, Long S, )

What are the rules for their use? For example, in Gothic scripts, half R is used after certain letters. (Drogin et al will have this answer for scripts of a similar form of the period)

Ensure that these forms are included on the ductus, including any notes on letter height, strokes at an angle other than the dominant pen angle,

Are there particular letter forms used at the end of a line? For example, in Uncial, e with a long centre stroke was used at the end of a line. (Drogin et al will have this answer for scripts of a similar form of the period)

Include examples on the ductus if possible.

Are there any other forms of letters for particular linguistic situations? For example, double S or double F?

Include an example on the ductus

Are there any letters from A…Z that weren’t used in the period of the script (eg K, J, Q)? 2

Is there an ampersand or et-ligature used?2

Include an example on the ductus

Are there ligatures used – this will depend on the period the script is from. For example, DE, DO, DA sharing a central stem.2
Mark Drogin et al will give the rules for the letters for the standard scripts of the same period.

What punctuation is used? 2

Include examples on the ductus

Are there any changes you would make to the layout of the text, the word or letter spacing, or any details of the letters themselves in order to improve legibility to the modern eye?2,6

And there should be something about what Majuscules are used

Script Analysis – Text Block Size

OK, so I’ve re-sized my 4 pages so that the x-height is 7 mm in all of them.

I’ve noticed that the text block size varies! It can be seen by clicking on the scans shown in Script Analysis – Ascender and Descender Height.

I’ve taken the first image – the page shown in Backhouse’s Illuminated Page, which is also the page shown in the Historical Source book for Scribes, as a basis.

I’ve then marked on each of the other pages the differences in the height and width of the text block. There are differences varying between 8 mm and 19 mm on the various pages.

I can explain why the other 3 pages are shorter. The median (most common) ascender/descender height for the 2 British Library pages is 2 mm, not 3 mm. The median ascender/descender for the Codices Illustres page is 3 mm, but the measurements are weighted differently – there are a lot of smaller ascender/descender heights on that page.
So having a lot of smaller ascender/descender heights on a page ends up in a shorter page.

Why the lines are shorter on the other 3 pages – I just don’t know. The writing on the Backhouse page looks a little bigger. It has the most flourished version of the script – I’ve mentioned before that it looks like the pages were done by different scribes, most noticeable with the Backhouse page – which is why it might be spaced out a tiny tiny bit more. I haven’t had any success in finding a difference through measurement – the measurements are just too small.

I’m not going to worry about it too much. I’ve measured the x-height, and the ascender/descender height and there is so much variability on one page, never mind between the pages. I just need to settle on a ‘standard’ that I can work from.

Script Analysis -Drawing up the Guidelines

From my list of Script Analysis questions :

Checking the guideline measurements :

Taking the most common x-height, ascender height and descender height measured, rule out a sheet of guidelines with as many lines as counted on the original page of the mss. (This is where the measuremens in mm/inches come in useful).

The measurement between each baseline can be used to provide a rough check of the accuracy of the drawn lines.

You now have a set of guidelines that will help you practise script in the same dimensions, and construct a page using the same measurements, as the script in the original mss.”

I had drawn up some guidelines in

Script Analysis – Drawing up the Guidelines

but of course they were incorrect because I had the wrong x-height.

I’d also done something else incorrectly. In that entry, I adjusted the ascender/descender height so that the set of lines would fit onto a page the same size as a full size page from the Bedford Psalter.

But it’s more important to have the writing the same size!

I’ve discovered, after re-sizing the 4 pages I have that they all vary slightly in size. (I’ll talk about that in the next post). Page size is definitely not the priority. I had it backwards.

Anyway, so now I’ve drawn up a set of 18 lines (as per a page of the Bedford Psalter), with an x-height of 5 pen widths, and an ascender/descender height of 2 penwidths – which is 7 mm and 3 mm respectively using a pen nib width of 1.5 mm, which was used in the Bedford Psalter.

I also put in the double margins on the right hand side. I’ve had the problem before where I practise using plain guidelines on my practise pad and then get to doing a piece in the ‘proper’ layout with the margins – and have problems dealing with where to end my words, – whether to squish a bit (which the scribes did sometimes) or hyphenate and extend to the next line or what. I want this to be part of my normal practise, so that it doesn’t phase me when i come to doing a piece.

My guidelines are longer in length than the pages from the Psalter. That’s because I’ve done all my ascender/descender heights at 3 mm, whereas on the pages they vary between 2 and 3 mm, with 3 mm being the most common measurement.

I am now up to the point where I’d reached before when I realised about my mistake with measuring the pen nib width and hence the x-height. I’ve done heaps more – I just have to type it all up!

Script Analysis – Ascender and Descender Height

In Script Analysis – Fundamental Error and Script Analysis – The new measurements I talk about my new (correct!) measurement of the nib width, and find the x-height to be 5 pen widths.

The next thing to do is to look at the ascender/descender heights.

Here are scanned copies of my 4 images I have to work on. They have all been re-sized so that the x-height of each line is 5 pen widths – 7 mm, using a 1.5 (or 1.4 !) mm nib width.

Historical Source Book/The Illuminated Page, (Backhouse, page 164) ::-Codices Illustres page 287::-

British Library online Image 1 ::-

British Library Image 2 ::-

I’ve marked up my measurements of all the ascender and descender heights.

It would have been nice if they had all been the same, but oh well. The ascender/descender (a/d) heights varied from 2 mm to 3 mm, with 1 measurement on one page at 1.5 mm, and one on another page at 4 mm.
I’ve looked in the past for some correlation between these different heights and the placement of other objects on the page (eg the illuminated letter) and been unable to find one.

I’ve written at the bottom of each scanned page the number of occurences of each of the measurements (5 x 2.5 mm, 10 x 3 mm, 3 x 3.5 mm sort of thing, remembering there are 18 lines on each page).

The most common value (the median value) is most definitely 3 mm, so that’s what I’m taking for my a/d height. Translating to pen nib widths, this is 2 pen nib widths.
The total measurement including the ascender, x-height and descender is 9 pen widths, or 13 mm for a pen nib width of 1.5 mm.

The above answers the following questions from my list of script analysis questions :

Pen Nib Width

Using a page of the mss reproduced at the real size of the mss for all of this section :-

What is the size of the pen width in millimetres/inches? (measure from a broad stroke of the O). This is handy to know when ruling up a page… 2

How many pen widths are there between the baseline and waistline?3,4
(This should be the same as the number of pen widths of the height of the O)
This is the x-height.

Select a pen with the appropriate nib width, and check your measurement by drawing a nib ladder on the reproduction of the mss page

How many pen widths are there between each of the baselines of the text, disregarding ascenders and descenders? What is this distance in mm/inches?1,3,4

What is the ascender height in pen widths and mm/inches?1,3,4

What is the descender height in pen widths and mm/inches?1,3,4

It may be that the x-height, ascender and descender heights frequently vary by a couple of millimetres on the page being inspected because the page was ruled by hand, and also because the original scribes made mistakes as well. Take the most common measurements.”

OK,. so I forgot to do the nib width ladder. oops.

The Bedford Hours vs The Bedford Hours and Psalter

Paul recommended that I do a script analysis of the Bedford Hours back in
http://elmsleyrose.blogspot.com/2006/09/second-coming-paul-antonios-comments.html
and
http://elmsleyrose.blogspot.com/2006/09/plans-for-next-part-of-my-work.html

but I couldn’t get enough images of the pages.

Almost all of the pages of the Bedford Hours have only a few lines of writing in the middle of the pages accompanied by a large versal, so you need lots to get the full alphabet.

I could get more for the Bedford Hours and Psalter, so that’s what I ended up using.

Of course, now, I have a copy of Janet Backhouse’s book on The Bedford Hours.

The books I’m referencing for the script analysis (The Historical Source Book for Scribes and Stan Knight’s Historical Scripts) also refer to the Bedford Hours and Psalter.

I have been assured by Paul and by Gemma Black that the gothic textura quadrata script in the Bedford Hours and Psalter (commonly called just the Bedford Psalter) is also of a high quality.

They are from the same period, and share the name “Bedford” simply because the Duke of Bedford was their patron.

The Bedford Hours was created in the period about 1423-1430, by the Bedford Master and his workshop, (in Paris) including the Master of the Golden Legend of Munich, to quote Codices Illustres page 301. It’s in Latin, with explanatory notes in French at the bottom of the pages.

The Bedford Psalter was created in about in the period 1414-1423 by Hermann Scheerre and his workshop (in London). – Codices Illustres page 286. It’s in Latin. Good full pages of script.

Yes, I have gone back and changed the labels and any references from The Bedford Hours to the Bedford Hours and Psalter (The Bedford Psalter). I knew I’d have to talk about this, and make the changes eventually, and this seemed like a good time to do it.