Hand: Hand 1 (fols. 1–61), BL Cotton Otho C.i, vol. ii
- Hand 1 (fols. 1–61)
- BL Cotton Otho C.i, vol. ii
- Saec. xi in.
- SW England
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This script is fairly large at first, shows square proportions, and was written using fairly dark ink, a thick pen angled at about 30°, and with much shading. A change of aspect can be observed from 7v21 to about 9r, during which the script becomes much larger and rougher; at least some of this text was written in rasura, and the ink does not seem to have taken to the page nearly as well, so it seems more likely that the change is due to different parchment rather than a different scribe. Nevertheless, gradual changes can be observed as the scribe progressed: tall s becomes more common; a, æ, and e become more rounded; the tail of g is often round and closed; straight-limbed dotted y appears. By about 23r, the ink has become darker, and the script much more pointed. Ascenders are about the same length as minims, are fairly thick, and show good regular wedges. Descenders tend to be slightly shorter and are straight but often with the slight hint of a trail to the left. Minims are pretty regular and show small approach-strokes and very small feet which can consist either of a slight upward tick or just a thickening of the stroke. The top of a is straight but angled at about 30°, the back is angled at about 70°, and the left side can be straight or more rounded; the letter can have the slightest hint of a horn, and cc a is also found. The a-component of æ is similar but has a flatter top, the hook is round, and the tongue thin and slightly rising; the letter is always low but can still be in ligature with following t or g, and the tongue normally reaches forward to the following letter, except before ð where it is always short. The two strokes of c are very distinct: the lower stroke is quite thick, the hook is thin on the left but thick on the right and is short, and the two strokes meet at an angle and usually with a small horn. The back of d is short, thick, and angled at about 45°. The body of e is formed much like c but can be more rounded or more horned, the hook and tongue are like those of æ, and the tongue is usually turned up when final. Tall, closed loops on e and æ were used, but quite infrequently. The tongue of f is long, flat, and on the base-line, and the hook branches from about mid-height but keeps close to vertical until it reaches cue-height. The top of g is short, the mid-section small, and the hook wide, open, and with a horizontal tip. A slightly taller form of i was used regularly for the word in. The shoulders of h, m, and n are all fairly rounded and very slightly swollen, branching below cue-height, rising in a gentle curve, and then turning back slightly to the left before meeting the base-line, as a result of which h looks almost Caroline except that it always has a foot. The shoulder of r is similar to that of h, m, and n, except that it is more angular, and the down-stroke is usually very straight. Horned o was used, the strokes being much like those of c and e. Round s is found most often, followed in frequency by the low then long forms, although the three are used without apparent distinction. The upper hook of round s is small and the lower section larger and wider which gives the letter a backward-leaning appearance. Long s reaches up to ascender-height but has a short descender, the hook is fairly wide, and the wedge is prominent. The conventional distinction between þ and ð was largely followed, but the scribe tended to use ð initially for forms of the definite article after a preposition. The back of ð is long, thick, fairly straight, and usually has a thin hairline stroke trailing left from the tip; the through-stroke is often quite high, is very thin, has a thick downward hook on the right, and also trails off to the left or barely passes through the back. Bilinear x is found with straight arms. Round dotted y was used most often, the tail of which is quite long and rounded, but the f-shaped and straight-limbed forms are also found. The top of 7 curves up somewhat, and the descender is short, straight, and usually has a small serif at the tip.