Hand: Main Hand, BL Harley 3376
- Main Hand
- BL Harley 3376
- Ker, Scribe G. saec. x/xi
- Saec. x/xi
Item #240 - Ker, Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon
A skilled forward-sloping black hand.
In Old English, a and s are regularly caroline
In Latin, g is regularly insular in the abbreviations of the word grece
In Latin, the form of caroline g is like a figure 8, with the lower loop larger than the upper
Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)
This hand is relatively tall and narrow and shows a clear departure from Square minuscule; indeed, it is much influenced by the Anglo-Caroline. The script is dark, heavy, and forward-leaning but somewhat angular, and the aspect is much the same in both Latin and vernacular. Ascenders can be almost double the length of minims, particularly in the marginal and interlinear entries, and usually lack wedges; descenders are also long and can be very straight and thick. The minim-strokes are thick and only slightly curved, but they are not as straight and parallel as in some earlier manuscripts from Worcester such as G.896. Caroline a was used both for a itself and in æ. The tongues of e and æ are at or just below cue-height, with the squinting eyes extending slightly above, although the tall ligatures of Square minuscule are entirely absent. Round c was used, but the back of e is vertical and has a small horn. The back of d is straight but angled at approximately 45°. The tongue of f is flat and not especially long. The top of g is short, the tail open, and the body is relatively narrow and forward-leaning body. The shoulder of r bends back towards the descender. Long s is found throughout, and although Ker described it as ‘Caroline’, it is taller and narrower than that used in Latin.Ker, Catalogue, p. 313 (no. 241). Straight, dotted y was used in the vernacular script, although a deeply split, round, dotted y appears in Latin. The body of wynn is small and very angular: the top is horizontal, and the body is closed with a straight, diagonal line. Latin is distinguished by script.