Hand: Main Hand, Bodleian Bodley 340 (2404) and 342 (2405)

Main Hand
Bodleian Bodley 340 (2404) and 342 (2405)
Saec. xi in.
Canterbury or Rochester

Stokes, English Vernacular Script, ca 990–ca 1035, Vol. 2 (PhD Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2006)

The script was described by Ker as a ‘handsome square Anglo-Saxon minuscule’,Ker, Catalogue, p. 367 (no. 309). but the letter-forms are consistent with a date during the transitional period. The script is relatively heavy and upright, ascenders are equal to or slightly shorter than minim length and show small wedges or approach-strokes, and descenders are straight and of a similar length again. Minims are upright and have relatively large wedges and prominent horizontal feet. Flat-topped horned a occurs throughout, the horn being part of the stroke forming the left side of the letter rather than a separate wedge. The same construction was used for æ, although the strokes of the a-component are somewhat more rounded and the lower curve more diagonal. The lower curves of æ and e extend beyond the upper hook, and the tongues are at mid-height, are angled upwards, extend well beyond the hook, and rise to cue-height when in final position. The letter e itself is normally horned to a greater or lesser degree, and also has a laid-back appearance. Round c appears throughout but has a shorter upper hook and longer lower curve like those of e. The back of d is rounded but rises slightly above cue-height, and f has a long flat tongue and a deeply split hook which branches from the descender at the base-line. The tail of g is closed in a small loop, and the mid-section is smoothly curving, quite open, and hangs from the right of the top-stroke. The shoulders of h, m, n, and r are all gently curved and slightly bulging. Low s occurs frequently throughout, the hook of which also branches from the base-line like that of f; round s is normal finally in names but occasionally elsewhere (hæse, 11v6; godes, 24v5); it can be very laid back. The back of ð is long and extends almost level with cue-height before curving upwards and then back to the right; the cross-stroke is angled at about 40° and is turned downwards at the right. The scribe seems to have used þ initially and ð medially and finally, including the phrase onðære which was consistently written without a space. Straight-limbed, undotted y was used throughout, with no wedges or approach-strokes but with a rigthward flick at the end of the tail. The structure of x is very much like that of y, with a longer stroke in the south-west quadrant also ending with a tick. The top of 7 is very flat and at cue-height, and the descender is straight, vertical, and also ends with a rightward tick. Latin quotations were carefully distinguished by script.

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