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.