Letters in Transition - Writing Culture of the Middle Ages
In the Middle Ages, books were created almost exclusively in monastic scriptoria. There nuns and monks laboriously copied the texts they had before them. The transcripts reflect the writing styles prevailing at the time of their creation, which have undergone a similar change over the centuries as book illumination. The oldest texts preserved in book form are written in Uncials (M.p.th.q.2 and M.p.th.q.3), a late antique script with a rounded style that only knows capital letters without punctuation. The most important script for Würzburg was brought to the continent by the Anglo-Saxon missionaries: the Anglo-Saxon minuscule (M.p.th.f.144 and M.p.th.q.28b), which differentiates lower and upper case letters and is characterized by thorn-like approaches. It was written well into the 9th century. This font was replaced by the Carolingian minuscule (M.p.th.f.23 and M.p.th.q.1), which was widespread between the 9th and 12th centuries. The simple and clear typeface is characteristic. From France, Gothic scripts gradually gained acceptance in the High Middle Ages, breaking the curves and curves of the Carolingian minuscule and from the 13th to 15th centuries in numerous variants (M.ch.f.4 and M.p.j.f.6) was written. In the late Middle Ages, the humanistic minuscule (M.ch.f.126), which took up elements of the Carolingian minuscule, developed against the over-formalization of Gothic letter forms, which was at the expense of legibility.