Hand: iota, Exeter 3500
- Exeter 3500
iota - EXON Project
This hand may be recognised by the angularity at the top of s; the oval nature of most bowls; the shape of the numeral v; the shape of the et nota; high final s.
a.- Triangular bowl and shaft leaning forward and reaching slightly over the bowl, which may be rather small.
d.- Only round-backed d used. Bowl has minim height and is vertically oval. Ascender raises leaning backwards at about 45º and finishes in a vertical flick.
e.- At times eye is rather large. At word-end tongue is extended as a straight flick rising at 45º and, occasionally, on a curl up.
g.- Oval head with horizontal finishing stroke which ligatures with following word, if any. Descender is often leaning to the right and is half-closed in a round stroke that often forms a rather small bowl as it closes half-way up the ascender.
h.- Left leg has a foot on the baseline whether the right one tucks in nearly touching the left leg.
p.- Approach stroke on the left and foot at bottom of the descender.
s.- Stands on the baseline and is footed. Ascender is rather angular at top and it seems that the ‘roof-like ´top is made on a separate stroke. Sometimes a hood appears on its left.
t.- Vertical stroke does not cut across the horizontal bar.
x.- Left leg may occasionally reach below baseline (not consistently).
2. Treatment of minims, ascenders & descenders
Minims .- Footed and standing on the baseline.
Ascenders.- Triangular wedge on b, h and l.
Descenders.- Descender of p is straight and footed by a rising, short stroke. However, the descender of q starts straight and half-way down it turns left at 45º and finishes in a hairline.
3. Form of capitals
A. Uncial form. Made of two main strokes: one thick stroke forms the back which rises slightly above the would-be bowl and ends on a small edge at the top; the second stroke forms the main body of the letter in two movements, straight as is forming a left leg and wavy on the baseline as if to close the triangular bowl, which it seldom does.
E. Normally formed in the shape of an enlarged minuscule e with a rather long tongue.
G. Occasionally formed of two main strokes. The first is the shape of a C. The second starts in the middle of the bow as a kind of tongue and travels towards its lower tip and further to the baseline where it ends, closing the bottom half of the bow in a type of wavy line that alternates thick and thin sections, not too dissimilar from others seen in this hand. See 453v16 and 453v17
S. Long form with comparatively very small loops at top and bottom which gives it the impression of being leaning leftwards.
4. Forms of punctuation
Punctus simplex seems to be only form of punctuation in use.
5. Form of paraph (gallows mark)
Simple two-stroke from in which the angle is closed by either one or two wavy strokes. Top stroke rises up and is often finished on a curl and a ‘blot of ink’ at the end of it. 277r-v, 364r
More elaborate: 465v7
6. Forms of abbreviation
Ampersand.- not used? Found in 452r7, but it seems that it was written on top of an erasure, so it is unclear whether it is the work of iota, although it is possible since most other corrections in this (and other stints) seem to be in this hand. Also found in 464v17, but correction in a different hand (eta, who copied following entry).
et nota.- equal-limbed with wavy horizontal bar (u-shape) and vertical stroke finished on a flick to the right.
Overline.- wavy shape, sometimes almost n-like/z leaning forward.
e cauda.- ‘cedilla’ with zigzag form similar to the one used with q.
7. Forms of suspension
-st- ligature: slightly angular at the top though not forming a proper angle. Rather like the top of Caroline s in this hand. Avoided when t requires an abbreviation/suspension mark. See 364r8 ‘ poſſť ’.
-or-: Used rather frequently, though by no means always. 2-shaped r with a wavy lower member on the baseline.
9. Method and form of annotation (signes de renvoi?)
10. Method of correction and correction mark
Frequent erasures, corrections and additions found in iota’s performances.
277v2. erasure ‘de * comite’
277v14 erasure and insertion ‘blūmas’
277v5 correction to numeral ‘xuiii. q[ua] diaģ
277v7 later suprascript t ‘ualeba\t/’
11. Treatment of numerals
Minims stand on the baseline. Form of v: left limb is extanded, normally thicker and curls left and then upwards in a wavy shape reminiscent of other shapes in this hand. Left limb meets the right one slightly above the baseline, where full the letter rests.
12. Proportions and measurements
13. Other idiosyncrasies (preferred spellings, usages, …)
- [277r6, 277v5 & 277v13] High final s following o at word-end in a similar fashion to ksi. Continental feature?
- bowl of q is often left open at the top as it fails to fully close against the shaft.
What does he write?
Bishop of Coutances (So) – 140r20-1v2
St Peter of Muchelney (So) – 188r2-7
St Peter of Athelney (So) – 191r1-9 [opens quire]
Count of Mortain (So) – 277r1-8; 277r19-v15
Earl Hugh (So) – 286v7-12
Walscin de Douai (So) – 350v20-1r13
William de Moyon (So) – 363v1-5; 363v14-4r18 [363 is end of quire, 364 is beginning]
William fitzGuy (So) – 386r1-19
Willelm d'Eu (So) – 438v2-14
Roger Arundel (So) – 443v15-20; 444v4-5r2; 445r9-14 [ends quire]
Ernulf de Hesdin (So) – 448v10-9r2 [ends quire]
Matthew de Mortagne (So) – 450r1-15 [opens quire]
Serle de Burcy (So) – 452r1-16 [opens quire]; 453r7-4r11
French Knights (So) – 464r1-12 [opens quire]; 464v15-5r1; 465v7-11
King’s Sergeants (So) – 478v6-10
Capp [Terrae Occupatae] (Dn) – 506v1-5
Previously unidentified stints (Flight)
William de Moyon (So) – 364v18
William de Falaise (So) – 369r18-369v3; 369v3-5
Alfred d'Epaignes (So) – 373r3-373v5; 373v6-11
English Thegns (So) – 490v1-5
Other relevant information
Stint 373r3-v11 (Q.72), which is unidentified by Fight, is most certainly the work of iota: Gallows mark; ascender of round d; descender of g; angular top of Caroline s; form of S wavy macron/overline; et nota; angular top of st ligature; form of numeral v; frequent erasures/corrections.
Doubts: no final high s found; use of ampersand (not seen in other stints).
Stint 374v13-14: The original entry (lines 13-16) was the work of iota, but mot of it was later erased (final word on line 13; first word(s) and second half of line 14; the entire lines 15 and 16) and recopied by a different scribe, eta, that interestingly does not appear elsewhere in the quire.
On fo. 445r3-8 we find a brief stint by theta in between two of iota’s performances. The relevant detail is that the Gallows mark introducing theta’s entry is that identified with iota. What is more, the whole entry seems to have been copied on top of an erased one that had presumably been the work of iota (hence the Gallows mark). The final entry by iota himself may have also been partly copied on top of that same (or other?) deleted entry.
On fo. 450r (Q.89 ), iota opens quire, but elaborate Gallows mark introducing first quire is probably not his work. More plausibly, this was later introduced by the same individual adding the quire to the final entry on the page (work of beta). It is rather common for the first entry of the quire (esp. when opened by a capitalised title) not to have any Gallows mark (eg. 452r, also by iota).
Stint 490v1-5, unidentified by Flight shares a number of features with iota, despite the (frequent) use of the ampersand. The number of shared features is important though: shape of V; shape of S; descender of g; form of Gallows mark?; macron/overline.