Hand: zeta, Exeter 3500

Exeter 3500

EXON Project

This hand may be recognised by the small size of its minims and compressed nature; the form of U, the shape of g, the form of E, the hooked cauda; absence of ampersand.

1. Letterforms

a.- Uncial form with small bowl (lozenge-like), vertical stroke reaching over the bowl and leaning over it. Long tail which often ligatures with following letter.

d.- Only straight-backed form used. Very simple ascender without any wedges.

e.- Round form with lower component nearly reaching the upper one. Short projecting tongue.

g.- Round head with a projecting, horizontal stroke which ligatures with following letter. Descender starts vertically (neck) from the middle of the head before turning sharply to the right to form a (normally) round tail which remains open. At times, the descender is quite angular, even square-ish rather than round.

h.- Both feet stand on the baseline. No feet or finishing strokes.

p.- Short approach stroke and short, straight descender.

s.- Hood, goes slightly below baseline. Rather short, unpretentious form. Head is sometimes flat.

t.- Lower component does not cut across horizontal bar.

x.- Left leg is extended beyond the baseline and reaches underneath the preceding letterform. Approach stroke (hairline) on top left limb.

2. Treatment of minims, ascenders & descenders

Minims .- Rather short (just over 1mm high) and footed.

Ascenders.- Normally, straight and no wedges. These are only occasionally found in capitalised forms. Normally about double minim height (about 3mm).

Descenders.- Short (just over 1mm) and straight.

3. Form of capitals

A. Rustic form with two vertical strokes joined at the baseline by the foot of the left one.

E. Enlarged minuscule form with a small eye and an enlarged projecting tongue which curls upwards. 227r7 and 9

U. Enlarged minuscule for with enlarged tail that goes beyond the baseline and turns left into a hairline. Two vertical strokes have a short horizontal stroke each on top.

4. Forms of punctuation

Punctus simplex seems to be only form of punctuation in use.

5. Form of paraph (gallows mark)

Simple three stroke form with top one curling upwards.

6. Forms of abbreviation

Ampersand.- .

et nota.- Horizontal bar is at about minim height and descender goes well below baseline to curve slightly backwards and finish on a hairline.

Overline.- Simple, flat stroke which may curl up slightly at the end turning into a hairline.

-ur.- 2-shaped suspension in which upper part is rather large and tail is short and flat.

-us.- Open 9-shaped curl on top of letter.


q- forms.-

e cauda.- Hooked ‘cedilla’, also found with q.

pr- forms.- ‘pro’ with a hook that appears very low down the descender.

other forms.-

est.- Not found.

7. Forms of suspension

8. Ligatures


-ct- ligature: 227r2 and 11.

-rt- ligature:

-st- ligature: .


9. Method and form of annotation (signes de renvoi?)

Interlinear addition

10. Method of correction and correction mark

Occasional erasures, some of them written over by same hand.

11. Treatment of numerals

Minim height. Approach stroke seen in minims.

12. Proportions and measurements


- Pricking.-

- Ruling.-

13. Other idiosyncrasies (preferred spellings, usages, …)


What does he write?

King (Dn) – 98r15-16

Abbot of Tavistock (Co) – 180v13-1r13

Count of Mortain (Co) – 225v8-33v20 (ends quire); 244r1-5v16 (ends quire)

Terrae Occupatae (Co) – 507r1-v2

Previously unidentified stints (Flight)

Count of Mortain (Co) – 263r1-4r20

Other relevant information

In stint 225v8-33v20, an F is found on the margin next to the beginning of each entry. This may point to the Gallows marks being entered at a later stage? They are found all through the quire (Q.50), including 224r5-5v7, a stint copied by beta. Also seen in quires 48, 49, 51-53. Traces in 54.


Allographs List

f, Caroline

f, Caroline. zeta

f, Caroline. zeta
Gallows Mark

Gallow Mark. zeta

Gallow Mark. zeta

Gallow Mark. zeta