Hand: theta, Exeter 3500

Exeter 3500

EXON Project

This hand may be recognised by the tail of g which has a short neck and is lozenge-shaped and closed; capital Uncial M in which the first two legs are closed in a circle and the third is extended below the baseline; small and curled overline which may appear closed; Gallows mark with curls coming out of three corners. Also, both minims and bodies of letters are rather small (1mm).

1. Letterforms

a.- Uncial form with a very small head (back only slightly rising above bowl).

d.- Two forms in use: straight-backed is favoured and shows a vertical shaft with a triangular serif at the top; uncial d has an ascender that rises at about 45º and ends in a vertical hairline.

e.- Angular lower section and horizontal tongue at word end.

g.- Tail starts off from the right side of the head with a short neck and is lozenge-shaped and closed.

h.- Shaft ends in triangular serif and rests on the baseline. Right leg tucks in and stays on the baseline.

p.- Approach stroke, round head and vertical descender.

s.- Long s with shoulder on the left with slopping head. It reaches below the baseline (as do f and r).

t.- Vertical stroke goes across the horizontal one.

x.- Left leg is extended and curls upwards reaching below the previous letter.


2. Treatment of minims, ascenders & descenders

Minims .- Rather short (1mm). Approach stroke. Finishing stroke/flick forward only in the case of final component of m and n.

Ascenders.- Double the size of minims (2mm), often longer. The show a triangular serif on the left at the top.

Descenders.- Plain vertical shaft with no ‘foot’ or finishing stroke.

3. Form of capitals

L. With a horizontal stroke on top of the ascender.

M. Uncial form with the first two legs form a closed circle and the third is extended below the baseline.

W. Two superimposed Vs in which the left arm turns right at the top (like the ascender of round d) and the right one starts with and approach stroke. Left arms are considerably higher too.

4. Forms of punctuation

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

5. Form of paraph (gallows mark)

Very fancy form with decorative curls in all three points. Also, the triangular body of the mark is made of a number of lines that serve to fill in the space. Very similar form found in following page (266r11), in section copied by alpha. The same happens in 268r (theta) and 268v-269r (alpha).

6. Forms of abbreviation

Ampersand.- Only used within at word end (ual&). Rather small form, in line with other forms in this hand. Lower component often reaches below the baseline and tongue, which is nearly horizontal, starts from half-way down that lower component.

et nota.- Preferred to ampersand as conjunction. Horizontal bar is slightly curved and at about headline. Lower component often goes slightly below baseline, but by no means always.

Overline.- Rather small and curled upwards. At times it is almost closed.


-us.- Suspension mark is attached to letter.


q- forms.-

e cauda.- ‘Cedilla’ is normally a slightly wavy line which occasionally may be straight (268r18 pascuę). The corresponding mark of abbreviation is not as often used as in other hands, but when so it is more stylised/carefully formed.

pr- forms.- .

other forms.-


7. Forms of suspension

8. Ligatures


-ct- ligature:.

-rt- ligature:

-st- ligature: Rather wide and high form (perhaps to emphasise that the S is capital – place name) at 265v13. Compare with potest 353v18, which is not so wide.


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

Interlinear insertions, marginal insertions (with signes de renvoi?).

10. Method of correction and correction mark

Underlined word (268r10); erasures.

11. Treatment of numerals

The last in a sequence of minims is often (not consistently) extended below the baseline.

12. Proportions and measurements

Minims about 1mm, ascenders about 2mm or more.


- Pricking.-

- Ruling.-

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


What does he write?

King (So) – 89r3-10; 90v1-9

King (Queen Eadgyth) (So) – 114v13-19; 115r3 [ends quire]

King (Wulfweard the White) (So) – 116r18-v2

Bishop of Coutances (So) – 136v1-13; 137r11-19 [ends quire]; 141v2-6; 141v12-5v4

Bishop Osmund (So) – 154r1-14 [opens quire]

Bishop Giso (So) – 157r6-60r20 [ends quire]

Abbot of Glastonbury (So) – 161r9-19

St Peter of Muchelney (So) – 188r8-9r12

St Peter of Athelney (So) – 191r10-19

Saints (So) – 196r10-14; 197r4-9; 198r1-11

Count of Mortain (So) – 265v1-20; 268r1-7; 268r13-19; 275v6-6v9

Count Eustace (So) – 283r7-12

Earl Hugh (So) – 286v18-7r3 [ends quire]

Walscin de Douai (So) – 350v11-19; 352r2-7; 352v2-20 [ends quire]; 353r1-5v9 [opens and ends quire]

William de Moyon (So) – 360v13-2v10

Alfred d'Epaignes (So) – 373v17-4r6

Thurstan fitzRolf (So) – 382v1-3r5; 384v13-17

Roger de Courseulles (So) – 427r1-4; 428v15-20; 429r14-v24 [ends quire]; 431v10-19; 435r20-v3

William d'Eu (So) – 439r5-14 [ends quire]

Roger Arundel (So) – 442r1-21; 445r3-8

Gilbert fitzTurold (So) – 446r1-5 [opens quire]

Osbern Giffard (So) – 447r1-6

Matthew de Mortagne (So) – 450r18-v3 [ends quire]

Serle de Burcy (So) – 452r17-v20; 454r12-20 [ends quire]

French Knights (So) – 462v11-3r4; 464r13-18; 464v8-14; 467r5-14

King’s Sergeants (So) – 478r14-v5; 479v17-80r18

English Thegns (So) – 490v6-11; 491v5-16; 491v11-14; 492r1-14; 493r1-v3; 493v7-12

Other relevant information

- Insertion on the outer margin between lines 5 and 6 by what appears to be a different hand (probably alpha?) [265v].

- It would seem that either theta is copying alpha’s style of Gallows mark or that the latter is just introducing them in the sections copied by the former.

- Incidentally, most of theta’s stints are in close proximity to those of alpha (either preceding or following each other – or indeed both!).

No Annotation associated to this record