Hand: omicron, Exeter 3500
- Exeter 3500
This hand may be recognised by its shaky and uneven nature, particularly visible in some instances of g and caroline s; the a-compartment in the ampersand is rather large esp. when used alongside numerals. Gallows mark with rounded top left corner. Overall, its size is considerably larger than most other hands (minims are consistently 2mm high, whereas in most other hands they are 1mm). The sense of irregularity may also be given by the fact that size of letterforms may vary within same/adjoining stints. [44v-45r]
a.- Uncial form in which bowl is sometimes rather large. Top leans over bowl in a variety of sizes.
d.- Round-backed d seems favoured. Ascender normally rises at 45º and is straight. At times it turns upwards at the very top, but this is far from common. Straight-backed d shows a wedge at the top of the ascender, which is about minim size (2mm).
e.- Eye tends to be rather small and projecting tongue normally ligatures with following letterform.
h.- Normally, both legs stand vertically on the baseline.
p.- Small approach stroke and straight, unfooted descender (if somewhat shaky at times). Bowl is rather ‘squarish’.
s.- Stands on the baseline. Top is round (though on occasions too shaky).
x.- Bottom limbs are slightly longer than top ones. Right leg finishes on a curl up. Left leg may occasionally (but not systematically) enlarged and reach below the baseline. Finishing flick up is barely visible.
2. Treatment of minims, ascenders & descenders
Minims .- About 2mm high. Normally showing a foot in the form of a short flick forward (not consistently seen).
Ascenders.- Mostly straight and showing nothing other than a tiny approach stroke. Occasionally, a more elaborate wedge is made on its top left. Variety of heights, but mostly between 2 (mostly) and 3mm (rare).
Descenders.- Straight and simple. Between 2 and 3mm long.
3. Form of capitals
A. Enlarged form of this scribe’s minuscule uncial a. Bowl is occasionally large and lozenge-like. Top may lean over it at different degrees (sometimes it may be rather angular).
S. Short curls at both ends. Top one may be rather angular (giving the form a kind of 5-shape)
4. Forms of punctuation
Punctus simplex seems to be only form of punctuation in use.
5. Form of paraph (gallows mark)
Top left corner is normally rounded. Top stroke is also wavy and ends on a tiny flick up (or blot of ink). (Very) occasional curl at bottom of vertical stroke too.
6. Forms of abbreviation
Ampersand.- a-component is consistently large; lower component is either straight or slightly curved and may often reach below the baseline; tongue is either straight or curved upwards with an approach stroke at top (exactly like cross-stroke found in some abbreviated forms across the ascenders of (b, d, h, l).
et nota.- Not used.
Overline.- Curls up with tiny approach stroke at top of higher right end.
-ur.- Down-faced 2 shape with extended tail rising at 45º (sometimes less).
-us.- 9-shaped suspension above the letter, sometimes wider and with extended lower section touching on letter below. Also found alongside letter [45r7].
-orum.- 2-shaped r crossed by a straight stroke with tiny approach and finishing strokes at both ends [monacorum 44v19]. Cross may happen below baseline as lower section of r curls downwards [pastorum 53r8].
est.- Not found.
7. Forms of suspension
-ct- ligature: 44v19
-st- ligature: Not always used. Rather low joining stroke. Not extended over usual height of s.
9. Method and form of annotation (signes de renvoi?)
10. Method of correction and correction mark
Erasure, interlinear insertion, erasure + correction,
11. Treatment of numerals
Numerals tend to be enlarged, alongside any preceding ampersand. At times the minims may be up to 3mm high (minims are normally no more than 2mm).
12. Proportions and measurements
13. Other idiosyncrasies (preferred spellings, usages, …)
What does he write?
King (Queen Matilda) (Do) – 29v17-30r10
King (Queen’s Knights) (Do) – 31r7-2r12
Countess of Boulogne (Do) – 33r16-20
Abbot of Athelney (Do) – 41r1-9
St Peter of Milton (Do) – 44v4-5r10
Roger Arundel (Do) – 51v6-52r8
Serle de Burcy (Do) – 53r1-15
Goscelm of Exeter (?) – 398r1-7
Previously unidentified stints (Flight)
Hugo fitzGrip’s Wife (Do) – 61v18-20 [ends quire]
William de Moyon (Do) – 49v1
Other relevant information
Short stint at 61v18-20, which Flight leaves as unidentified, seems to be the work of omicron despite its small size (presumably due to lack of space as end of quire): shape of ampersand, esp. little approach stroke at top of tongue; shape of overline; descender of g (though only one instance in the two and a half lines and not clearly seen); form of x, with two lower limbs on baseline; short ascenders for most part; shape of Gallows mark with rounded top left angle.