Hand: rho, Exeter 3500
- Exeter 3500
This hand may be recognised by horizontal 8-shape of M; final item in sequence of minims in numerals extended below baseline; capital I opening an entry in the shape of a tall et nota nearly standing on the baseline; Gallows mark made of either two strokes only or with a third zigzag line closing the angle.
a.- Mostly triangular bowl; back does not reach above the bowl, which gives the form its round (often pointed) appearance.
d.- Both shapes used. Round d is particularly common in the second and third stints (where the overall script is a lot smaller – 40 lines per page). Here, the bowl is about minim height and the ascender rises straight at about 45º. Straight d is favoured instead when the scribe has more space at his disposal (stint 7r1-20 – 20 lines per page). Here the form as an approach stroke at the top (left) and is about double minim high. Bowl is slightly below headline.
g.- Round tail normally closed in a hairline. Size of tail may vary, as well as its roundness (eg. it may be lozenge-like). In stints where letterforms are significantly smaller, it may appear to be open as hairline is not clearly visible.
h.- Left leg stands straight on the baseline, whereas right one may tuck in slightly and even occasionally reach below the baseline.
p.- Approach stroke on the left and rather short, straight descender.
s.- Rather short form often. It reaches below the baseline, but it barely goes over the headline. Hood on the left. Round shape used only in capitals.
t.- Curved shaft does not project over the headstroke.
x.- Even though an equal-limbed form is found, more often the left leg is elongated below the baseline and ends on a small flick up.
2. Treatment of minims, ascenders & descenders
Minims .- Footed by a finishing stroke to the right.
3. Form of capitals
A. Enlarged uncial capital with lozenge-like bowl used most often. Rustic capital form also seen.
I. When opening an entry, I is very tall and has a horizontal approach stroked that lends the graph a remarkable similarity to an et nota. Interestingly, it does not look anything like the one used by this scribe.
S. Might have an 8 shape with both upper and lower components utterly closed (Sancti Etwardi 8v11). Most often, lower component is round whereas the top one is made of a sloping stroke (Sauuardus 8v11).
W. Formed of two superimposed Vs. In both the left limb is considerably longer than the right one, which does not reach above the headline
4. Forms of punctuation
Punctus simplex seems to be only form of punctuation in use for most part.
5. Form of paraph (gallows mark)
Either made of two strokes only (8 instances) or with a third zigzag line closing the angle (9 instances).
6. Forms of abbreviation
et nota.- Favoured by scribe, though no in-word use. 7-like shape with zigzag horizontal bar on headline and sloping descender reaching below the baseline.
Overline.- horizontal stroke finished on a hairline sloping at a variety of degrees.
7. Forms of suspension
9. Method and form of annotation (signes de renvoi?)
Interlinear additions, marginal additions, signes de renvoi (8v).
10. Method of correction and correction mark
A few erasures.
11. Treatment of numerals
Between dots, sometimes alongside an et nota. Most importantly, when a sequence of minims are used, the final one is enlarged.
12. Proportions and measurements
13. Other idiosyncrasies (preferred spellings, usages, …)
A few odd spellings noted:
- ‘Etwardo’ (8r6)
What does he write?
Other relevant information
Opening stint of the quire (7r1-20) starts with first four words in a smaller script (1mm minim height) in comparison with the rest of the stint, that is, the rest of the page (2mm minim height). Also, the addition of the final three words to the lower margin following a Gallows mark may indicate that this gloss ('de terra Willelmi comitis') was probably added later by rho.
Significant change in performance in fo. 8v. Top half written in a rather neat, (albeit very) small style whereas the bottom half seems to have been written in a much more careless manner, emphasised by the thicker nib.