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date: 16 April 2024



  • Albinia C. de la Mare,
  • Tobias Reinhardt
  •  and Nigel Wilson


Palaeography is the study of the history of writing upon papyrus (see papyrology), wax, parchment, and paper, while *epigraphy deals with inscriptions carved in hard materials; from it we learn how to read old scripts and to observe their development, which may provide us with criteria for establishing the date and place of origin of a piece of writing. It is also concerned with the layout of the written page and the form of the book. The separate study of the book as an archaeological object, much developed recently, is usually called codicology. We here confine ourselves to Greek and Latin writing. In both languages the written letters change under the influence of three forces: the first, the desire to form the letters with less effort, and the second, the need to be legible, oppose each other; the third, a concern for beauty, in the individual letter, the line as a whole or the page, makes the scribe careful, but sometimes, in his search for regularity and uniformity, he makes the letters hard to distinguish from each other.


  • Greek Literature
  • Late Antiquity

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