Insular Caroline Scripts

Dr Colleen Curran (University of Oxford). 
Maximum: 15 students

This course will introduce students to a historical shift in scribal practices. This course will explore how scribes who previously used the Insular script system encountered and adapted to writing Caroline minuscule, the supranational script developed in eighth-century Francia. This course will also introduce students to the history of Caroline minuscule itself. Regions to be covered include Brittany, Cornwall, England, Wales, and the Insular centres in Germany. We will cover theories of script change/how scribes could change their script, as well as investigate hybrid scripts. 


Saint Dunstan's classbook from Glastonbury : Codex Biblioth. Bodleiensis Oxon. Auct. F.4./32, ed. by Richard W. Hunt (Amsterdam: North-Holland Pub. Co., 1961). 

Aethici Istrici Cosmographia : Vergilio Salisburgensi rectius adscripta : Codex Leidensis Scaligeranus 69, ed. by T. A. M. Bishop (Amsterdam : North-Holland Pub. Co., 1966). 

TAM Bishop, English Caroline Minuscule (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1971). 

---, 'An Early Example of Insular-Caroline', Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 4 (1968), pp. 396-400. 

Bernhard Bischoff, Latin palaeography: antiquity and the Middle Ages, trans. Daíbhí Ó Cróinín and David Ganz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). 

David Dumville, English Caroline Script and Monastic History: Studies in Benedictinism, A.D. 950-1030 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 1993). 

David Ganz, 'The Preconditions for Caroline Minuscule', Viator 18 (1987), pp. 23-44. 

---, Carolingian Manuscripts: The Verdict of the Master, Francia 42 (2015), pp. 253-274.

Rebecca Rushforth, 'Latin Script in England: Caroline Minuscule' in The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, Volume I: c.600–1100, ed. Richard Gameson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 197-224.