Dr Laura Franco (Research Associate of RHUL Hellenic Institute)
Full day - from 10.00 to 17.00
Maximum: 15 students
Venue: Senate House

Day one of a two-day course.

This is an introductory course in Greek Palaeography, consisting of two parts. Part I is devoted to a brief survey of the earlier history of the Greek script covering evidence from early inscriptions, through majuscule papyri to manuscripts of the Byzantine period up to the ninth century, including the first examples of Greek minuscule.  Part II concentrates on the Greek minuscule from the ninth to the 15th century and the first printed books. The development of the Greek script will be examined with relation to political events and cultural movements which shaped it through the centuries. Participants will learn how to transcribe a text from a facsimile of a Greek manuscript and examine basic codicological and palaeographical aspects, including the layout of the text, the use of ligatures, nomina sacra, abbreviations and colophons. This course will include practical transcription exercises which can only be undertaken with a knowledge of Greek script and of the Greek language, ancient or modern.  However, students without Greek can be accepted on the understanding that they will remain passive during these exercises.



R. Barbour, Greek Literary Hands, A.D. 400-1600 (Oxford, 1981)

P. Canart, Paleografia e codicologia greca. Una rassegna bibliografica, Littera Antiqua, 7 (Vatican City, 1991)

R. Devreesse, Introduction à l’étude des manuscrits grecs (Paris, 1954)

P. Easterling and C. Handley eds., Greek Scripts: an Illustrated Introduction (London 2001)

V. Gardthausen, Griechische Palaeographie (Leipzig, 1879; repr. 1978)

B.A. van Groningen, Short Manual of Greek Palaeography (Leiden, 19674)

H. Hunger, Schreiben und Lesen in Byzanz (Munich, 1989)

La Paléographie grecque et byzantine, Paris 21-25 Octobre 1974, Colloques Internationaux du CNRS, 559 (Paris, 1977)

E. Mioni, Introduzione alla paleografia greca (Padua, 1973)

B.M. Metzger, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An Introduction to Greek Palaeography (New York-Oxford, 1981)

L. Perria, Grafis. Per una storia della scrittura greca libraria (Rome 2011)

E.M. Thompson, An Introduction to Greek and Latin Palaeography (Oxford, 1906; repr. 1975)

E.G. Turner, Greek Papyri. An Introduction, Oxford 1968

Student Comments

It has been very thorough, without being overwhelming. I feel as though I've learned what I was hoping to, in an accessible way. Explanations were clear, and we had plenty of hands-on practice.

Excellent explanations. Teaching the history of Greek writing helped put the concepts in context.