Introduction to the Insular System of Scripts to A.D. 900

Prof. Julia Crick (Kings College London)
Full day - from 10.00 to 17.00
Maximum: 12 students
Venue: Senate House

This class offers a brief introduction to the history of script in Britain and Ireland before and during the first Viking age. It will discuss the classification of minuscule before 900 using the principles developed by T. Julian Brown, identifying characteristic letter-forms, ligatures and abbreviations. Where practicable we will work from datable and localizable examples. Latin is not a prerequisite for enrolment but the course will include some voluntary reading practice in order for members to gain familiarity with the practices of Insular scribes.


A Palaeographer’s View: Selected Writings of Julian Brown, ed. Janet Bately, Michelle Brown, and Jane Roberts (London, Harvey Miller, 1993)
Jane Roberts, A Guide to Scripts Used in English Writings up to 1500 (London, British Library Publications, 2005)
The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, volume I, c. 400-1100, ed. Richard Gameson (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2012)
Gale Owen-Crocker, Working with Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts (Exeter, Exeter University Press, 2009)
Michelle P. Brown, Manuscripts from the Anglo-Saxon Age (London, British Library Publications, 2007)
Michelle P. Brown, A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600 (London, The British Library, 1990)



Julia Crick read Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic and History at the University of Cambridge. After graduating, she undertook doctoral research on the medieval reception of the History of Geoffrey of Monmouth. She held the posts of Unofficial Fellow (JRF), then Tutor and Fellow, at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, before resigning to take up a permanent position at the University of Exeter in 1992. Having been appointed as Lecturer in the former Department of History and Archaeology, she became a Senior Lecturer in 2001 and Associate Professor in 2007. 

Julia Crick served on the editorial board of the Blackwells journal Early Medieval Europe from 1999-2007. She was elected to sit on the Advisory Board of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists from 2008-11, and served as Acting Second Vice-President. She has been a member of the Royal Historical Society-British Academy Joint Committee on Anglo-Saxon Charters since 2002. In Michaelmas 2000 she was affiliated for a term to the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, Cambridge, as a Research Associate. She was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for the period 2008-10, during the tenure of which she delivered the fifth G.O. Sayles Lecture on Mediaeval History at the University of Aberdeen. In May 2011 she attended the 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo MI as Richard Rawlinson Congress Speaker.