Dr Debby Banham (Cambridge)
Full-day, from 10.00 - 17.00
Maximum: 12 students
Venue: Senate House

Course formerly known as 'Introduction to Anglo-Saxon Palaeography'

This course will introduce students to the scripts in use in England before the Norman Conquest, both those of Insular origin, and those deriving from Continental practice, as well as those that developed within England itself. We shall trace the historical development of writing in early medieval England, and get plenty of practice in reading. Abbreviations and special Old English characters will be elucidated as we go. No previous knowledge is required, either of palaeography or of relevant languages, although any you do have will be helpful.


Julian Brown, A Palaeographer’s View (Harvey Miller, 1993)

Michelle Brown, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts (British Library, 1991)

also her Manuscripts from the Anglo-Saxon Age (British Library, 2007)

and as ever her A Guide to Western Historical Scripts (British Library, 1990)

Gale Owen-Crocker, ed., Working with Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts (Exeter UP, 2009)

Mary P. Richards, ed., Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: Basic Readings (Routledge, 1994)

Jane Roberts, Guide to Scripts used in English Writings up to 1500 (British Library, 2005)

Alex Rumble, ed., Writing and Texts in Anglo-Saxon England (D. S. Brewer, 2006)

Donald Scragg, A Conspectus of Scribal Hands Writing English, 960–1100 (D. S. Brewer, 2012)

Peter Stokes, English Vernacular Minuscule from Æthelred to Cnut, c. 990 - c. 1035 (D. S. Brewer, 2014)


Student Comments

Excellent journey through the scripts of the period. Clear description.

The material was thoroughly well presented and made the subject absolutely fascinating.