Introduction to Medieval Spanish Palaeography: 8th-15th centuries

Dr Ainoa Castro Correa (KCL)
Full day - Friday 16 June from 10.00 to 17.00
Maximum: 15 students
Venue: Senate House

During the Middle Ages Iberian Peninsular written production was marked by graphic change: from national written systems to European ones, and back to graphic particularism. This process was neither received nor developed in the same way throughout the Iberian soil, consequently highlighting not only the cultural diversity that characterises medieval Spain but also the particular configuration of its kingdoms. In this course, students will gain knowledge about the traditional Iberian script, Visigothic, to then move forward to the specifics of the Spanish Caroline minuscule, and to the Spanish Gothic scripts, both dissimilar to the graphic models practised in Europe.

This course is open to everyone interested in medieval manuscript production with a focus on the Iberian Peninsula’s manuscript material. Its main aim is to familiarise the participants with the graphic particularism experienced in medieval Spain in comparison with Europe. No previous experience is required. However, since the course involves some practical exercises, students with at least a basic training in palaeography will particularly benefit from the course. A basic knowledge of Latin and Spanish would be useful but is not essential.


J. Alturo Perucho, A. Castro Correa and M. Torras Cortina (eds.), La escritura visigótica en la Península Ibérica. Nuevas aportaciones (Bellaterra, 2012).
Mª J. Azevedo Santos, Da visigótica à carolina, a escrita em Portugal de 882 a 1172 (Lisbon, 1994).
M. C. Díaz y Díaz et al., Corpus de códices visigóticos (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1999).
A. Millares Carlo, Tratado de Paleografía española (Madrid, 1983).
I. Velázquez Soriano, Documentos de época visigoda escritos en pizarra (Turnhout, 2000)

Littera Visigothica

After obtaining her PhD from the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona in 2012, in Historiographical Sciences and Techniques for the Study and Conservation of Bibliographic and Documentary Heritage, Ainoa has continued her research and training in North America (Astrik L. Gabriel fellow at the University of Notre Dame, and Virginia Brown fellow in Latin Palaeography at the Ohio State University) and Canada (Andrew W. Mellon fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies).

After concluding her PhD, she began to build a network for the study of Visigothic script, the primary carrier of Latin writing in the Iberian Peninsula before the expansion of Caroline minuscule, and its manuscripts. While in Toronto, Ainoa developed the only existing Online Catalogue of Visigothic script Manuscripts, listing almost 400 of the surviving examples of codices written in this script. Ainoa is now at King’s College London as Marie Curie research fellow focusing on the project ‘ViGOTHIC Towards a typology of Visigothic script: the Beatus British Library Add. 11695 and its potential for dating and localising Visigothic script manuscripts’ (H2020 Grant Agreement No. 656298). The project is aimed at establishing a point of reference for the analysis of Visigothic script to allow codices written in this script to be described, compared and placed in their socio-cultural context.