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Monumental script Capitalis quadrata
(3rd century BC)

The Romans developed a highly elaborated form of writing on stone. Two artisans worked in the process: the ordinator (calligrapher) and the stonemason, who carved the inscription.

Inscriptions in stone can be divided into two main types: scriptura monumentalis (literally, 'monumental script'), and scriptura actuaria (legal script).

 Monumental script, based on Trajan's alphabet

The inscription on the pedestal of Trajan's Arch in Rome is one of great perfection and beauty. The calligrapher Eduard Catich recreated the traces of each letter with a paintbrush.

Medinaceli, Roman arch and mosaics, is a book that brings the process of creation in Roman script alive for any reader.

Actuarial or Rustic
(1st-6th centuries AD)

Actuarial script is striking thanks to its long rectangular 'stain'. It is a compressed version of monumental script and is done quickly, making use of the space available.

Uncial script
(3rd­8th centuries AD)

The origins of our lower case letters can be found in the evolution of this script, which was used in primitive Christian texts. It is a practical, quick and economic script to use.


Beneventan miniscule
(8th-11th centuries AD)

This script is differentiated from the Roman that appeared in southern Italy, in the Duchy of Benevento (8th century). The monastery that did most to disseminate it was Montecasino.
It has features that coincide with Visigothic.




Humanist (or Ancient) miniscule
(14th century AD)

This was a reaction against the baroque nature of Gothic script; it does not represent an evolution in the graphic trends of the epoch but rather a return to abandoned forms (the Carolingian script of the Codexes copied in monasteries in the 11th to the 12th centuries) which was erroneously considered as 'authentic ancient spelling'. The people to blame were Poggio Bracciolini and Colluccio Salutati.



(16th century AD)

A script created by Edward Johnston at the end of the 19th century with a view to teaching calligraphy. Its formal basis is English Carolingian script from the 10th century.




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