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Merovingian dynasty

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Christa Jenneman
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« Reply #90 on: August 10, 2009, 02:52:42 am »

The Book of Kells was probably created in Iona in the 8th century. When the monks fled to Ireland in the face of Viking raids in 807, they probably brought it with them to Kells in Ireland. It is the most richly decorated of the Hiberno-Saxon manuscripts and represents a large array of techniques and motifs created during the 8th century.
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Christa Jenneman
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« Reply #91 on: August 10, 2009, 02:53:36 am »



Book of Durrow, 7th century Ireland. One of the earliest pieces of Hiberno-Saxon art. Trinity College Library, Dublin.
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Christa Jenneman
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« Reply #92 on: August 10, 2009, 02:54:18 am »

Metalworking

In the 7th century there emerged a resurgence of metalworking with new techniques such as gold filigree that allowed ever smaller and more detailed ornamentations. The Tara Brooch and Ardagh Chalice are the most magnificent Insular examples, whilst the 7th century royal jewellery from the Sutton Hoo ship burial shows a Pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon style. They brought together all of the available skills of the goldsmith in one piece: ornamentation applied to a variety of materials, chip carving, filigree, cloisonne and rock crystal.
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Christa Jenneman
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« Reply #93 on: August 10, 2009, 02:54:29 am »

The skills displayed in metalworking can be seen in stone sculptures. For many centuries it had been Irish custom to display a large wooden cross inside the monastic building enclosure. These were then translated in to stone crosses called high crosses and covered with the same intricate patterns used by goldsmiths, and often figure sculptures.
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Christa Jenneman
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« Reply #94 on: August 10, 2009, 02:55:50 am »

Merovingian script

Merovingian script was a medieval script so called because it was developed in France during the Merovingian dynasty. It was used in the 7th and 8th centuries before the Carolingian dynasty and the development of Carolingian minuscule.
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Christa Jenneman
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« Reply #95 on: August 10, 2009, 02:56:21 am »



8th century Merovingian script
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« Reply #96 on: August 10, 2009, 02:56:34 am »

Script types

There were four major centres of Merovingian script: the monasteries of Luxeuil, Laon, Corbie, and Chelles. Each script developed from uncial, half-uncial, and the Merovingian charter scripts.
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« Reply #97 on: August 10, 2009, 02:56:52 am »

Luxeuil

The Luxeuil type uses distinctive long, slim capital letters as a display script. These capitals have wedge-shaped finials, and the crossbar of A resembles a small letter v while that of H is a wavy line. The letter O is often written as a diamond shape, with a smaller o written inside. In the Luxeuil minuscule script, the letter a resembles two letter cs ("cc"); b often has an open bow, and an arm connecting it to the following letter. Because of these features the Luxeuil type is sometimes called "a-b type." The letter d can have either a vertical ascender or an ascender slanted to the left; i is often very tall, resembling l; n can be written with an uncial form (similar to a capital N); o is often oval-shaped and has a line connecting it to the next letter; and t has a loop extending to the left of its top stroke. The letter t is also used in numerous ligatures where it has many other forms. The letters e and r are also quite often found in ligature.
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« Reply #98 on: August 10, 2009, 02:57:11 am »

Laon

The Laon type has thicker display capitals than the Luxeuil type. Capital initial letters are often decorated with animals, and there are many ligatures with the letter i. Like Visigothic script, there are two different ti ligatures, representing two different sounds ("hard" and "soft"). The letters d and q often have open bows. The letter a is unique, resembling two sharp points ("<<"), and the letter z, uncommon in Latin, is nevertheless very distinctive in the Laon type, with a flourish projecting upwards to the left, above the line. Because of these features, Laon type is sometimes called "a-z type."
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« Reply #99 on: August 10, 2009, 02:57:27 am »

Corbie

The Corbie type as used in the 8th century, was based on uncial and the Luxeuil type, but was also similar to half-uncial and insular script, with elements of Roman cursive. It is sometimes called "eN-type," as the letter e has a high, open upper loop, and the uncial form of the letter n (resembling majuscule N) is very frequently used. After the mid-8th century, the letter also has an open loop and resembles the letter u; this type is referred to as "eNa-type." A more distinctive type was developed at Corbie in the 9th century, the "a-b type." The letter b is similar to Luxeuil type, but the letter a has a straight first stroke, resembling a combination of i and c. This type was used from the end of the 8th century until the mid-9th century. The Liber glossarum, a major medieval reference work, was written in the "a-b type" script of Corbie.
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« Reply #100 on: August 10, 2009, 02:57:45 am »

Chelles

The Chelles type was similar to the Luxeuil a-b type. Other features include the uncial N, with strokes leaning to the left; the letter d with an ascender leaning to the left; the letter g with a descender resembling the letter s; the letter s with a very small top loop; and the letter x with the two strokes crossing near the top of the line rather than the middle.
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« Reply #101 on: August 10, 2009, 02:57:58 am »

Development

There was also a Merovingian cursive script, used in charters and non-religious writings. All of these types were later influenced by Carolingian script, which eventually replaced it entirely. Along with resemblances to Carolingian and Visigothic, Merovingian shares some features with Beneventan script.
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« Reply #102 on: August 10, 2009, 02:58:15 am »

References

    * Bernhard Bischoff, Latin Palaeography: Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
    * E. A. Lowe, Codices Latini Antiquiores: A Palaeographical Guide to Latin Manuscripts Prior to the Ninth Century, Clarendon Press, 1972.
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Christa Jenneman
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« Reply #103 on: August 10, 2009, 02:59:07 am »

Early Middle Ages

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Early_Middle_Ages
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