Medieval Latin Sigla, Ligatures, Diacritics, etc...

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Chris Weimer
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Medieval Latin Sigla, Ligatures, Diacritics, etc...

Post by Chris Weimer » Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:13 pm

Anyone familiar with all the sigla, ligatures, diacritics, etc... of the Magna Carta?

1. The elongated "a" in gra[cia] and the little & above it (the familiar ampersand - doesn't look like the Latin ligature for "et" nor does "et" fit in anywhere)

2. The 7 between Norm[anniae] and Aquit[anniae] - well, some may not draw their sevens like that, but I do

3. I'm supposing the "3" at the end Abb[a]tib3 is a ligature for "us" (abbatibus) (edited: it actually looks more like the IPA symbol Ê’)

4. The -e in Hib[er]nie is, I suppose the shortened form of -ae; Hiberniae. Odd that the online transcription should give us thus Anglie, Hibernie, Normannie etc... (yeah, I know

As I go through the Magna Carta, I'll give more oddities as I see them.

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Post by Chris Weimer » Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:21 pm

I also need information about the Magna Carta itself. For example, I have a reprint of it from Lincoln University, and it appears to differ in some minor places than the one at the British Museum. Which version is superior?

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Re: Medieval Latin Sigla, Ligatures, Diacritics, etc...

Post by Kerastes » Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:43 am

Chris Weimer wrote:Anyone familiar with all the sigla, ligatures, diacritics, etc... of the Magna Carta?
I'll have a look if you can point me to a facsimile. I have some experience with medieval manuscript reading but I'm not an expert.
2. The 7 between Norm[anniae] and Aquit[anniae] - well, some may not draw their sevens like that, but I do
That could be an "et" (ampersand). It's a recognized variant.
3. I'm supposing the "3" at the end Abb[a]tib3 is a ligature for "us" (abbatibus) (edited: it actually looks more like the IPA symbol Ê’)
I think that's where the IPA symbol came from. The handwritten form of "z" is based on it.
4. The -e in Hib[er]nie is, I suppose the shortened form of -ae; Hiberniae. Odd that the online transcription should give us thus Anglie, Hibernie, Normannie etc... (yeah, I know
That's easy. Long "e" is a medieval spelling of classical "ae" which long since by then was pronounced the same, like French "ê". That's very common, as is "e" for "oe".

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Re: Medieval Latin Sigla, Ligatures, Diacritics, etc...

Post by Chris Weimer » Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:09 am

Kerastes wrote:
Chris Weimer wrote:Anyone familiar with all the sigla, ligatures, diacritics, etc... of the Magna Carta?
I'll have a look if you can point me to a facsimile. I have some experience with medieval manuscript reading but I'm not an expert.
I have a reprint from Lincoln, but you can view it online here.
That could be an "et" (ampersand). It's a recognized variant.
Yeah, I noticed that it had to be an "et" after I posted this per other places it appears.
I think that's where the IPA symbol came from. The handwritten form of "z" is based on it.
I did not know that. Interesting.

Any idea about the ampersand looking character above gra[cia]? Edited: actually, for some reason, my copy has that character, but the one hosted at the British Library doesn't. Odd.

Also, I don't suppose you would have any information anywhere about which manuscript was superior?

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Re: Medieval Latin Sigla, Ligatures, Diacritics, etc...

Post by Kerastes » Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:45 pm

Chris Weimer wrote:Any idea about the ampersand looking character above gra[cia]?
Not sure.
Also, I don't suppose you would have any information anywhere about which manuscript was superior?
Ah, you're looking for a critical commentary or apparatus criticus. You may be familiar with the concept of constructing a stemma. Based on scribal variants and errors it is possible to relate manuscripts like members of a family, even to reconstructing what lost prototypes may have been like. Then through provenance, antiquity, or internal consistency you can determine which manuscript is best.

I don't know anything about that for the Magna Charta. My field is Renaissance music. But my first two moves are usually Google and a nearby academic library.

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Post by Chris Weimer » Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:48 pm

Hey Kerastes,

Yes, I'm well aware of what a critical apparatus is. Heck, I've been working on one for the Gospel of Matthew for quite some time, and I was going to do one for Juvenal, but unfortunately I've been unable to acquire several needed books (far more expensive than anything Biblical). I hadn't even the foggiest clue about the Magna Carta - would such a short document with a very recent history have an extensive one? I'd probably be better off merely collecting pictures of the different manuscripts - there can't be that many, can there?

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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:02 am

À propos of all this, could someone clarify for me the pronunciation in Ecclesiastical Latin of something like "Africae"?
L. Amadeus Ranierius

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Post by Chris Weimer » Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:59 am

Lucus Eques wrote:À propos of all this, could someone clarify for me the pronunciation in Ecclesiastical Latin of something like "Africae"?
The -ae dwindled down to merely -e in Medieval and Ecclesiastical Latin.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:39 pm

And thus the pronunciation of 'c'?

C'è un italiano che mi possa aiutare forse?
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Post by Chris Weimer » Tue Feb 21, 2006 6:20 pm

The C changed depending on where the change took place, AFAIK. It was different from Spain to Germany and everwhere in between. I believe that the Latin in England was more or less pronounced the same as the Latin in Norman France. So the C would generally be hard before A, O, and U and soft like an S before E and I.

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Re: Medieval Latin Sigla, Ligatures, Diacritics, etc...

Post by Skylax » Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:51 pm

Chris Weimer wrote: 3. I'm supposing the "3" at the end Abb[a]tib3 is a ligature for "us" (abbatibus) (edited: it actually looks more like the IPA symbol Ê’)
I think this Ê’ can stand for any word ending. I already saw an "atqÊ’" standing for "atque". The proper abbreviation for "us" is a sort of inverted "c" (a "c" looking backwards), written above the line.

In turn, such an inverted "c", but bigger, at the beginning of a word, stands for "CON-".

A kind of little tilde above a letter stands effectively for a "m" or a "n". A line above a set of letters can also indicate an abbreviated word, e. g. dns with a line above is for Dominus

Moreover, a sort of "4" at the end of a word stands for the ending "-rum". There are also abbreviations for "per" "prae" and "pro" based on the letter "p" with little ornaments added.

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Post by Chris Weimer » Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:14 pm

Thanks Skylax for the information. I just bought a book about medieval Latin, but unfortunately doesn't contain anything on manuscripts or the sort.

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Post by Skylax » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:08 am

Some frequent abbreviations.

Image

As you see in sanctus, a sort of ampersand can only indicate an abbreviated word.

I read that the Ê’ can stand for "m" at the end of a word or for "-ue" or "-que".

Hope this helps. :)

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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:10 pm

L. Amadeus Ranierius

SCORPIO·MARTIANVS

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Post by Chris Weimer » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:17 am

I cut the little symbol out of the Magna Carta. This is from the Lincoln Cathedral manuscript. What is that thing?

Image

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Post by LisaNYork » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:29 am

Chris Weimer wrote:The C changed depending on where the change took place, AFAIK. It was different from Spain to Germany and everwhere in between. I believe that the Latin in England was more or less pronounced the same as the Latin in Norman France. So the C would generally be hard before A, O, and U and soft like an S before E and I.
Really?

The pronunciation guide that I have states that "c" in ecclesiastical is pronounced "ch" before the E or I sound.

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Post by Chris Weimer » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:55 am

Ecclesiastical Latin in Italian for sure. I think it differed among places, but then again, I'm no expert in this area. And yes, "sound" is more accurate - it also softened with ae and I think oe also, although I can't think of an instance of c + oe offhand anyway.

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Post by Skylax » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:36 pm

Chris Weimer wrote:I cut the little symbol out of the Magna Carta. This is from the Lincoln Cathedral manuscript. What is that thing?

Image
Nothing, I think, at least at this place. The text reads only .Io[hann]es Dei gra[tia]... "John by the grace of God" (King &c.) Maybe could you find the same symbol elsewhere ?

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