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by Archaeology Newsroom

Byzantine writing

The evolution of Byzantine writing from the beginning to the end of the Byzantine empire, that almost coincides with the invention of printing, is briefly surveyed in this article. First, the origin of Greek writing in capitals as in Attic inscriptions, is studied and the ways of thinking that led to the formation of two types of writing, official and regular, everyday writing, is examined. The majuscule writing in capitals developed from the static form of inscriptions to the biblical majuscule writing that remained in use until the 10th century. In the last phase of the evolution appeared the odinata et inclinata majuscule and the odinale diretta writing. The latter affected the liturgical rotondo majuscule writing of the Gospel. Minuscule writing appeared in the 8th to 9th century. The phases and types of its evolution can be classified chronologically in three periods from the 9th to the 11th, the 11th to the 13th and the 13th to the15th.