Principal librarian of the British Museum and eminent palaeographer, Sir Edward Maunde Thompson (1840-1929) had originally produced a handbook on the history and development of Greek and Latin handwriting in 1893. He extensively revised and expanded it for this 1912 edition, incorporating numerous facsimile plates. Thompson begins his treatment with an introduction to the Greek and Latin alphabets, then surveys ancient writing materials and implements, and describes the use and development of scrolls and codices. Later chapters, accompanied by valuable illustrations, examine the different forms of first Greek then Latin handwritten texts, from the earliest surviving examples (fourth century BCE) to the end of the fifteenth century. Punctuation, accents and abbreviations are considered, and the various scripts - cursive, uncial, majuscule and miniscule - are all illustrated and examined. Tables of Greek and Latin literary and cursive alphabets are also provided.
Publisher: Cambridge Library Collection