Gothic Textura ('woven') Prescissa ('cut off') or
Sine Pedibus (without feet') is the highest grade of the Gothic range of
bookhands. They are called textura or textualis because of their 'woven'
look: the Latin verb texo means 'to weave' or 'plait', as in basket-work. It thus comes
to mean 'fit together intricately in a regular pattern'. The prescissa and sine
pedibus refer to the way in which the minims and some taller letters such as tall
s and f lack 'feet': instead of ending with a serif,
they are cut off in a neat horizontal at the base-line.
It is said that in Textura the overall design of the word is more important than the individual letter-forms. You must decide how true you think this is.
This is fol 159v from BL Additional MS 42130, the Luttrell Psalter, famous for its marginal drawings of everyday life in the early fourteenth century. It was made for Sir Geoffrey Luttrell of Irnham (Lincolnshire) between 1320 and 1340, possibly in East Anglia, possibly in a London scriptorium.
|1.....Transcribe it. There is only one
abbreviation. What is it?|
.......I have transcribed the first four lines for you as a starter.
.......Go to the following pages for a close-up version in slices.
|2.....Copy out a line, using pen and ink. What do you notice about the mechanics of writing?|
|3.....Describe it in terms of|
|.......A..... Individual letter forms.|
|.......B..... Overall aspect;|
|4.....Describe the layout.|
|5.....Is there any punctuation?|
© MEG TWYCROSS 1998