Littera Visigothica at the London International Palaeography Summer School 2016

Exciting news: I am teaching a full-day course on Visigothic script for the London International Palaeography Summer School!

As you can read in its site, the London International Palaeography Summer School is a series of intensive courses in Palaeography and Manuscript Studies that takes place each Summer in London. The next year, 2016, it will run from the 13 to the 17 of June.

The Summer School is hosted by the Centre for Manuscript and Print Studies with the co-operation of the British Library, the Institute of Historical ResearchSenate House Library, the Warburg InstituteUniversity CollegeKing’s College London and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Courses offered at the London International Palaeography Summer School range from a half to two days duration and are given by experts in their respective fields from a wide range of institutions (you can read about teachers’ affiliations and research interests here). Subject areas include Latin, English, Anglo-Saxon, German and Greek palaeography, history of scripts, illuminated manuscripts, codicology, vernacular editing and liturgical and devotional manuscripts (course overview). For the first time, next year there will be a specific course on Visigothic script too!

Introduction to Visigothic Script

Dr Ainoa Castro Correa (King’s College London)
Full day – from 10.00 to 17.00 – 14 June 2016
Maximum: 15 students
Venue: Senate House Library


Almost all written production in what is now Spain and Portugal from the 8th to the 12th centuries was done in what is called ‘Visigothic script’, which evolved in the Peninsula from the scripts of the Late Roman Empire just as Merovingian, Insular, and Beneventan scripts did in their corresponding geographical areas. In this course, students will gain knowledge about not only the origin of Visigothic script but also about its main typological and geographical variants and its stages of evolution throughout the centuries, these aspects being discussed through digital reproductions of significant manuscript examples.

This course is open to everyone interested in medieval manuscript production, with a focus on the Iberian Peninsula’s manuscript material. Its main aim is to familiarise the participants with a particular model of medieval script, with those letters, signs, and abbreviations that characterise Visigothic script. Therefore, no previous experience is required although students with at least a basic training in palaeography will particularly benefit from the course. There will be some transcription exercises where those students who wish to do so will have the opportunity to practice reading the script.

Some basic references you might find useful – if you want to come prepared:

  • J. Alturo Perucho, A. Castro Correa and M. Torras Cortina (eds.), La escritura visigótica en la Península Ibérica. Nuevas aportaciones (Bellaterra, 2012).
  • Mª J. Azevedo Santos, Da visigótica à carolina, a escrita em Portugal de 882 a 1172 (Lisbon, 1994).
  • M. C. Díaz y Díaz et al., Corpus de códices visigóticos (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1999).
  • A. Millares Carlo, Tratado de Paleografía española (Madrid, 1983).
  • I. Velázquez Soriano, Documentos de época visigoda escritos en pizarra (Turnhout, 2000).

(You can also check the Bibliography page above, and, of course, the contents of this site organised for teaching purposes).

There will be plenty of cool images, the key topics will be openly discussed. No need to be an expert! I would love to see you all there.

The inscription for this course will open in early January. In the meantime, you can check the London International Palaeography Summer School site for more info. Don’t miss it!

by A. Castro

[edited 13/07/2018]

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