Latin Palaeography and Diplomatics

Teaching Staff: To be announced
Course Code: ARC416
Field: Archives
Course Category: Specific Background
Course Type: Elective
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Delivery method: Face to face
Semester: 8th
Total Hours: 3
E Class Page:
Short Description:

The course examines palaeography and diplomatics which investigate the evolution of writing and document types over time. With the help of paleography, it is possible to determine the age of undated texts or to cross-check available information about their temporal, geographical or historical context. The Latin palaeography deals with the evolution of the various writings, establishing for each type of writing the characteristics and the time when it was used from the time of Charlemagne (5th - 8th c.) Until the spread of typography (beginning of the 16th century). The diplomatics deals with the critical study and evaluation of documents as sources of information, but also with the identification and formulation of formal rules applicable to written acts in connection with their production mechanisms. The type of documents makes it possible to scientifically arrange and investigate them.

It is essential to translate Latin paleography faxsimile with particular emphasis on the Veneventian writing, as this writing was used in an area close to the Hellenic, Lower Italy, but also because in the limited time available, the examination of this writing give us the opportunity to present its "biological cycle".

Objectives - Learning Outcomes:

The acquisition of knowledge and skills in the field of Latin Palaeography is absolutely necessary supply for the archivist and librarian, since in the Greek archives and libraries there are many manuscripts of latin language, which are often are the only sources of documentation of our national history.


Week #1: Scripture and Culture, Scripture and Paleography, Medieval Palaeography

Week #2: Evolution of Latin Palaeography and Diplomatics as a Science.

Week #3: Palaeographic material approaches.

Week #4: Writing materials.

Week #5: Latin abbreviations (tachograph and notae Tironianae, brackets, medieval abbreviation).

Week #6: Criteria and Terminology of Palaeographic Analysis and Transcription (palaeographic analysis elements based on the structure of graphical forms, terminology of characterization of general categories of writing, rules of transcription of Latin-medieval text).

Week #7: Historical overview of Latin writing.

Week #8: Analysis of basic medieval scriptures.

Week #9: Transcription of Latin paleography faxsimile of Caroline writing.

Week #10: Transcription of Latin paleography faxsimile of Gothic writing.

Week #11: Transcription of Latin palaeographical faxsimile of Veneventian writing (1a part).

Week #12: Transcription of Latin palaeographical faxsimile of Veneventian writing (2a part).

Week #13: Diplomatic analysis of documents.

Suggested Bibliography:
  • Ζάχου Βιχελμίνα, Εισαγωγή στην Λατινική Παλαιογραφία, ed. Γρηγόρη, Athens 2016
  • Cencetti, Paleografia Latina, in “Guide allo studio della Civiltà Romana”, X, 3, Roma, 1978, 2a ed.
  • Battelli, Lezioni di paleografia, Città del Vaticano 1999, 4a ed.
  • Petrucci, La scrittura. Ideologia e rappresentazione, Torino 1986
  • , Prima lezione di Paleografia, Roma-Bari 2002
  • , Breve storia della scrittura latina, Roma 1992
  • , Scrittura e libro nell’Italia altomedievale, “Studi medievali”, ser. 3, X (1969), pp. 157-207
  • E.Boyle, Paleografia Latina Medievale. Introduzione bibliografica con supplemento 1982-1998, ed.
  • of M.E.Bertoldi, presentation of E.Troncarelli, Roma 1999 – B.Bischoff, Paleografia Latina. Antichità e medioevo, trad.
  • ed. G.P.Mantovani & S.Zamponi, Padova 1992
  • , Centri scrittorii e manoscritti mediatori di civiltà dal VI secolo all’età di Carlo Magno, in Libri e lettori nel Medioevo. Guida storica e critica, ed. G. Cavallo, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1977, pp. 47-72, 243-264
  • Schiaparelli, La scrittura latina nell’età romana: note paleografiche, avviamento allo studio della scrittura latina nel Medio Evo, Como, Ostinelli, 1921
  • Casamassima, Litterae Gothicae. Note per la storia della riforma grafica umanistica, ”La Bibliofilia” LXII (1960), pp. 109-143
  • , Lettere antiche. Note per la storia della riforma grafica umanistica, “Gutenberg Jahrbuch”, 1964, pp. 13-26
  • , Per una storia delle dottrine paleografiche dall’Umanesimo a Jean Mabillon, “Studi medievali”, ser. 3, V (1964), pp. 525-578
  • Cavallo, Struttura e articolazione della minuscola beneventana libraria tra i secoli X-XIII, “Studi medievali”, ser. 3, XI (1970), pp. 343-368
  • Falconi, Un codice parmense in beneventana: il Ms. Pal. 315 della Biblioteca Palatina, in Miscellanea in memoria di G. Cencetti, Torino, Bottega d’Erasmo, 1973, pp. 141-179
  • Petronio Nicolaj, Osservazioni sul canone della capitale libraria romana fra il I e il III sec., in Miscellanea in memoria di G. Cencetti, Torino, Bottega d’Erasmo, 1973, pp. 3-28
  • Palma, Nonantola e il Sud. Contributo allo studio della storia della scrittura libraria nell’Italia dell’ottavo secolo, “Scrittura e civiltà”, 3 (1979), pp. 77-88
  • Tristano, Scrittura beneventana e scrittura carolina in manoscritti dell’Italia meridionale, “Scrittura e civiltà”, 3 (1979), pp. 89-150
  • Miglio, L’altra metà della scrittura: scrivere il volgare (all’origine delle corsive mercantili), “Scrittura e civiltà”, 10 (1986), pp. 83-114
  • Casamassima, Tradizione corsiva e tradizione libraria nella scrittura latina del Medioevo, Roma, Gela, 1988.
Teaching Methods:

Lectures using new technologies.

New Technologies:


Evaluation Methods:

Written exams.


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