Medieval Scripts

The medieval scripts described on the DMMapp Blog are those listed in the Art & Architecture Thesaurus [1]. This list serves as a well defined starting point and gives us solid foundations for further  expand and describe these medieval scripts. The Art & Architecture Thesaurus follows this hierarchy:

Medieval Scripts

Gothic scripts

  • Bastarda
  • Gothic cursive
  • Textura (Gothic script)

Half uncial

Humanistic scripts

  • Antiqua
  • Humanistic cursive

Insular scripts

  • Insular majuscule
  • Insular minuscule

Later Roman cursive

Merovingian scripts

  • Luxeuil script
  • Merovingian chancery script

Older Roman cursive


Rustic capitals

Square capitals


Visigothic minuscule[2]

This list, retrieved from the Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online does not include “Minuscule” and “Majuscule”, as they are defined respectively as Scripts some of whose letters have ascenders or descenders above or below a general base line and top line[3], and Alphabetic scripts whose letters are confined between head and base lines with no ascenders or descenders[4]. Copperplate (script) has also been removed from the list since it represents a style dominant in the 18th century[5] and falls outside of the scope of this “medieval scripts” list.

Additional Resources

Giulio Menna

Giulio is a passionate lover of medieval manuscripts, with a particular interest in those from Southern Italy. He holds an MA in Book and Digital Media Studies and a BA in Graphic and Multimedia Design. Currently working as an application manager and developer at Leiden University Libraries, Giulio has developed the DMMapp and the DMMapp blog, which provides access to digitized medieval manuscripts and insightful commentary on these cultural treasures.

References & Footnotes

References & Footnotes
1 “Art & Architecture Thesaurus (Getty Research Institute).” Accessed June 13, 2018.
2 “AAT Hierarchy Display (Getty Research).” Accessed June 13, 2018.
3 “Art & Architecture Thesaurus Full Record Display (Getty Research).” Accessed June 13, 2018.
4 “Art & Architecture Thesaurus Full Record Display (Getty Research).” Accessed June 13, 2018.
5 Dossena, Marina, and Ingrid Marijke Tieken-Boon van Ostade. Studies in Late Modern English Correspondence: Methodology and Data. Linguistic Insights ; Vol. 76. 264763424. Bern [etc.]: Lang, 2008.
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