The script developed in the monasteries of northern France and Germany in conjunction with Charlemagne's reform of liturgy and learning at the end of the 8th century. Caroline minuscule is characterized by a small minim-height, ample space between lines, well-developed word-separation, a limited use of abbreviation, and related features tending to promote legibility. This script was used from the late 8th century into the 12th century. It is the model for Humanist minuscule and for our modern lower-case Roman alphabet.
Raymond Clemens and Timothy Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Studies (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007), 142-144.