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Christian Late Antiquity: Transcription

Section 2: Abbreviations: Suspension of -m, suspension of -us in -bus endings

Among the few abbreviations used in high-grade late-antique manuscripts are the omission of word-final -m and the omission of -us in the -bus ending of the dative and ablative plural.

Omission of final -m after a vowel is indicated by the common mark of abbreviation, a horizontal line above the vowel that the -m would follow, like this: uerbu = uerbum. The common mark of abbreviation is also known as a titulus. Remember, when transcribing, we put in parentheses any letter that we are supplying but which the scribe omitted in abbreviation. So here, the m goes in parentheses, like this: uerbu(m)

Omission of -us after b is indicated by an apostrophe-like mark following the b, like this: b' So hominib' = hominibus. Again, since we are supplying the -us in expanding the abbreviation, we put the letters we are supplying in parentheses, like this: hominib(us)