Skip to main content

Christian Late Antiquity: Transcription

Transcription Exercise 3: St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 1395, p. 25. Fragments of Vulgate (Matthew). Half-Uncial. Northern Italy, ca. 410-420

Now it's time to try transcribing Half-Uncials. Transcribe lines 7-21 in the left column. (Do not transcribe the marginal annotations.)

This passage does not have any abbreviations, but it does have several word breaks at line end, which you will want to indicate with a hyphen in parentheses: (-)

Even though this script is the ultimate ancestor of our lower-case alphabet, it has some features that may trip you up until you get used to them. Here are some things to look out for:

When transcribing Half-Uncials, be very careful not to confuse f, r, and s, or to confuse a and u. In this manuscript, c, e, and t also have a tendency to look similar.

This word is aduersus. Note the low shoulder of r and the higher shoulder of the two tall s's: aduersus In Latin

This is a u followed by an a. Note how the first stroke of a curves inward at the top, but that of the u doesn't.  letter u followed by a

Look out for the li ligature, which looks like this: The letters l and i  combined in a single ligature

Transcribe lines 7-21 in the left column, but ignore any marginal annotations.

St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 1395, p. 25. (www.e‑

Transcription Answer Key

7  Quis erit ex uobis homo
8  qui habeat ouem
9  unum et si ceciderit
10  haec sabbatis in fo(-)
11  ueam nonne tene(-)
12  bit et leuabit eam
13  quanto magis me(-)
14  lior est homo oue
15  itaque licet sabbatis
16  bene facere tunc
17  ait homini exten(-)
18  de manum tuam et
19  extendit et restitu(-)
20  ta est sanitati sicut
21  altera