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Insular Scripts: Transcription

Transcription Exercise 1

Insular Half-Uncial, Ireland ca. 750


Transcribe the first six lines.

Hints and Helps

In this manuscript, cl looks a lot like d and vice-versa. Note that the bottom of l curves, whereas the upright stroke of d is straight all the way down.

At the end of line 3, what the scribe originally wrote has been corrected in a lighter ink. Don't worry about transcribing the correction. See if you can transcribe just what the original hand wrote.

This scribe's word separation is excellent compared to what we saw in the last unit, but it's far from perfect. Stay alert!

This hand may lead to minim-confusion. Keep an eye on i, m, n, and u, count minims, and don't forget that you need to end up with Latin that makes sense.

Watch out for those nomina sacra!


Transcribe lines 1-6.

St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 51, p. 8. (www.e‑


Transcription Answer Key

1.  cum esset disponsata mater eius maria ioseph ante(-)
2.  quam conuenirent inuenta (est) in utero habens de sp(irit)u s(an)c(t)o
3.  JOSeph autem uir eius cum esset homo iustus et noluit
4.  eam traducere sed uoluit occulte dimittere eam· Haec
5.  eo cogitante ecce angelus d(omi)ni in sompnis apparuit ei
6.  dicens ioseph filii dauid noli timere accipire mariam