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Syriac Paleography: Earliest Estrangela

Section 4: London, BL Add. 14460, f. 80r (dated 599/600)

Gospels (Peshitta)

 

© The British Library Board, Add. 14460, f. 80r.

 

Distinctive Letterforms
ālap
  • serif on right leg
  • left leg hangs below line
gāmal
  • ends well below line, but without the thick dot of some later examples
dālat / rēš
  • usually of the presumably typical, angled Estrangela form, but sometimes more round at top
  • center post angled somewhat to the left
wāw
  • very round
  • open loop
kāp
  • quite round
mim
  • open loop, or barely closed
  • final form with very thin tail
šin
  • horizontal line not too thick
  • top line not too round
tāw
  • loop open
  • when unconnected on either side, lacking a proper loop at the bottom
  • the vertical may only angle only slightly to the left

 

Distinctive Letterforms
ālap
  • serif on right leg
  • left leg hangs below line
gāmal
  • ends well below line, but without the thick dot of some later examples
dālat / rēš
  • usually of the presumably typical, angled Estrangela form, but sometimes more round at top
  • center post angled somewhat to the left
wāw
  • very round
  • open loop
kāp
  • quite round
mim
  • open loop, or barely closed
  • final form with very thin tail
šin
  • horizontal line not too thick
  • top line not too round
tāw
  • loop open
  • when unconnected on either side, lacking a proper loop at the bottom
  • the vertical may only angle only slightly to the left

Example of the unconnected, tightly looped, tāw, with only a slightly left-leaning vertical; even with these similar features, the tāw in this example and that of the previously noted DIYR 339 are quite distinct from each other: note the more spacious and sharply angled part to the right of the loop in the DIYR 339 tāw, and note the large dot at the top of the vertical in the example here:

manuscript line 4 from The British Library, Add. 14460, folio 80 recto

© The British Library Board, Add. 14460, f. 80r, l.4.