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Here are examples of manuscripts mainly from the 12th century and later. While Estrangela has the reputation for being the early Syriac script-type par excellence, it continued to be used well past the 15th century, not only in titles or rubrics, but for complete texts. In general, the lines of later Estrangela manuscripts are thicker, with less distinction between thin and thick lines in these copies. As in earlier periods, some letter-shapes similar to or identical with Serto (or East Syriac) may be found. In a previous lesson we saw an Estrangela manuscript with a Serto colophon, and here we will see Estrangela manuscripts with colophons in East Syriac.

 

Jerusalem, St. Mark's Monastery, SMMJ 55, f. 56r. All rights reserved. Image provided by HMML.

 

Distinctive Letterforms
ālap
  • serifless on right leg
  • still sits a little below the line
  • may have Serto shape in final position (see f. 56r, ll. 6 and 19; f. 77v, l. 4)
gāmal
  • taller than ʿē, but hangs only a little below line when initial
  • when medial, the long line bisects the baseline of the word (cf. šgušē on f. 56r, l. 4)
dālat / rēš
  • Serto shape
  • Serto shape
wāw
  • Serto shape
ḥēt
  • about the same height as yod
yod
  • when final and unattached to previous letter, not merely an angle, but has an extender to the right
kāp
  • round on top, but more pointed than earlier examples
mim
  • closed loop
semkat
  • joined to following letter
šin
  • the top part more a thick line than a bowl joined to the horizontal base
tāw
  • the loop is closed or almost closed
Distinctive Letterforms
ālap
  • serifless on right leg
  • still sits a little below the line
  • may have Serto shape in final position (see f. 56r, ll. 6 and 19; f. 77v, l. 4)
gāmal
  • taller than ʿē, but hangs only a little below line when initial
  • when medial, the long line bisects the baseline of the word (cf. šgušē on f. 56r, l. 4)
dālat / rēš
  • Serto shape
  • Serto shape
wāw
  • Serto shape
ḥēt
  • about the same height as yod
yod
  • when final and unattached to previous letter, not merely an angle, but has an extender to the right
kāp
  • round on top, but more pointed than earlier examples
mim
  • closed loop
semkat
  • joined to following letter
šin
  • the top part more a thick line than a bowl joined to the horizontal base
tāw
  • the loop is closed or almost closed