Encyclopedia > Palaeography

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Palaeography, literally ancient writing, is the study and interpretation of the handwiting in ancient documents, and the development of handwriting. Because the transcription of documents was tedious and laborious, and materials were often costly, an extensive system of abbreviations developed in the middle ages, particularly for the transcription of Greek and Latin.

Prior to the time of Charlemagne several parts of Europe even had their own handwriting style. His rule over a large part of the continent provide an opportunity to unify these writing styles. The only script to escape this modernization was the one that continues to be used in traditional Irish handwriting.

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