Script – University of Copenhagen


The Latin alphabet reached the North through Christianity. The manuscripts preserved from the oldest period of the written culture in the North, from the middle of the 11th century to the middle of the 13th century, are written in Carolingian script. During the 13th century, the Carolingian script was replaced by the Gothic script, which prevailed until the middle of the 16th century. The script called Gothic textualis then lived on as the first printed typeface (fraktur), while the Gothic cursiva variant developed into a script called kurrent, which itself was repaced by the Humanist minuscule in the 19th century.

Gothic Script

Gothic script is characterised by squared letters and sharp bows. Abbreviations and ligatures are widely used. The letters i, u, m, and n written with identical lines (shafts) made it difficult to distinguish them from each other, for example in the word 'min'. The letter i was later provided with either a diacritical stroke or a dot over it.

Later Script