Reed pens (Greek: κάλαμοι kalamoi; singular κάλαμος kalamos) are a type of writing implement with a long history. They are made by cutting and shaping a single reed straw or length of bamboo. Reed pens with regular features such as a split nib have been found in Ancient Egyptian sites dating from the 4th century BC. Reed pens were used for writing on papyrus, and were the most common writing implement at the time the New Testament of the Bible was written.
Reed pens are stiffer than quill pens cut from feathers and do not retain a sharp point for as long. This led to their being replaced by quills. Nevertheless a reed pen can make bold strokes, and it remains an important tool in calligraphy.
- "Palette de scribe". Antiquités égyptiennes du Louvre (in French).
- Glossary definition from cartage.org
- Gottfried Pott – A Look into the World of Calligraphy from Linotype.com
- "A Light Note on the Science of Writing and Inks" (1852): an Arabic manuscript about reed pens