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Caroline and Carolingian
I see that some scholars refer to "Caroline minuscule." This appears interchangably with "Carolingian miniscule" in literature. Also, Wikipedia's article on Blackletter uses these two terms. I assume there is no distinction between the terms but I am no expert. Can this article address, clarify this simple matter?
- Yeah, Caroline and Carolingian both refer to the same thing (ie Charlemagne). I've added that to the beginning, I hope it is clearer now. Adam Bishop 01:31, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
- "Carolingian" is completely familiar and utterly unequivocal. "Caroline" is unfortunate: it refers in English-language contexts to the 17th-century milieus of the King Charleses. Minuscule caroline is the French phrase, when carolingienne is not used. Does "Caroline" in this context simply arise from non-idiomatic translations from French? --Wetman 03:44, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
- Only "minuscule" is correct. Compare "minute" in the sense of "very small." It's the same Latin root, definitely with a "u." Caroline as an alternative to Carolingian is not wrong, only peculiar.
Role in cultural transmission
The following seems POVish, and also possibly wrong:
Though the Carolingian minuscule was superseded by Gothic hands, it later seemed so thoroughly 'classic' to the humanists of the early Renaissance that they took these Carolingian manuscripts to be true Roman ones and modelled their Renaissance hand on the Carolingian one, and thus it passed to the 15th century printers of books, like Aldus Manutius of Venice. In this way it is the basis of our modern typefaces.
The History_of_western_typography#Classical_revival article has a different take on the subject, one that indicated a desperate search for classicism was the reason Carolingian minuscules looked antiquated:
Practically all of the available manuscripts of classical writers had been rewritten during the Carolingian Renaissance, and with a lapse of three hundred years since the widespread use of this style, the humanist scribes mistook Carolingian minuscule as the authentic writing style of the ancients.
Indeed, the minuscules were so disparate from Roman capitals, the scribes had to make modifications:
Upon noticing the stylistic mismatch between these two very different letters, humanist scribes redesigned the small Carolingian letter, lengthening ascenders and descenders, and adding incised serifs and finishing strokes to integrate them with the Roman capitals.
According to this article, it was these modifications that made the Carolingian humanist:
By the time moveable type reached Italy several decades later, the humanistic writing had evolved into a consistent model known as humanistic minuscule, which served as the basis for type style we know today as Venetian.
I am absolutely not an expert on the subject; the History of Western Typography article has a more encyclopedic tone, and a greater number of contributers, which is why I'm assuming it's correct. But - someone who knows for sure, please make some changes. Thanks!
Eeblet 16:23, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
- Looks like both articles are saying the same thing, to me. Adam Bishop 18:45, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
- Essentially yes, both articles give the same story but express it differently. The account given in Carolingian minuscule is brief, whereas the account I wrote for History of Western typography describes in depth the reasoning and circumstances that led the Italian humanist scribes to misidentify Carolingian minuscule as a Roman minuscule from ancient times. I figured that amount of detail was neccessary and appropriate to a history (chronology) tracing the development of Western typographic style from the Renaissance onward. I'm as certain of the details as established books on the history of typography allow.
Example images far too small
On modern, high-resolution monitors the initial example images used in Carolingian minuscule (File:CarolingianMinuscule.jpg), Merovingian script (File:Merov.jpg), and several related articles are far too small (low-resolution) to be useful. Even with 2.25x reading glasses on, these images are nearly useless on resolutions above 1920x1200 (at 2560x1440 they're an unfunny joke). — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō)ˀ Contribs. 15:49, 23 September 2011 (UTC)