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Title: A history of Gaelic script, A.D. 1000-1200
Author: Duncan, Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 5231
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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This dissertation provides a comprehensive account of the development of Gaelic script written in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in the Gaelic world. This has involved palaeographical and codicological examinations of the surviving manuscripts and fragments. Most manuscripts which survive from this period were written in Latin; however, this period also signals the first surviving manuscripts produced entirely in Middle Gaelic (most notably, Leabhar na hUidhre, Leabhar na Nuachongbhála, and OBL Rawl. B.502 [B]). One purpose of this dissertation is to contextualise the Middle-Gaelic language manuscripts within their Latin background. Two script-types were used in this period in Gaelic manuscripts (Gaelic National minuscule and Insular Half-uncial) which are both discussed in this dissertation. Much fundamental palaeographical work on the manuscripts in question has not previously been undertaken. On a very basic level, this study therefore provides arguments for distinguishing between the number of hands in manuscripts based on palaeographical and codicological observations. As a result of close palaeographical analysis I have been able to argue a chronological development for Gaelic script situated within the few reliable arguments for dating and locating some manuscripts. The employment of some abbreviations, monograms, and ligatures, new to Gaelic scribes, has proven to be particularly significant in terms of distinguishing between the layers of palaeographical development. These palaeographical features examined in light of ascetic qualities of the script has allowed me to place many script-specimens in ‘groups’ or ‘styles’ which subsequently reveal some argument for dating and locating manuscripts. This study of Gaelic script reveals that big scribal changes were underway in the eleventh and twelfth century: new styles of script were developed and a wealth of new abbreviations were used by some scribes. However, the evidence indicates that these developments were not necessarily felt simultaneously across the Gaelic World.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Civilization, Celtic ; Paleography ; Celts