Medieval Latin and Greek fonts

Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 573
edited May 15 in History of Typography
I can't seem to find the topic about fonts with glyphs used in medieval Latin. Could someone link to it, please?
AFAIK this form of Latin is much broader than the Classical one. Are there experts (linguists) for the whole field or is it generally too much for a single person?

Also, are there many similar medieval glyphs for Byzantine Greek? Certainly there would be at least musical notations.
Thank you an advance.


  • This is several questions at once; to start with medieval Latin: this is the field MUFI has been doing much work upon, for many years. Here you find a pointer to mufish fonts and on this page you’ll see a sort of ‘global’ map of mufish glyphs and characters.

    As for Byzantine Greek and related musical notation, I’d like to ask you to be a bit more precise with your question. But I recall that John Hudson might have done some specialized font work in that area, if I’m not mistaken.
  • Peter BakerPeter Baker Posts: 94
    As to the topic about experts in medieval Latin, there are many: linguists, literary and historical scholars, paleographers, and more. Did you need to know something specific?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,934
    There are too many intersecting factor to the question to provide any easy answer to a general question about supporting mediaeval text in fonts.

    We're talking about a period of some hundreds of years during which time regional script variants were far more prevalent than at later times. This affects both general styles of script used in particular regions, and also the shape of individual letters over time and across locales.

    Then there is the role of abbreviation and ligation, including the use of specialised signs to indicate common abbreviations, some of which are encoded in Unicode but far from all of them.

    I have more experience working with Byzantine text (Greek and Latin) than with Western mediaeval Latin, and that's a period of 1000 years. The existence of a centralised authority means that there is less of the regional fragmentation that characterises script in the Western Middle Ages, but the long period and geographical extent of the Roman Empire in the east and its colonies (including colonies in what we now think of as the west, notably Italy), means that significant variation is still encountered, especially in non-documentary texts of the kind I worked on with the numismatists and sigillographers at Dumbarton Oaks for the Athena Ruby project. In the later documentary scribal style, developed for fast copying in monastic and imperial scriptoria, ligation is even more prevalent than in Western Latin manuscripts, although abbreviation per se less so: all the letters are written, you just might not recognise them from the ways that they are combined.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 573
    edited May 16
    This is such an embarrassment of riches that I would have a hard time specifying! :) I am currently checking something about Old Church Slavonic and hoped to find some fonts in the links that support Slavic medieval languages, and this is exactly what happened. Thanks!

    I notice that some mufish glyphs and characters in the 'global' table have broken diacritics, for example the hungarumlaut at some places. I believe this is the typical distortion that happens in hungarumlaut interpolation when the first acute in some weight is interpolated to the second acute in another. I hope it gets fixed! :) The font is really something. :)
  • Peter BakerPeter Baker Posts: 94
    @Vasil Stanev: Which font has the broken hungarumlaut? Whoever made it will certainly want to fix it!
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 573
    edited May 17
    Various glyphs diacritics appear broken to me in :
    and many more. Am I the only one seeing this? It was similar on my phone.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 573
    edited May 17
  • Peter BakerPeter Baker Posts: 94
    I don't see it. FWIW, all the glyphs showing up broken on your display are made of components.
  • Noah BrombergNoah Bromberg Posts: 11
    Poking around in Inspect Element makes me think that's just a side effect of the "fake bold" automatically done by your web browser. The font is loaded in its regular weight, but is set as bold on the page.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 573
    Interesting. I have never seen such a behaviour by a browser.
  • The font implemented there is a derivate of Andron Scriptor (Regular). I have never seen a strange effect like this, it looks indeed like a faked Bold. This is how I view it (Mac/Firefox) and how I think it should look:
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