Uncial

Greek character set consisting of upper-case letters with round forms and variations in the line thickness and letter height, which was used for Latin and Greek manuscripts from the 3rd to the 9th century. Uncial is derived from the Capitalis Monumentalis used for Roman inscriptions. Most people believe that the name uncial derives from the Latin word uncial for twelfth, a term used by Sophronius Eusebius Hieronymus in the introduction to his Latin bible translation of the Book of Job (Vulgata, around 395) where he spoke of the ostentatious letters of Greek manuscripts being an inch wide (= a twelfth of a foot). More than 300 uncial manuscripts, most fragmentary, are extant. Among the more important uncial manuscripts that contain significant portions of both the Old and New Testaments are the Codices Alexandrinus, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. The half-uncial was used from the 5th century onwards and served as a transitional form from the uncial to the minuscule. It featured ascenders and descenders and in part made use of lower-case letters.

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