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Carolingian uncial: a context for the Lothar Psalter

Rosamond McKitterick

Abstract

IN his famous identification and dating of the Morgan Golden Gospels published in the Festschrift for Belle da Costa Greene, E. A. Lowe was quite explicit in his categorizing of Carolingian uncial as the 'invention of a display artist'. He went on to define it as an artificial script beginning to be found in manuscripts of the ninth century and even of the late eighth century. These uncials were reserved for special display purposes, for headings, titles, colophons, opening lines and, exceptionally, as in the case of the Morgan Gospels Lowe was discussing, for an entire codex. Lowe acknowledged that uncial had been used in these ways before the end of the eighth century, but then it was 'natural' not 'artificial' uncial.

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