Bartholomew the Englishman

On Perverse Angels

Paleography Lesson: Bows

Every written line is divided into two parts, from baseline to headline and from headline to ascender line. The main body of each letter sits on the baseline. A bow is a rounded stroke that stays between the headline and the baseline:

baseline: the line that the bottom part of letters without descenders touch
ascender line: the line that the top part of letters without ascenders touch
headline: a line (never drawn) that the tops of ascender letters touch

In this example, the rounded strokes of q and p are bows. The curves in letters such as e and c do not count as bows since they are open, not closed.

In paleography, bows are useful because letters with bows stand out as distinct from the vertical strokes used to form most other letters. Thus, they break up the line and make it easier to read.

Which of the following letters contain bows?

b f i q
c g m y
d h p

Read the paleography samples and enter the correct words in the text fields.

Bow Challenge: Read the phrase!

For help, look at this.