Bartholomew the Englishman

On the Chameleon

Textualis Rotundus: Letter d, Biting. Abbreviations

The letter d can take two basic forms in gothic textualis scripts. 

The first is the upright, or half uncial d , which is rather uncommon in classic textualis scripts. The second type is the "uncial" d

Uncial d is relatively easy to recognize.  Check the boxes of the words that contain d :

How many d 's are there in the selection below?


Recognizing the letters next to the d can be more difficult than finding d by itself.  This is due to the prevalence of "biting" - when letter strokes overlap.  With d , this most often occurs with letters such as e and o, which are formed with curved strokes ("bows"). 

Biting can happen before d :


But it is much more common after d :

(do, de, de)

Which letter comes before d in each of these examples?

Which letter comes after d  in each of these examples?


There are several common abbreviations using d.

A d with a stroke that resembles a large apostrophe adds another letter or letters to the word.  The trick is to know enough Latin to figure out what the letters should be:

In this example, it adds -um


In this example, it adds -or


Here, it adds -e


The word dicendum is used so often in some works that it has its own d abbreviation:

What letters does the stroke add to these words?

Bonus: What word is this?

Challenge: Read the phrase!

for help, look at this


University of Victoria, BC, Bartholomaeus Anglicus 84-61, used with permission from the Department of Special Collections.

University of Prague, Metropolitan Chapter, M 80, used with permission.