Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Western Use Of The Calligraphy Alphabet

Western Calligraphy

The Calligraphy Alphabet is used throughout the world in many cultures. This article describes some of the uses in the western world. Main article: Western calligraphy The Historical evolution of Western calligraphy[1]

Western Calligraphy

Calligraphy is recognizable by the use of the Roman alphabet. The alphabet came from the Phoenician, Greek, and Etruscan alphabets. The first Roman alphabet appeared about 600 BC, in Rome. About the first century we can see Roman square capitals carved on stones, Rustic capitals painted on walls, and Roman cursive for daily use. This trend continued into the second and third centuries using the Uncial, however writing withdrew to monasteries and was preserved there during the fourth and fifth centuries, when Roman Empire finally fell and Europe entered the Dark Ages.

At the height of the Roman Empire its power reached as far as Great Britain, when the empire fell, its literary influence remained. The Semi-uncial generated the Irish Semi-uncial, the small Anglo-Saxon. In fact, each region seemed to have develop its own standards following the main monastery of the region (i.e. Merovingian script, Laon script, Luxeuil script, Visigothic script, Beneventan script) which are mostly cursive and hardly readable.

The raising of the Carolingian Empire encouraged to set a new standardized script, developed by several famous monasteries (Corbie Abbey, Beauvais,...) around the eighth century, it's finally the script from Saint Martin de Tours which is set as the new Imperial standard, named the Carolingian script (or "the Caroline"). From the Carolingian powerful Empire, this standard also conquered neighbouring kingdoms.

Summary: The use of the Calligraphy Alphabet in the Western World has developed from many styles and forms descending from the ancient art of "beautiful writing".

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