Saturday, January 8, 2011
Gary S. Dykes on Script Mensuration
Mr. Dykes notes in his paper that precision measurement of scripts and styles of copyists and scribes is not in a very advanced state. He makes careful investigations and offers conclusions and recommendations for how to put the science of handwriting measurement on a sure footing, regarding Greek MSS.
Its a virtual tour-de-force, and an excellent introduction to the problems researchers face in trying to measure and identify scribes and copyists who may or may not have authored more than one extant MS.
Mr. Dykes offers two useful files with discussions and examples in .pdf format at his site. Although these go back to 2006, they are still great reads:
Both are essential reading for those trying to sort out copyists and date manuscripts, and many of his ideas have an applicability which extends far beyond his own area of interest, minuscules (mr.scrivener, take note of spelling).
It appears novel that Mr. Dykes uses angles between key lines in a ligature structure, or ratios/areas in a square block of space, as these appear for his purposes to be independent of other types of measurement which turn out to be problematic, such as line width, and pen-angle.
Perhaps others can offer further leads and advances in this fascinating, but rather new area of investigation.