The minuscule was probably commissioned for the monastery

The Codex Petropolitanus Latinus Q.v.I.40 is a manuscript of Tertullian, from the 8th–9th century written on 61 folios of parchment, originating in the Abbey of Corbie.  The Abbey of Corbie was the center where the old manuscripts were used before the Carolingian minuscule was introduced, and the influence can be seen on this codex. The Codex Petropolitanus Latinus contains the Apologeticum, Tertullian’s most famous work, made of apologetic and polemic. He defends Christianity, demanding legal equality for Christians, so that they could have the same treatment as all other sects of the Roman Empire. The original manuscript was written in Carthage in 197 AD, during the reign of Septimius Severus, and it was reproduced a lot in the Middle Ages, one of them being this one Carolingian minuscule was probably commissioned for the monastery itself, which was not untypical for these times.Clear capital letters and spaces between words, which became a standard in Carolingian minuscule, are also seen here in this codex. That was the result of a campaign to achieve a culturally unifying standardization of the letter through the whole Carolingian Empire. The capital letters are derived form the previous influence, especially the influence of the Merovingian letters from the Abbey of Corbie, which was founded during Merovingian reign and produced manuscripts at that time. The letters here are also clear, rounded and legible, showing the characteristics of the Carolingian minuscule. The letter a here becomes a more curvaceous version of the Uncial a, which was seen in older texts The letter g developed a closed bow and a curved tail, while the letter r has lost its descender and shortened its loop. The letters lack ligatures, but the punctuation exists in form of small lines and dots. The letters t and e sometimes merge with each other, emphasizing the cursive style. The lowercase n that can be seen here is new in the alphabet, rarely used before. The height of the letters varied, from 3 to 5 pen widths, breaking the baseline.  The pen strokes are vertical, but the angle of the brush provided thinner lines and created and oval effect on the letters and punctuation.  The cursive is even more enhanced by the fluency of the writing.  The pen’s angle of writing was 45 degrees which also gave the letters a more rounded and cursive look.


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