To the untrained eye, my manuscripts might seem impossible to read but in reality, I’ve been pretty lucky. Most of the documents I use for my dissertation are very neat, written in polished and uniform cursive writing typical of southern European chanceries. They tend to be a rounder script than say what scribes used in England, where strokes were much more angular. Most of them are very clear, like the examples below:
While the above is a picture of an original manuscript, most of my documents are photocopies made from microfilm but are no less readable:
Which is just as well since I have to go through thousands of these! But then, just to make things sinteresting, every once in a while some messier examples comes to the fore and I wasted a long time trying to figure out what’s going on:
or faint ones
But judging by some of the stuff my friends have to read, I can still count myself lucky even if at times I want to shoot myself. Medieval history is not for the faint of heart! And to think that I chose it because I got bored with the typed documents used in modern history… there must be something wrong with me.